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Calf scours, or diarrhoea in calves, can be caused by multiple factors and if untreated, can lead to severe dehydration and even death. This disease disrupts the normal water movement in the digestive tract, leading to water and salt loss. It can be non-infectious, often caused by changes in feeding, or infectious, caused primarily by viruses, bacteria, and protozoa. If your calf has mild to severe diarrhoea, consider administering an electrolyte solution to the diet, while continuing milk feeding. Always ensure calves have access to clean water and clean bedding. If diarrhoea persists or is infectious, consult your vet.
Calf scours is a broad, descriptive term referring to diarrhoea in calves. Calf scours is not a specific disease but the clinical sign of a disease complex with many possible causes.
Scours occurs when normal movement of water into and out of the digestive tract is disrupted, resulting in water loss and dehydration. Loss of body fluids through diarrhoea is accompanied by loss of body salts which can lead to severe depression in the calf and eventual death.
|Non- infectious diarrhoea (nutritional scours)||Caused by changes to the feeding program. not usually severe enough to cause death, non-infectious diarrhoea can weaken the calf and make it more susceptible to infectious diarrhoea. Temperature: normal 38-39.5oC|
|Infectious diarrhoea||Caused primarily by viruses, bacteria and protozoa. Identifying the infectious agent causing diarrhoea is an important part of developing a sound prevention program. Temperature: fever 39.5-42oC|
|Mild to moderate diarrhoea||Continue milk feed and add electrolyte directly to milk diet, plus water ad lib.|
|Moderate/severe diarrhoea||Day 1: Electrolyte AM, milk lunch time electrolyte PMDay 2: Milk AM, electrolyte lunchtime, milk PMDay 3: as above or back to milk.|