Scours Opinion
Posted 5/11/2022 11:44 (#9656271 - in reply to #9656096)
Subject: RE: Scours Opinion

Eastern NE KS
Watch him closely. It'd be nice to not treat with antibiotics as long as he nurses and active. Antibiotics tend to upset the gut by killing the good bugs too. I'd expect him to clear up on his own. Your calf is lively so as long as he stays that way his illness should clear.

Scours starts as a viral infection (no treatment available). Calf has to defeat virus on his own. Major outcome/problem is dehydration. Treatment is clear fluids and electrolytes nursed or tubed or intervaneous infusion. I've seen my vet pull a very sick calf (flat on ground, head thrown back and death cry) back to life with that.

Antibiotics treat the secondary gut infection. I have used a calf sulfa pill (Sustain III) and Baytril injection. One treatment covers 3 days Loose poop is obviously a loss of fluids. Antibiotic treatment trys to give the calf support to fight the virus on his own.

Prevention (info for future calving seasons)
I vaccinate my heifers with ScourBos 9 then booster with Scour Bos 4. Have not treated a calf for scours since starting ( over 5 years). These vaccines are given ~12 weeks and 4 weeks before you expect the 1st birth. Antibodies are passed to the calf in mother's colostrum. Vaccine is about $8-10 per heifer. Interestingly, vaccinating the heifers is all I have needed, cows go unvaccinated even though we calve in the same pasture year after year.

Calve in clean pastures. Don't use the same pasture year after year. Calve for 2-3 weeks in 1st pasture and move remaining pregnant females to new clean pasture and repeat until done calving. Pairs stay in their 'birth' pasture. (I was considering this idea when my vet suggested #1.)

Edited by Doug61 5/11/2022 11:46
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