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Posted: 01/03/2023
Dairy calf laying down in straw looking weak

3 Easy Steps for Scours Treatment in Calves

Scours: it’s one of those unpopular topics in dairy herd management, but it’s critical to understand so you can avoid costly loss. The USDA says scours, diarrhea and other digestive problems account for more than 50% of all pre-weaned heifer calf deaths - which negatively affects your bottom-line profits. Prevention is possible, but a sick calf will show minimal growth and reduced performance across its lifetime. You must stay vigilant and ready to treat your calves if they show signs of scours. TechMix Calf Scour Protocol has everything you need to get those calves back on their feet and primed for productivity. Learn more about how turning to TechMix for your calf scours treatment can make all the difference.

Small beef calf laying on the ground

What Causes Calves to Get Scours?

Scours arises in a variety of ways: microorganisms from viruses and bacteria, nutritional issues, wet and cold environmental factors and more. While 95% of infectious scours is caused by rotavirus, coronavirus, or Cryptosporidium, in all cases, scours leads to dehydration. Because a calf’s body is about 70% water, it’s easy for them to go downhill fast and can die if they lose more than 14% of their body weight. That’s when management must replace those lost fluids, deliver nutrition and correct acid-base balance.

Signs of Calf Scours

If you suspect scours, check the calf’s manure consistency. A scouring calf’s manure will run straight through straw bedding because it’s almost like water. Color won’t matter, unless you see blood in the manure. You can also diagnose scours via examination to see if the calf is alert with upright ears. Scouring calves will stay lying down and appear lethargic, usually with droopy ears.

How to Treat Scours

Even seasoned producers with a trusted prevention regimen can find scours in their herd. Don’t stress about what you could have done differently – just be ready to treat and start with supplemental electrolytes. The challenge with electrolyte delivery is finding one the calves will tolerate both in flavor and temperature, then delivering that consistently. Producers often use dry powders to supplement electrolytes, but those ingredients clump together and don’t always offer the balanced nutrients calves need.

Dr. Geof Smith from the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University, says TechMix’s BlueLite ReplenishM meets his standards for oral electrolytes for calves. Dr. Smith is a leading DVM with scour treatment approaches who’s compiled one of the largest bodies of research pertaining to key factors that affect the performance of oral electrolytes.

BlueLite ReplenishM is the first liquid, buffered oral electrolyte solution on the market. You can supplement lost nutrients with this palatable molasses flavor. The solution includes a better alkalinizing agent than sodium bicarbonate. You’ll love the fact that there’s no mixing required here, so your calves get the electrolytes and nutrition they need without extra labor to eliminate the powder caking issues of other dry mix treatments. The product by itself is impressive, but it’s even more impactful as part of TechMix’s Scouring Calf Protocol that keeps the calf hydrated and restores gut health.

Scours Protocol from TechMix

The Scouring Calf Protocol is one in the series of four supplementation protocols from TechMix that are each designed to meet specific health challenges for calves. TechMix's Scouring Calf Protocol is a science-designed nutrient combination of electrolytes, energy sources, and direct-fed microbials for optimal absorption and utilization.

Calf Renova
STEP 1: Reduce and prevent at the first sign of calf scours. Calf Renova uses the cleaning activity of oregano to reduce harmful bacteria, then binds and flushes pathogens from the gut and promotes beneficial bacteria growth. Protocol Use: Give one pink gel capsule at the first sign of scours and repeat on day 2 and 3 if needed (do not exceed 3 capsules in total).
BlueLite ReplenishM
STEP 2: Rehydrate, electrolytes, and buffer. BlueLite ReplenishM calf electrolyte formula provides oral rehydration with optimum buffering sources, and supplements nutrients lost during scours. Protocol Use: Add 4 oz of BlueLite ReplenishM to 2 quarts of warm water and feed to calf immediately at first signs of scours. Repeat as necessary until scours is resolved. For severe dehydration, consider multiple feedings per day.
Calf PreRD
STEP 3: Daily Direct-Fed Microbials (DFMs) for improved immunity and performance. Calf PreRD supports the microbiome of the digestive tract which is an important step in optimizing the function of the gut. This product provides a source of probiotics (DFMs), live yeast, microorganisms, and Vitamin B and E to make a more desirable and stable digestive environment.
Protocol Use: Feed 4 grams per calf per day in milk, milk replacer or water. Offer for the next 10 days following administration of Calf Renova.

Take Action Against Scours with TechMix

Even if you’ve taken steps to prevent scours, it’s still important to be ready with the proper treatment protocols. PBS Animal Health has you covered with TechMix products that make a difference for your challenged calves. Though we focused on calves here, there are plenty of products available for other species, too. Give them a try, and don’t forget to come back to our site and submit a customer review.

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