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7 Week Old Calf With Scours

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justanut

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We have a 7 1/2 week old calf and have been treating him for scours for about 10 days, with very little improvement. We started out giving electrolyte solution and Oxy 500 Calf Bolus as directed. Then we took him to the vet three days ago - and he was given Sustain III Calf Bolus and Baytril 100 inj/sol 100 ml. He seems to have a little more energy, but still has scours and is not eating. The vet told us to discontinue the electrolytes and to not give him any milk replacer.

Our concern is that he has nursed VERY little each day (if at all). He eats a little hay, and will hardly touch the creep feed. Should we start back on the electrolytes, and should we give him a milk replacer? Surely he's hungry! Honestly - the mother cow is not a very good mother! This is her second calf - and I don't think she was ready to "settle down" (LOL). She doesn't seem to be worried at all about him - or whether he nurses or not.

One other concern - his rectum seems to be turning inside out - or at least protruding in and out - as he has diarrhea. Is this normal or are we looking at something much more severe than scours?

Any help will be greatly appreciated!

I'm sure it's obvious we know nothing about cows! It's days like this I'm thinking we should have stayed in the city!!
 

Running Arrow Bill

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Did your cow calve him at your place? Or, did you buy the bred cow recently?

If the cow doesn't want to nurse him, then there is good chance she may not be a "keeper" for you. With the calf's scours, make sure he doesn't get dehydrated (he could go downhill fast). Good thing you consulted the Vet! If calf won't nurse, then you may have a bottle calf on your hands. What kind of grass or hay are they eating?

Scours can occur as result of "shipping fever" (animal coming from an unclean crowded environment), stress, "Bovine Virus Diarrhea" (BVD), worms, eating too rich hay or feed, coccidiosis, etc.

Does the diarrhea have blood, mucus in it?

Just some thoughts...
 

angie1

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justanut":32k1wozy said:
We have a 7 1/2 week old calf and have been treating him for scours for about 10 days, with very little improvement. We started out giving electrolyte solution and Oxy 500 Calf Bolus as directed. Then we took him to the vet three days ago - and he was given Sustain III Calf Bolus and Baytril 100 inj/sol 100 ml. He seems to have a little more energy, but still has scours and is not eating. The vet told us to discontinue the electrolytes and to not give him any milk replacer.

Our concern is that he has nursed VERY little each day (if at all). He eats a little hay, and will hardly touch the creep feed. Should we start back on the electrolytes, and should we give him a milk replacer? Surely he's hungry! Honestly - the mother cow is not a very good mother! This is her second calf - and I don't think she was ready to "settle down" (LOL). She doesn't seem to be worried at all about him - or whether he nurses or not.

One other concern - his rectum seems to be turning inside out - or at least protruding in and out - as he has diarrhea. Is this normal or are we looking at something much more severe than scours?

Any help will be greatly appreciated!

I'm sure it's obvious we know nothing about cows! It's days like this I'm thinking we should have stayed in the city!!
I hesitate to suggest you go against the advice of your vet, but against the advice of your vet I would strongly recommend that you continue the electrolytes. Also ~ antibiotics kill good bacteria as well as bad bacteria. Your calf should be given probiotics (ideally in a paste form) for as long as it is on antibiotics and/or scouring. I would also consider pulling the calf from the cow if you are certain she is not feeding it. He may have picked up some now, but he will go back down without ~ and this way you will know what he is eating and what he is not.

That being said, did your vet say why the calf was scouring? It is much better/effective to treat when you know what you are treating for. I am guessing the rectum protuding is a result of the scours.

You are doing really well though! Good for you for getting it to the vet and taking such good care! Just know that sometimes no matter how hard we try, they still die.
 
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justanut

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Thanks for the replies. The calf was born on our place - 2nd calf for this cow. We started back on the electrolytes today, and plan to alternate some milk replacement feedings. At this point - we don't think it could hurt.

The diarrhea does not seem to have any blood or mucus in it, but we'll keep checking. We have three other calves born within a week or two of this one - and they are all doing fine. We separated out the cow/calf from the others when we first noticed the scours - and haven't put them back.

The calf is much stronger today than earlier in the week - so maybe we're on the right track.

Question: What is probiotics (paste form) and can we get it at the Vet or feed store? THANKS!
 

angie1

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justanut":1skajdsq said:
Question: What is probiotics (paste form) and can we get it at the Vet or feed store? THANKS!
You can get probiotics from the feed store cheaper, I am thinking, than you can from the vet. Any feed store worth its salt will have it.

RAB is right ~ do not waste another season on this cow.

Use GOOD quality milk replacer ~ this is always important, but especially when your calf is in vulnerable condition. Glad to hear it is doing better. I have a trick for knowing if the calf is nursing (no laughing, you know who you are! ;-) ), let me know if you are unsure. Would sure be best for all involved if she fed her own. Good idea to keep calf separated from others till you are sure all is well. If the scours continue, have a stool sample tested so you can know what you are treating.
 
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justanut

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Glad to hear it is doing better. I have a trick for knowing if the calf is nursing (no laughing, you know who you are! ), let me know if you are unsure. Would sure be best for all involved if she fed her own.

I would love to know for sure if the calf is nursing! What's your trick??
 

mnmtranching

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I might add. Calves like this will most likely be prone to sickness. Probably was shorted on colostrum, under fed and weak. I would get the best milk replacer and make sure it's medicated, that way it will have a continuous flow of antibodies.
 

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