scouring calves

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Well-known member
May 30, 2004
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Victoria, Australia
Im using an oral,non-antibiotic,supportive treatment to replace lost fluids and electrolytes,brand name in australia is vytrate.My problem is that it costs an arm and a leg @ $17 a litre in concentrated form.This makes up 12 litres which is gone in the blink of an eye when you have a few calves scouring at once(usually when we have just bought them in).Is there some sort of home brew i can whack together that will do the trick?Vytrate contains per litre-glucose278g,salt53g,glycine38g,potassium phosphate25g,potassium citrate 0.75g,citric acid monohydrate3.26g.sounds like mostly sugar salt and water to me.If i can make it up cheap i can use it more freely.Any advice greatly appreciated. :D
I had to dig this out of one of my old posts. Might be of some use to you.
Personally, I tube them with electrolytes (the best commercial one available up here is called ReVibe), a scours bolus and give them a shot of Biomycin. Seems to work, although I usually have to redose with the electrolytes three times daily to keep them hydrated until they regain health, and also the boluses once daily until they quit the diareaha.

Here's an Old Time Scour Cure

1.5 Litres (just over a Quart) Warm Water
2 TBSP Brown Sugar
1 TBSP Salt
1 Raw Egg
1 TBSP Javex Bleach
Mix well and administer by tubing.
Here's how it apparently works:
The sugar, salt, water mixture is the equivalent of electrolytes (keeps the calf from dehydrating and provides energy).
The egg coats the stomach wall (and possibly provides some protein).
The bleach kills the scours bacteria.

Now I haven't tried it myself yet, as I haven't had a case of scours here this year, but it's early for our area so I'm sure that I'll be dealing with it in another week or two.
BUT from what I do understand, one fellow responded to the original posting of this "recipe" with pretty glowing reports.
Apparently, he had a 'down & outer' calf (prone, sunken eyes, etc) that he had used all the modern drugs and goodies on(and had gotten little to show for the money and time spent on them), and he came across the recipe and decided "what the heck"(figured the calf would be dead in the morning anyway), dosed the calf and to his delight the calf was up and sucking vigorously the next a.m.
Thanks once again for your help.Im just a little concerned about the bleach,as i know it bleach is sodium hypochlorite which i used daily in my job in a malthouse, it would kill a brown dog.I will have to check on the concentration of the hypo.They reckon you have to be careful you dont kill the good bugs with the bad,this is what they say on the tele.Imust ask my dear old mother if it was bleach she used to wash my mouth out with to stop me from swearing.(didnt work)In any case Im still alive. :D
If you give the calf anything strong enough to kill the bad "bugs" (bacteria), it will certainly kill the beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract as well. Once the calf has quit scouring and you are ready to return him to his regular diet you need to give him a squirt of something like Probios to restart his good bacteria.
We give electrolytes, sulfa boluses and probiotics. Youd need to hydrate him first, get the scours stopped second, and get his rumen going agian.
We had a bad scour problem last calving season. I know this sounds a little off the wall but I swear it works. 2cc of banamine and 5cc of batrile. and tube the electrolites. My calves were any where from 1 week to 8 weeks old that I was doctoring. Surprisingly enough several of them looked like they weren't going to make it till the next morning but they did. Hope it works out for you.

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