The major causes of calf scours explained

The major causes of calf scours can be divided in 4 categories.

  1. Bacteria
  2. Viruses
  3. Protozoa
  4. Nutrition
Although the causes are different, they all are responsible for damage to the cell lining of the intestines, resulting in massive fluid and electrolyte losses. This dehydrates the calf very quickly and the first focus should therefore be aimed at rehydrating the calf.
Examples of bacteria are:
E. Coli (Escherichia coli) and salmonella.
Bacteria, like E. Coli can damage the cell lining of the intestines by producing a toxin. This toxin is resposible for the cells to die. When treated with antibiotics the side effect is that the dying bacteria produce even more toxins, so fever control is very important.
Examples of viruses are:
Rotavirus and corona virus.
They can also damage the cells of the intestines causing deteriorating functioning of the digestion of milk.Viruses can not be killed with antbiotics, so the cure should be aimed towards the support of the calf to be able to overcome the virus infection. This results in pain and fever treatment plus proper nutrition and rehydration.
Examples of protozoa are:

Cryptosporidium parvus and coccidiosis.

Besides watery diarrhea with mucus in it, these protozoa are also resposible for stomach pains or cramps and a low fever. The cure consists, like with viruses, in pain and fever treatment combined with rehydration and proper nutrition.

feeding equipment for calf milk replacer

Automaticly feeding milk to calves


Bad nutrition is many times responsible for calf scours. This can be the case when the calf drinks to much milk, the temperature is too low or the composition is wrong. Differences in feeding times is also a major cause of calf cours.
Curing calves from nutritional scours consists in not giving milk for one or two feedings and then slowly reintroducing milk with the right temperature and composition.
Feeding calves with an automatic calf feeder ensures you to have a constant feeding interval, temperature and composition. Discover how you can treat and cure calf scours better by identifying the causes of the scours by clicking here.
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One Comment

  1. i see what you did there

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