Diseases Diseases

What To Do With Scours


What is scours?
Scours is commonly known name for calf scours. Calf scours is the commonest infectious disease of livestock. Its etiological causes are viral, bacterial and other infective organisms. It’s the calf’s neonatal disease occurring in first month of calf’s life. The gastro intestinal tract of calf’s neonate is weak and is prone to infections. And calf’s scours result in diarrheal disease leaving the calf dehydrated and lethargic. The younger the calf greater are the chances of death due to this disease. Scours are causing huge financial loss. Scours is the symptom which leads to dehydration as explained. Sometime the manure is not so significantly produced to show the disease, and the calf is unable to take feeds. Hence scours cause bilateral damage.


How to prevent scours?
Preventive measures are important to reduce the incidence among calves. As etiology tells us; that noninfectious scours results due to relative changes in quality or quantity of milk ingestion in calves. While infectious causes are bacterial example given is E.coli, clostridium, viral agents include rotavirus and corona virus. Bovine virus is another important cause. While protozoan agents causing scours are coccidian and cryptosporidium. Giardiasis is also on rise. Lack of colostrum ingestion is also a cause of scours. If feared to happen, it must be anticipated by supportive treatment steps. Maximize the immunity prior to exposure. Maintain proper nutrition and hydration status. Keep the diseased calf separate from other healthy to avoid spread of scours. If scours infect a group, alter their diet and change their pasture. Vaccinate the calf to fight scours.


How to treat scours?
Scours regardless of the cause, is same in all cases. It’s supportive and is directed to correct the acidosis, and electrolyte loss in calf. Antibiotic treatment is given simultaneously along with supportive steps. Dehydration can be overcome with simple fluids given by mouth early in the course of the disease. In case of increasing dehydration, the treatment must include intravenous fluid administration. The age and physical growth of the calf in addition to severity of disease are an important consideration in its survival. Why treating is an important question in case of scours. The indications are treated as to improve general condition, appetite, dehydration and body temperature. Scours must be assessed as in humans and treated too.

Tips and comments

Additional steps in complicated scours:
Vaccination against scours must be taken as soon as possible. Antibiotics are said to be avoided because of their property to deposit in meat. The ill calf must be separated from others and never left in between young calf to avoid scours’ spread. Sunken eyes, loose skin, lethargy and toxic looking calf are danger signs and must be treated by approaching the doctor. Electrolyte solution must be kept for all times but especially in rainy season and in times when new calves are expected. Mother cows must be treated for any kind of diseases and be kept healthy with good food and clean living area. Scours are important deadly disease and one must have info to fight it.

By Ali Javed, published at 02/12/2012
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