Scours is one of the leading causes of sickness in newborn calves. If you are not careful, it can take a toll on your calves’ health and ultimately, the economic health of your dairy farm or calf ranch.
Scours is a disease caused by a variety of pathogens, making it difficult to treat or control. Calves may become sick within the first 24 hours of birth or the symptoms may not be seen for two or three weeks. While most calves can recover through treatment, scours treatments are costly and time consuming. Thus, prevention before birth is a key to protecting calves from this condition.
Use the following tips from Doug Braun, senior veterinarian with Pfizer Animal Health, to help keep your calves healthy and help protect them from calf scours.
- Cows and first-lactation heifers should be vaccinated with two doses of a reputable scours vaccine pre-calving.
- Follow label directions to accurately vaccinate at the correct time for both doses.
- Meet pregnant cow and heifer nutrient requirements.
- Reduce delivery stress as much as possible.
- Keep pens or pasture clean and dry during calving, as well as post-calving.
- If you have scouring calves, isolate them from healthy animals.
- Additionally, always first care for healthy animals before moving those that with scours to minimize the risk of transmission from sick to healthy calves.
- Work with your local veterinarian to design a scours management program that fits in with the overall health protocols of your operation.
Pfizer Animal Health