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Posted: 11/20/2023
Young, healthylooking dairy calf

Last Stand Delivers Rapid Support for GI Health in Calves

Did you know calf scours and malnutrition impact nearly a third of U.S. beef and dairy calves, costing the industry more than $120 million every year? These important animals serve as the future of every operation, and their care requires extra attention from the start to ensure success. Acting quickly and proactively to help maintain normal digestive health can pay dividends today and tomorrow in future productivity.

That kind of risk means it's never too early to start thinking about calving season, and today we'll talk about a popular staple. Last Stand® is an incredibly powerful tool every producer should consider keeping on hand at all times for rapid support that helps maintain normal gut health and supports a healthy, functioning immune system, anywhere a calf needs it.

Youg beef calf standing in a fall field

Role of Gut Integrity and the Microbiome

The nutrients a newborn calf needs to power the immune system get absorbed from food through the small intestine. One of the first layers of defense for the calf is the mucous lining of the digestive tract. Not only does it provide a layer of protection from what is passing through, it also is where the normal microbiome and flora live and thrive. They promote healthy digestion and support the immune system in the process.

When nutrients can't be absorbed, the digestive tract of a newborn calf is also unable to absorb water. It can lead to fluid loss and potentially dehydration. The lack of water and nutrients gives the calf a lethargic demeanor as its body cannot create energy. Even their ears become droopy.

Taking a proactive approach to supporting gut integrity and a healthy microbiome is key to calf health.

Maintaining Normal Helps Raise Healthy, Fast-Growing Calves!

According to DBC Ag Products, around 70% of the immune system resides in or around the digestive tract. That’s why maintaining normal digestive health from birth is crucial for long-term health.

Maintaining normal digestive health is critical for proper digestion, fluid absorption and providing the fuel the calf needs to perform their best. It also helps support a healthy immune system for these young calves during the most vulnerable time in their lives. Doing so can help them to grow quickly and reach their full potential for their milking performance in the future. The fact is that every calf could use extra help in this area to ensure a strong productive path lies ahead.

How's the Dam Doing?

Properly managing dam nutrition and health protocols, including vaccination programs designed for your herd, builds healthy calves.

Milk from the dam keeps the calf gaining weight and helps build a strong immune system. That's why it's incredibly important to check each dam to ensure she is providing a high quality and quantity of milk for the calf. If she shows signs of mastitis or low production, the calf is more at risk. If the dam isn't providing high-quality colostrum in the calf's first two hours of life, you'll need a colostrum replacer. Also keep in mind that if you vaccinated the dam as a pregnant heifer, you've already improved colostrum quality to help transfer the passive immunity and immune factors the calf needs. Now you want to make sure the newborn reaps the full benefits of mom’s protection for the first few days of life.

Watch Manure Consistency in Those Calves

Similar to all mammals who consume most of their diets in liquid forms like humans, calf feces are not soluble. Calf manure should be semi-formed when it lays on straw bedding. While consistency can change daily depending on diet and environment, if you spot stool that is watery or loose, move quickly to help maintain normal stool form, especially during times of environmental stress.

Last Stand tube

Broad Based Rapid Gut Health Support for Calves

Maintaining normal gut health and helping support the immune system can really help promote healthy, fast-growing calves. However, there may be times a rapid response is needed. Reach for Last Stand w/ImmWave® Calf Supplement, a quick, convenient way to deliver digestive health and immune system support calves need to help maintain normal. The convenient, single-use, 60-gram paste tubes are designed for dairy and beef calves (though they are also safe for cattle of all ages).

Last Stand's broad range of eubiotics and other novel technologies are designed to work quickly in maintaining normal gut health – whether that's day one or days later. Ingredients include:

  • Encrypt®, a unique fiber source that helps maintain the protective layers of the gut
  • Dried egg yolk and whole egg proteins
  • Live (viable) naturally-occurring microorganisms
  • Essential oils for flavor
  • Specialized condensed whey soluble sourced from colostrum
  • B Vitamins
  • Vitamin D3
These natural, innovative ingredients are formulated to give animals the quick response they need, including during times of environmental stress, feed changes, transportation, and arrival at new operations.

In addition, many organic certifiers have added Last Stand w/ImmWave® to their approved list. Check with your certifier to see if this all-natural product is available for use in organic, natural and grass-fed operations.

Positive Impacts of Maintaining Normal

Raising healthy, fast-growing calves impacts a lot of areas we don’t always think about. There are a lot of other input costs that can negatively impact your calf raising operation.

  • Increased feed cost
  • Veterinary bills
  • Other health care costs (including antibiotics)
  • Time spent caring for calves
  • Emotional impact on employees
In addition, with the increased focus on managing antibiotic use in food production, maintaining healthy calves can go a long way towards proper antibiotic use. Even if a calf needs antibiotics for a secondary infection, Last Stand® can still be administered as supplemental gut and immune support. The natural ingredient won’t interfere with antibiotic regimens or vaccination protocols.

It's a smart complement with other animal health care products, like electrolytes, to have at the ready. In fact, some producers prefer to keep Last Stand® on hand when checking calves so they can utilize it at the first sign of attitude or energy changes (droopy ears, backing off feed, etc.).

Last Stand, The Choice When Rapid Support is Needed

Get the right tools to set your calves up for success in the upcoming calving season. For healthy, fast-growing calves, reach for Last Stand®.

Keep these convenient, all-natural paste tubes on hand so you can move quickly and strengthen your young calves -- or any aged beef animal (including show animals) -- with gut and immune system support when they need it. Shop Last Stand® and read its stellar customer reviews at PBS Animal Health today.

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