Electrolyte therapy for calf scours


When treating calf scours it has been well established that fluids and electrolytes are the single most beneficial treatment option.

There are many products on the market and even more ideas about how they should be used. If you are seeking advice for product selection and scour treatment we suggest contacting the vets at the RSC Vet Clinic to talk about the options on your farm.

When treating scours with fluid and electrolyte therapy the following should be considered.
• Cause of scour (Viral vs. Parasitic vs. Bacterial vs. Nutritional)
• Stage i.e. New infection vs. Recovering animals
• Number and age of affected calves
• What has worked/ not worked in the past

Here are some basic guidelines for electrolyte treatment
• Separate sick/scouring calves and isolate into a hospital pen
• Always feed sick/scouring calves three times daily and provide access to water ad lib at all times
• Use products such as Revive and/or Diarrest for severe and new cases
• Switch to a more cost effective product such as Enerlect for treatment of recovering animals or groups of mild scours
• When choosing how to give electrolyte treatments consider what has worked for you! There is some evidence to suggest that including separate milk feeds in an electrolyte program can help maintain energy levels
• Consider the use of true bond (sodium bentonite) to aid in firming faeces