Calf Scours: Causes and Treatment
Don Hansen, Extension Veterinarian, Oregon State University
There are several causes of disease and death in newborn calves. In many locations, the leading causes of beef-calf deaths are related to difficult births (dystocia). After that, however, the most common calfhood problems are infectious diseases. Of these, scours, or diarrhea, which occurs within the first several days of life, is the single most important cause of calf sickness and death in the United States. Almost no herd goes through a calving season without some scours. In severe outbreaks, the effects of scours in an individual herd can be overwhelming. Illness may occur in 70 percent of calves born and death may occur in 50 percent.
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