AHI Scouring Calf 6pp:Layout 1


Coccidiosis Contd....

Coccidia can cause severe bloody diarrhoea which can be accompanied by straining and rectal prolapse. Even if calves show no signs of scour, the infection can have an impact on growth rate. The risk factors are similar to those that trigger other causes of scour in younger calves: group housingwith high stocking density, poor ventilation and wet bedding. There is no evidence that birds transmit coccidiosis to calves.

Calves on heavily contaminated pasturewith a high stocking density will be at great risk, especially if conditions are warm and humid, leading to an increase in infectious pressure. Poor colostrum intake and poor nutritional status decrease the resistance of the calf. If you suspect coccidiosis in your calves your vet can send faecal sample s from several calves in the group to the lab to support the diagnosis. It is important to take several samples, since scouring calves do not excrete oocysts all the time. If the diagnosis is confirmed, the above mentioned risk factors should be assessed and improved where possible (for example: reduce stocking density, provide dry bedding, move to different paddock). All of the calves in the group should be medicated since they are all infected, even if they are not showing any signs. Groups that are known to be at risk should be treated preventively. However, the treatment schedule should not be so tight that the calves are not able to build up their own immunity against coccidia. Points to Remember

Antibiotics should only be given if the scouring calf has a high temperature and / or looks very sick

Continued milk feeding speeds up the recovery of the scouring calf

Feeding electrolyte fluids is the most important treatment for the scouring calf

If you have an ongoing serious problem with calf scours look into your colostrum, nutrition and hygiene management and seek a veterinary diagnosis

If any calves in a group are diagnosed with coccidiosis, the whole group should be treated

TECHNICALWORKINGGROUP: Ingrid Lorenz – (Chair) University College Dublin, Charles Chavasse – Pfizer, Bernadette Earley - Teagasc, John Fagan – DAFM, Richard Fallon , LiamGannon – Volac, John Gilmore – Vet Practitioner, Ian Hogan – DAFM, Emer Kennedy - Teagasc, John Mee – Teagasc, Simon More - University College Dublin. TECHINCALWORKING GROUP RAPPORTEUR: Fionnuala Malone , Animal Health Ireland The contents of this leaflet are based on the following peer-reviewed review articles compiled by the AHI TWG on Calf Health: Ingrid Lorenz, John F. Mee, Bernadette Earley, Simon J. More (2011): Calf health from birth to weaning. I. General aspects of disease prevention. Irish Veterinary Journal. 64:10. http://www.irishvetjournal.org/content/64/1/10. Ingrid Lorenz, John Fagan, Simon J. More (2011): Calf health from birth to weaning. II. Management of diarrhoea in pre-weaned calves. Irish Veterinary Journal. 64:9. http://www.irishvetjournal.org/content/64/1/9 Animal Health Ireland, Main Street, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim 071 9671928 www.animalhealthireland.ie email: admin@animalhealthireland.ie IMPORTANT NOTICE — DISCLAIMER While every reasonable effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the contents of this leaflet at the time of printing, no representation or guarantee is given, whether by AHI, its employees, subcontractors, agents, distributors or any other person, that the contents of this information leaflet are comprehensive, up to date, or free from error or omissions, nor that the advice provided is appropriate in every particular circumstance. The contents of this information leaflet are not intended to be a substitute for appropriate direct advice from a veterinarian. Appropriate veterinary advice should be taken before taking or refraining from taking action in relation to the animal disease dealt within this information leaflet. If reusing material in this leaflet, please attribute AHI as the source of the information. Calf leaflet Series Vol 3, November 2011

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