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diarrhoea in yearling bull

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just picked up our first two bovines last week...(friends got from auction).... one is angus heifer ready to drop (may have worms, lice and mites?..vet said to wait till she calves to de-worm) and she is doing great...we also got a little yearling bull ..white faced red hereford (spelling?) and when he came his bowels were fine, but now he has diarrhoea..... color is normal....and no blood evident....(last 2 days)... he is active and alert and eating hay and drinking water and licking white salt block... he was eating his grain (straight oates) but now barely eats any of it....should we be worried or is he adjusting to new feed? we have had them both for a week now.....please help..we are new to this.... he is to be butchered this fall..

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"one is angus heifer ready to drop (may have worms, lice and mites?..vet said to wait till she calves to de-worm) and she is doing great..."

Normally, I recommend following your veterinarian's advice. However, I have dewormed cows up to a few days before calving and have seen nothing but improvement. This is not a normal practice of mine, but I have done it a few times, as have other breeders I know. I use Ivermectrin, either pour-on or injectable, depending on the season and whether I am deworming for flukes. If your heifer obviously needs deworming, I would do it now. Parasites are a tremendous burden on any cow, and more so for a first calf heifer. She will feel better, produce more milk for her calf, and you will no longer be contaminating every inch of your pasture/corrals with parasites.

"we also got a little yearling bull ..white faced red hereford (spelling?) and when he came his bowels were fine, but now he has diarrhoea..... color is normal....and no blood evident....(last 2 days)... he is active and alert and eating hay and drinking water and licking white salt block... he was eating his grain (straight oates) but now barely eats any of it....should we be worried or is he adjusting to new feed? we have had them both for a week now.....please help..we are new to this.... he is to be butchered this fall.."

He could just be adjusting to the change in feed. Any animal that goes through a public auction yard is going to be exposed to disease, so there's always the possibility he is fighting an infection. He won't need antibiotics or other treatment unless he shows symptoms of not feeling well.

As long as he is eating, drinking, chewing his cud, and is not standing around humped up and miserable looking, I would just observe him.

Also, make sure he does not bloat on the grain. If he develops a large swelling high on his left side when observed from the front or back, he is bloating.

I would either hold off on the grain for a few weeks, or make sure he gets only a couple of pounds a day until he has adjusted to all the changes in his life. I suspect he has not been grained before, so this is another change for his body to adjust to.

Scours caused by disease usually have a bad smell as compared to normal stool, or runny stool caused by environmental changes.

Consider keeping the two animals separate, if you aren't already. If the bull has an infection, you don't want to spread it to your other livestock. Then there's the question of the bull breeding the heifer after she calves . . .

Rafter L Murray Greys
 

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