A Jersey Calf (sick)

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Hi my Name is Rachel I am 12 years old.I am a member of 4-h and show animals for the county fairs.Irecently was at an auction and the sweetiest jersey calf came out for auction she looked bad and no one would bid.My parents told me my options and said it's chances were not good but that I earned the money and could get it if iwanted it. His name is Scrappy and is not doing good.He has scours bad and can barely walk onhis own. My mom is letting me keep Scrappy in the house to keep fly's off him. I canget her to drink two times a day milk replacer and some feed.We were advised to give himBio-Mycin shot for shipping fever and other things.Cananyone helpme out?I want Scrappy tolive he has the prettiest eyes andis so sweet! My Dad used to work on a dairy when he was a kid and they used to give the calves a shot it was a mix of something but Dad doesn't rememeber and the dairy farmclosedup and we can't find anyone to advise us. thanks so Much Rachel!

-- Rachel Triplett (kisses30_@excite.com), August 05, 2001



How old is the calf? You call it he and she. If it is a heifer, she could be a real sweetie. If it is a bull calf....I know it is sweet now, but jersey bulls are the most unpredictable and mean around. Please read up on it or ask around before you decide to keeep a jersey bull calf. I don't have any experience with scours, but a calf newly taken from it's mother will take some effort to feed. You said you were able to get it to eat twice per day. How much is it eating? I'm sure someone here will be able to give you good advice. I wish you luck!

-- Mona in OK (modoc@ipa.net), August 05, 2001.

Your calf will not get better as long as he has diarhea so that is your first concern.Go to a vet and get electrolyte powder which you make into a solution you give instead of milk or milk replacer untill the scours stop.If money isn't a problem take the calf to a vet to start with an IV. Keith Etheridge DVM

-- Keith Etheridge DVM (grandpa@chipsnet.com), August 05, 2001.


We have two jersey calves that are about twelve weeks old. We castrated them about a month ago by banding and they are doing pretty good. One of the calves is a replacement for one that died within 24 hours after we brought him home.

Scours is serious and can kill very quickly. The animal becomes dehydrated. You really need to find out what is causing the scours to know how to treat it, or even if it is treatable. My sister just lost a half grown heifer from BVD: Bovine Viral Diarhea. They had the vet out and treated her aggressively with everything in the book, but couldn't save her. BVD is a killer. If the scours is merely dietary, the calf will recover if you can keep it hydrated. If the cause is cocci, you need to treat for that. You can treat for cocci and it won't hurt if the animal doesn't have it. You can use corrid powder or some other cocci treatment which are available at the feed stores. When our goats have scours we give them pedialyte from the grocery or drug store. That may be the easiest way to get some electrolytes into the calf. If it won't drink it plain then mix it with the milk replacer. Milk replacer itself can cause scours until their system gets used to it. See if you can find a goat person nearby with extra goat milk. Our calves are getting all the extra goat milk from our milkers and they are growing just fine on it.

I hope this helps.

-- Skip in Western WA (sundaycreek@gnrac.net), August 05, 2001.

sorry Mona. It is a bull calf, We plan on casterating it when it is older. and raising it to show next year as a dairy steer. I have raised up beef steers for showing in 4-h. But their mom's lived here on our farm and we never had this problem. Tomorrow I will try electrolytes and what should I use for diareha? I have tried pepto bismal but don't think that is working. How much should he drink of his milk he has been drinking about 1 quart two times a day? Is this enough?~~~~Thanks for your time Rachel& Scrappy~~~~~

-- Rachel Triplett (kisses30_@excite.com), August 05, 2001.

I forgot I bought her Wed August 1st 2001 today he has lived for five days but is looking very bleak.~~~~Rachel& Scrappy~~~~

-- Rachel Triplett (kisses30_@excite.com), August 05, 2001.

Rachel, diarrhea causes the loss of electrolytes when can lead to serious problems involving the heart, kidneys and other organs. Powdered gatorade is used to replace electrolytes in people. If no gatorade, baking soda can be used.

Replacing the electrolytes does not stop the diarrhea. Several things could cause diarrhea. An infection may require antibiotics. It could also be a change of diet. Some animals just get over it and you are not sure why. Get in touch with your county extension agent tomorrow. Maybe he can get your problem to an expert.

If Scrappy gets better, get him castrasted soon. He is going to change.

-- paul (primrose@centex.net), August 05, 2001.

Rachel, I would stop feeding milk replacer completely and just try warm water to keep him from dehydrating until you can get those electrolytes. If there is any Agway or farm store nearby you can get them -the brand name that's most common is RESORB. You vcan mix your own by adding a little sugar and baking soda to the warm water, it's not as good as the professiona mix and I can't remember the exact measurement of the ingredients.This is still probably only a temporary solution til you can contact a vet. I've raised about a dozen calves, some from auctions and have only lost one. Also kaopectate works better than peptobismol in my experience. I just remembered that sometimes plain yogurt with the active cultures can help if you give it after the electrolytes. Hope some of this helps.

-- linda skountzos (skountzos6@netscape.net), August 06, 2001.

Here is a recipe for home-made electrolytes 1 quart water 3/4 teaspoon salt substitute (potassium chloride) 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 3 Tablespoons white corn syrup (Karo syrup) This will provide the exact electrolyte requirements in the right concentration. A dose of Probios powder mixed in would be a good idea also. Remember, the diarrhea is the body's way of flushing out toxins, the electrolytes are not to stop the runnies, but to keep him from becoming dehydrated. Crushed Imodium A-D tablets might help with the diarrhea. Milk replacer on an animal that is not used to it, and is already ill is not a good idea. If you are determined to save this animal, once the diarrhea is cleared up, and he is ready to start milk again, you should consider, as Skip said, getting hold of some goat's milk, or buying store-bought WHOLE milk. You could then slowly start mixing it with the milk-replacer, adding a little more replacer each feeding until he is on straight replacer. I know what you mean about a Jersey's beautiful eyes, and I hope for your sake that he gets well, but for a dairy beef project, I'm afraid you made a poor choice. As others said, get him castrated the minute he is well enough! Good luck! Kathie

-- Kathie in Western Washington (twinrosefarm@worldnet.att.net), August 06, 2001.

When we got our two Jersey calves, one had the scours and starting acting bad. The lady at the feedstore had operated a dairy farm and she gave me some blue bolus, which I gave 1/2 of a bolus twice a day for 4 days. The calf was much better after the first day. I think it might be Albon bolus, but I'm not sure. Imodium will stop the runs a lot faster than Pepto Bismal, but it can be hard on their system. If you can feed the calf 4-5 times throughout the day that would be easier on them than twice a day. Good luck.

-- Leslie in Western WA (sundaycreek@gnrac.net), August 06, 2001.

Rachel, you have a sick calf. By the time you try all the remedies people give you, it could be too late. I just got thru with someone who wrote to me about a sick calf. I told them to call the vet. They didn't, and the calf didn't make it. There are times when you need professional help.

-- ~Rogo (rogo2020@yahoo.com), August 06, 2001.

I agree with Leslie. Go get some blue boluses. They will stop the scours right away. Be very careful about the teeth down in their mouth when you give it. Push it straight down in the middle of the tongue, don't get your fingers over to the side between the teeth.

I tried the egg, electrolites, and all the other, but it just made the scours worse. I gave 1 bolus per 100 lbs, just cows milk, and the scours quit. I did not have to re-dose the second day. The calf perked up within a couple hours and there was a remarkable improvement.

-- Cindy in KY (solidrockranch@msn.com), August 06, 2001.

Scours boluses are great.If it's Jersey it's probally 50-60 lbs. 1qt 2 x a day is enough milk .Right now get 1 qt of electrolytes 2 x a day and also 1 qt of milk 2 x per day . MIlk is there only food and you cannot with hold it .There is a good chance even with a vet the calf will not make it .If it did not get colustum I usually loose them between day 7-10.Get a medicated calf grain and start shoving some in its mouth several times a day also .Look in are archives as this subject has been covered often .

-- Patty {NY State} (fodfarms@slic.com), August 06, 2001.

Rachel , how is the calf ?

-- Patty {NY State} (fodfarms@slic.com), August 07, 2001.

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