Jay works at an organic dairy, so their approach is different than conventional treatment, but should be an easier and safer first option for family cow owners:
- All cows are immunized before calving.
- Calves recieve immunization in steps to prevent disease
- Scours are ALWAYS first “treated” by using electrolyte supplement.
- Meaning, always keep a few bags of Resorb (or equivalent) around!
- The most important thing to remember with calf scours is this: electrolytes are the FIRST treatment. Antibiotics are a last resort and should not be used unless electrolyte treatment is unsuccessful.
- “The glucose and sodium allow the animal to absorb the water they need from their digestive tract. Giving straight water does not work.”
- For more information, read: UC Davis. Treatment of calf scours. http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/vetext/inf-be_cca/inf-be_cca01/inf-be_cca0102.html
- Which electrolyte to buy: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/livestock/dairy/facts/electrol.htm
If your calf gets to the point you think antibiotics are necessary, contact your vet (at least for a recommendation on which product to use and how much.)
A well-known antibiotic tablet is Sustain III, but should not be used for calves under 20 days old.
Remember, do your part to prevent antibiotic resistance! Try safer alternatives first!