Sick Calves

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:

  1. All cows are immunized before calving.
  2. Calves recieve immunization in steps to prevent disease
  3. Scours are ALWAYS first “treated” by using electrolyte supplement.
  4. Meaning, always keep a few bags of Resorb (or equivalent) around!
  5. 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.
  6. “The glucose and sodium allow the animal to absorb the water they need from their digestive tract. Giving straight water does not work.”
  7. 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
  8. 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!

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