Depression scores can be used to assess the general attitude of sick calves.

According to Hans Coetzee, veterinarian at Iowa State University, a depression scoring system can be used as part of a treatment protocol to help calf caregivers make therapeutic decisions in a consistent manner.

“With proper training, the use of depression scores should be reproducible between multiple scorers and therefore provide consistency in animal care,” Coetzee explains.

Comparing a calf’s depression score at the time of treatment to her score following treatment can help you determine if the therapy was appropriate and if sick calves are being identified and treated in a timely fashion.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: A depression scoring system can be found at Once there, type “Using calf depression scores” into the “Search” box.