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Hereford2

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Hi, I have 5 bottle calves and they all got sick , scours , respiratory, by 5 to 7 days of age, then I gave them the medicine my vet prescribed, and they all got well, they are 11 to 19 days of age now, and 1 only has gotten sick once, 3 have gotten sick twice, and 1 recovered, the other one just got sick again today, the other one is scouring. And last but not least. The calf that is sick for the 4th time in 2 weeks. It gets scours, I treat it per my vets instructions, and it's poop firms up, it's ears quit drooping, . Now today I go to feed him and his poop is pure liquid... All 5 of them had Clostrum, a Scour Shot, been wormed with an oral wormer for cattle. been banded, get 20-20 All Milk, Milk Replacer 2 quarts morning and night according to the bags instructions, . I bought them from my friend who owns a dairy, I have bought 60, calves from him after they are 3 days old, (This Year) and I only had a little bit of problem with 2 of them in the spring, that stayed out in the rain, but they recovered quickly. (Before these 5) . Now these 5 calves have me pulling my hair out. The calves with scours are getting 2 bottles of Milk Replacer and 2 bottles of Electrolytes by Manna pro, staggered every 6 hours apart from the milk, so they're getting 2 gallons of liquid a day, . The weather has been Wet Cold rainy one day, warm sunny the next, . They are separated from each other, they have run in sheds that are 3 or 4 sided, but they can get out into a nice grassy area, any time they want to, the sheds are south facing, they are dry inside , they have fresh straw and fresh water, they are kind of interested in their Calf Starter 18 percent protein. They are all Brown Swiss calves.

Any thoughts? Advice? I have been raising bottle calves for 6 years and Never had this problem.... I'm in southern Missouri.
 

Stickney94

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With all of those variables are you sure you are treating the calves for the right thing? Has your vet requested a stool sample or tried a culture?
 

Lucky_P

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Medicated milk replacer, with lasalocid or decoquinate in it? Many of these scouring calves have Cryptosporidium in the mix, in addition to rota/corona viruses, enteropathogenic E. coli, or Salmonella.
IDK what antimicrobials you've used so far, but it may be time for a culture and sensitivity and fecal examination for Cryptosporidium. You need to know WHAT you're dealing with and what treatment, if any, will be appropriate. And, be aware - if calves have Crypto (or Salmonella, or some of the pathogenic E.coli strains), you (and your family) can contract it, so pay attention to good personal hygiene - WASH YOUR HANDS after fooling with scouring calves!!!
Any issues with BVD virus on the source farm? Not likely to be the cause of scours (despite Diarrhea in the name), but if there's a BVD PI calf in the group, you're likely see an increased incidence of illness in the exposed group.

My own personal protocol, when we were raising dairy calves, included a dose of Vit A and Vit E/Se (MuSe) upon arrival; I've always lived/practiced in Selenium-deficient areas, Vit A has a positive indirect effect by way of aiding function of the immune system. All incoming calves got a dose of oral rota/corona vaccine; never had any respiratory issues, so never felt the need to vaccinate against them. Dewormer probably unnecessary (but not harmful) in that age calf, unless you've had a history of Strongyloides infection in previous calves in these pens, or from the source farm.
 

Buck Randall

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That's always tough to deal with. It sounds like you're doing the best you can, and you're already following the advice of your vet, which is good.

Keep in mind that there are several different causes of calf diarrhea that tend to strike at slightly different ages between 3 days and 3 weeks. The most likely problem isn't that your treatments aren't working, it's that they're getting over one disease only for them to come down with another. When you have calves getting sick that early and often, it's usually a colostrum issue.

For a calf to get immunity from colostrum, three conditions have to be met:
1. The colostrum has to be of sufficient quality and quantity
2. Someone has to put the colostrum in the calf in a timely manner
3. The calf's digestive tract has to absorb the antibodies in the colostrum

Somewhere, something in that process went wrong with these calves. If you have a good relationship with the farm that they came from, ask if they've been having problems with their heifers. It's possible they already know what went wrong and fixed it. Colostrum production is usually poorer in November and December, so maybe they ran short. Bacterial growth on a milking bucket, bottle, or feeding tube can ruin colostrum. A disgruntled employee may not be caring for calves properly. There are a million ways for things to go wrong, and most of them don't involve someone deliberately selling you junk calves, so just ask them without accusing them of anything.

Finally, calves 3-10 days of age can be tested for passive transfer of immunity. Your vet should be able to check total plasma proteins relatively inexpensively, especially if you have them teach you how to collect the blood yourself and bring the samples to them. I'd recommend testing the calves you purchase and paying the dairy more for calves that pass. If a lot of them are failing and the dairy isn't willing to do anything about it, find a new source for calves.

Good luck.
 
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Hereford2

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Yes they were. and they tested Positive for Worms, they had a Heavy parasite load... I know the guy personally and he takes as good of care of his bull calves as his heifer's. They are getting a medicated milk replacer. They have had A D E and Selenium, and B vitamin and Iron shots. The only difference I know of with these 5 calves, is the guys 30something year old nephew, was taking care of these, calves, the guy said he doesn't have a real interest in the calves, . But they are short handed, right now.
 

MurraysMutts

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I cant imagine taking on 60 bottle calves. Not sure where to start either cept for what buck and lucky said.
That does sound like an awful lot of liquid tho. 2 gallon a day.
I read somewhere on here recently about not mixing milk and electrolytes. Feed electrolytes until scours are gone then resume milk. Idk if that helps ya any or not.
My vet ain't real big on bottle calves. Hes one that thinks they are someone elses problem I think. I've had learn myself as I go. One at a time
 
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Hereford2

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I don't mix the milk, with the electrolytes. I've found that removing the milk completely, results in a weak calf, that goes down to be tubed. Thank you for the advice.! I was hoping, for a miracle cure lol, I'm desperate. My vet is super helpful where my bottle calves are concerned. Yes 60, is a lot, thankfully I didn't get all 60 of them at the same time. I have raised 70 so far this year. I enjoy it, I usually have 5to7 at a time
 
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Hereford2

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I appreciate all of the advice, it's all been done, already,. I was hoping for a new idea. I really do appreciate the time you all took to, answer.
 

Buck Randall

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I don't mix the milk, with the electrolytes. I've found that removing the milk completely, results in a weak calf, that goes down to be tubed. Thank you for the advice.! I was hoping, for a miracle cure lol, I'm desperate. My vet is super helpful where my bottle calves are concerned. Yes 60, is a lot, thankfully I didn't get all 60 of them at the same time. I have raised 70 so far this year. I enjoy it, I usually have 5to7 at a time
You're doing it right with the electrolyte and milk feedings.
 

moses388

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Sounds like you are doing the right things.

Do you test your water? Every year or two it doesn't hurt to get your water tested. I have seen a cistern cause E. coli contamination. Doubt if this is your problem.
 
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A couple years ago one of my beef cows lost her calf, so I went to a local/organic dairy and purchased a holstein/angus calf (day or two old). These calves are not allowed to ever nurse the cow. The calf was sick
and severely scoured when I got him and he got worse. He had little interest in surviving until my beef cow
saw him and started talking to him. That gave him an interest in life, but didn't cure the scours. I tried several electrolytes with no positive results. Then I found a product made by Sav-A-Calf. It is an
electrolyte/probiotic mix safe for all animals. It is what put a stop to the scours.

I will give that cow a lot of credit, she never batted an eye when I put the calf in the corral with her, and the calf went straight to nursing. Anyway I won't bore you with that story.

I have also used this product for one of my beef cows that scoured and was rapidly loosing weight. For the cow I would mix a packet in a gallon of warm water.and the the cow would drink it right out of the bucket. she liked it and it straightened her out

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Hereford2

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We had our water tested, nothing in there, thankfully. Ok, thank you for the information on the sav a calf. I gave the calf with water like poop, am 1/8 of a cup of Apple Cider Vinegar last night, because I read about it online and I didn't think he was going to be alive in the morning anyway, because he looked so horrible, I also gave him 3/4 of a bottle of whole milk that was half cream, (separate from the vinegar) and this morning his poop is thicker and yellow instead of looking like weird water. And he got right up and sucked his bottle down and then he went and started licking at his grain. I don't know which one helped him. I'm going to say the real cow milk did,. Normally I wouldn't try something like the vinegar,but I figured it couldn't hurt him, since he was in such bad shape...
 

tom4018

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We had good luck with some using the gelling electrolytes. The one we liked the most is not available anymore though. My thought is it helped them retain some nutrition while the meds had time to work. We have had a few that we threw everything we could at them.
 

Ky hills

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We had good luck with some using the gelling electrolytes. The one we liked the most is not available anymore though. My thought is it helped them retain some nutrition while the meds had time to work. We have had a few that we threw everything we could at them.
When we raised dairy calves we mainly used the Resorb product, but as you say we had good success with a gelling product too. The one we used I believe was called Diaqur it came in a small bucket and was reddish in color when mixed with water. It was a good product and we credit it with saving several calves.
 

Buck Randall

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When we raised dairy calves we mainly used the Resorb product, but as you say we had good success with a gelling product too. The one we used I believe was called Diaqur it came in a small bucket and was reddish in color when mixed with water. It was a good product and we credit it with saving several calves.
Most of the gelling products have fallen out of favor, as there was no benefit to them other than making the manure look a little thicker, which people liked.

Diaque is a good product. I wouldn't recommend any of the "all stock" electrolytes that you see at farm supply stores. Dr. Geof Smith has done a lot of work on calf scours and electrolytes. Anyone that raises bottle calves should find an hour to watch this video:

 
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Hereford2

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Thank you I will definitely watch it! I personally have had bad experience with the gelling electrolytes. I haven't heard of the one that was mentioned.
 

Ky hills

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Most of the gelling products have fallen out of favor, as there was no benefit to them other than making the manure look a little thicker, which people liked.

Diaque is a good product. I wouldn't recommend any of the "all stock" electrolytes that you see at farm supply stores. Dr. Geof Smith has done a lot of work on calf scours and electrolytes. Anyone that raises bottle calves should find an hour to watch this video:

I agree, a lot of the stores products are not very effective. A client/vet relationship is imperative when raising calves. The best results come from quickly identifying a sick animal and treating it as soon as possible.
 

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