24/7 Emergency Service

After hour phone (09) 470 1060

Calf Scours

We have seen a few scour problems among the Autumn calving herds in recent weeks, mostly due to Rotavirus. If an outbreak is major, then EARLY veterinary assistance is important – both to identify the problem (samples) and to rapidly institute the correct treatment.

Calf Scours Checklist:

  • Were the pens thoroughly cleaned and virkoned before calving started?
  • Do all calves get a good colostrum feed? Tube drenching every 2 ltr with stored colostrum on arrival at the calf shed ensures this is covered.
  • Is the calf shed warm, dry and draught free? i.e.
    • Pens twice as deep as they are wide,
    • 1.2 high metre solid partitions between pens
    • A lit match at calf height does not blow out
    • No smell of ammonia
    • YOU are at a comfortable temperature in T-shirt in the pen
  • Is hygiene around feed mixing and feeders good?
  • Are sick calves separated and attended to AFTER the healthy pens?

Treatment: If calves are still feeding, continue to give them 2 milk feeds a day PLUS ad lib electrolytes – 6 to 8 ltr per calf – available between milk feeds. Use “Revive” electrolyte by stomach tube if really depressed, not feeding, sunken-eyed etc.