Whats the best scours pills for calves?

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Whats the best scours pills for calves?

Post by devonian » Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:51 am

Hi there I'm new from the UK with a small beef suckler herd mostly devons, angus and herefords. Had a a good year in terms of calf mortality however had a couple of orphan calves on the bottle with scour problems the vet said its not pathogen related therefore nutrional so I assume reducing milk feed intake may solve it as they have everything else they need.

But my main point for making this post relates to a calf that died recently (only one this year) who wasn't orphaned. It received colostrum (to the best of my knowledge - I saw it nurse) and was fine until day 12 after which I let it and the mother out of their pen and into the main herd. This is when it became sick (cold, lethargic and went off feeding) and eventually died. I'm assuming it contracted a virus whilst mixing in the shed with older animals.The vet gave it some antibiotics but said the prognosis wasn't good she also suggested I do oral electrolyte therapy which I did. The instructions on the electrolytes I have say give a milk feed then electrolytes 2-3 hours later then another milk feed in the afternoon and electrolytes 2-3 hours later again.

Such treatment is quite difficult if you're super busy, the calf won't feed and the mother is present. The electrolytes I have form a thick viscous solution when made up and so take absolutely ages to go down the stomach tube into the calf (about 8 minutes) . Is there an easier way to treat young sick scouring calves? Is there a scour bolus/ pill you can recommend ?? Are they effective? If I could give one of these and then only have to stomach tube it with milk it would make it twice as easy to treat very poorly calves like this.



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Re: Whats the best scours pills for calves?

Post by Silver » Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:18 am

The electrolytes we use here are thin like water and go down the tube easier than milk. We give the calf electrolytes, a CalfSpan bolus, and a dose of penicillin orally. Sometimes an injection of Resflor. Seems like if you catch them early and hit them hard they come around quickly.
Usually one treatment as described and they are back on their feet and nursing in no time so follow up milk feeding is seldom required. Personally, if they are still dehydrating a few hours later I would give another bag of electrolytes rather than milk. I feel it's more important to keep them hydrated and given the energy that electrolytes provide. Also, the electrolytes are available in a HE (high energy) formulation which is what I use.

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Re: Whats the best scours pills for calves?

Post by TCRanch » Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:48 pm

The best scour bolus in my opinion is the Sustain III Calf Bolus (on indefinite backorder) but I believe it's almost the same as the CalfSpan, which is not available as far as I know in the US. Albon is very effective but unlike the Sustain/CalfSpan must be given every 12 hours. Any electrolytes I have ever used have been of a thin consistency but colostrum replacer is relatively thick & goes down quickly in the Trusti Tuber Oral Calf Feeder, which has a vent in the bottle for easier flow.
The following thread may be of interest for scours treatment:
http://cattletoday.com/forum/viewtopic. ... 6&t=115330

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Re: Whats the best scours pills for calves?

Post by devonian » Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:46 pm

Thanks for the replies yes I have a trusti tuber I bought one ready for this calving season and yes its very good a great bit of New Zealand tech. About the scours pills as I'm in the UK I'm not sure the things you have recommend are available in the UK but I will check! I figure scours treatment needs 3 things: electrolytes, PH correction and energy with hydration hopefully coming from the milk, its just a matter of spotting the sick calf before it stops feeding.

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Re: Whats the best scours pills for calves?

Post by Stocker Steve » Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:53 pm

[quote=Silver We give the calf electrolytes, a CalfSpan bolus, and a dose of penicillin orally.
[/quote]

Why oral penicillin? Have not heard of this.
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Re: Whats the best scours pills for calves?

Post by Silver » Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:19 pm

Stocker Steve wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:53 pm
[quote=Silver We give the calf electrolytes, a CalfSpan bolus, and a dose of penicillin orally.
Why oral penicillin? Have not heard of this.
[/quote]

For the same reason as the sulpha bolus; as an antimicrobial ie: e coli etc. May or not be best practice, although I think it's on label use for amoxicillin in particular and many others as well. I know many people that do this also like to give probiotics, I have to admit to not doing that but haven't noticed any ill effects.

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Re: Whats the best scours pills for calves?

Post by Luckiamute » Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:57 pm

Agree that the Sustain III Bolus is a good choice. I also have had better success with the SMZ tablets than penicillin, but you have to get the SMZ from a vet in the U.S. Not sure if you have to do the same thing in the UK. Also strongly recommend a probiotic like ProBios. Need to replace the good bacteria that the antibiotic is killing off. The key is catching it early and staying on top of it and not letting the calf get dehydrated. The more watery the scours, the higher the chance for dehydration.

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Re: Whats the best scours pills for calves?

Post by Ky hills » Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:37 pm

As far as scour pills I have always relied on Sustain III, once couldn't find any and got some Terramycin pills which in that case worked ok. Key thing as others have said is early treatment. I usually use a electrolyte like Resorb. It is thin consistency like water. I have however used a thicker solution product called Diaqur made in Denmark if I remember. It was a good product, but was slow going down the tube. For our treatment regimen usually we pulled the calf off of milk and gave it the electrolytes for a couple of days. Then the third day let the calf have some milk.

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Re: Whats the best scours pills for calves?

Post by devonian » Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:27 am

Ky hills wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:37 pm
As far as scour pills I have always relied on Sustain III, once couldn't find any and got some Terramycin pills which in that case worked ok. Key thing as others have said is early treatment. I usually use a electrolyte like Resorb. It is thin consistency like water. I have however used a thicker solution product called Diaqur made in Denmark if I remember. It was a good product, but was slow going down the tube. For our treatment regimen usually we pulled the calf off of milk and gave it the electrolytes for a couple of days. Then the third day let the calf have some milk.
The current/ latest thinking at least in the UK is not to withdraw milk, but most electrolytes cannot be mixed with milk so it means a whole lot of work feeding a poorly calf milk and electrolytes separately. Tbh I think I'm going to go down the route of vaccinating the cows with a rota virus + other virus vaccine at the time of TB testing (usually January) to stop late season newborn calves getting sick from all the bug build up from the winter and spring.

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Re: Whats the best scours pills for calves?

Post by Ky hills » Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:12 am

devonian wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:27 am
Ky hills wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:37 pm
As far as scour pills I have always relied on Sustain III, once couldn't find any and got some Terramycin pills which in that case worked ok. Key thing as others have said is early treatment. I usually use a electrolyte like Resorb. It is thin consistency like water. I have however used a thicker solution product called Diaqur made in Denmark if I remember. It was a good product, but was slow going down the tube. For our treatment regimen usually we pulled the calf off of milk and gave it the electrolytes for a couple of days. Then the third day let the calf have some milk.
The current/ latest thinking at least in the UK is not to withdraw milk, but most electrolytes cannot be mixed with milk so it means a whole lot of work feeding a poorly calf milk and electrolytes separately. Tbh I think I'm going to go down the route of vaccinating the cows with a rota virus + other virus vaccine at the time of TB testing (usually January) to stop late season newborn calves getting sick from all the bug build up from the winter and spring.
I think the vaccinations are a good prevention, several farms around here do that. I used to give the newborn calves a vaccine for rota + corona virus. It had to be given soon after birth and I think giving a vaccine to the cows would be more practical especially if they are already being worked for other things.

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Re: Whats the best scours pills for calves?

Post by TCRanch » Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:18 am

Not sure if it's available in the UK but all my calves get a First Defense bolus & I rarely have to treat for scours. We used to vaccinate the cows with ScourBos but as "spring" calving segued into a year round cluster it was impractical.
https://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.htm ... 3488294839

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Re: Whats the best scours pills for calves?

Post by devonian » Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:40 am

TCRanch wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:18 am
Not sure if it's available in the UK but all my calves get a First Defense bolus & I rarely have to treat for scours. We used to vaccinate the cows with ScourBos but as "spring" calving segued into a year round cluster it was impractical.
https://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.htm ... 3488294839
OK thanks that would be a really good option however there is no rota virus protection in that bolus and in the UK rota virus is the more common accounting for 47% of diagnosed cases compared to 10% for corona virus according to this website https://www.farmhealthonline.com/US/dis ... ronavirus/

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Re: Whats the best scours pills for calves?

Post by TCRanch » Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:54 am

devonian wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:40 am
TCRanch wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:18 am
Not sure if it's available in the UK but all my calves get a First Defense bolus & I rarely have to treat for scours. We used to vaccinate the cows with ScourBos but as "spring" calving segued into a year round cluster it was impractical.
https://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.htm ... 3488294839
OK thanks that would be a really good option however there is no rota virus protection in that bolus and in the UK rota virus is the more common accounting for 47% of diagnosed cases compared to 10% for corona virus according to this website https://www.farmhealthonline.com/US/dis ... ronavirus/
Interesting article, thanks for sharing. How about Calf Guard? It's a mod live given orally as soon as possible after birth. There's also a First Defense Tri Shield gel and First Defense Dual Force gel that reduce the severity of rota virus.
https://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.htm ... B0D0204AE5

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Re: Whats the best scours pills for calves?

Post by Stocker Steve » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:19 pm

Is there an immunity difference between First Defense bolus vs. gel ?
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Re: Whats the best scours pills for calves?

Post by gcreekrch » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:38 pm

Vaccinate cows, mineral has Rumensin and Bio-Moss in it. We also have a very high copper content added.

There was a time we treated 80% for some type of scour. We don't have 5% now.

Treatment is usually one or two doses of Oxymycin LA. Some calves get an electrolyte. The very odd one that gets missed will be strapped down and given an IV. If calves are under 7 days they are treated with Borgal or Trimidox. (same thing, different companies.)

I have never heard the Pen down the hatch but we have used LA orally with no ill results. Haven't given a bolus to a baby calf in years.
Vaccinations, cheaper than whiskey. ;-)

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