Emergency electrolyte recipe

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Last Saturday evening when checking a new pasture we are leasing, we found two of our calves seriously ill with scours. One was badly dehydrated and couldn't stand. We loaded up the calves and moms and brought them home. As this is our first bout with scours in 10 years, I didn't have any electrolyte solution on hand. I looked up a "recipe" I had saved from an ag journal several years ago. The recipe came from Colorado State University, where there is a vet college, so I thought it might work ok.

I tubed the sickest calf and she was markedly improved the next time I checked on her. I wound up tubing her a total of 4 times before she was able to run around and nurse from her mom normally.

For any of you who find yourselves in a bind for electrolytes in the future, here's the recipe:

One 2 ounce pkg. jam & jelly pectin

Two level teaspoons low sodium table salt

Two level teaspoons baking soda

One 10.5 ounce can beef consomme

Mix with enough water to equal 2 quarts of electrolyte mixture. BTW - the reason for the low sodium salt is that it has a better mixture of potassium and sodium, which is better for the calf.

I showed the recipe to our vet a few days later and he said it's got about everything that's needed. He said the very most important thing to remember is to tube or feed the calf every 4 to 6 hours around the clock to keep it hydrated. He said he thinks that alone saves more calves than all of the antibiotics combined.

Rafter L Murray Greys

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