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Dr Steve
Dr Steve, Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
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Experience:  20 years of mixed animal practice experience
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Hi, I have a calf with blood in scours. Have been tube feeding

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Hi, I have a calf with blood in scours. Have been tube feeding milk replacerand electrolytes for 4 days, he will not nurse. Was given 2 bolous of calf span when blood was first seen was also given oxymycine 5 mils. on Sat.He is not runnig a temp,higest was 103. He was purchased at the auction last thur.showing no visible signs of illness but it was very hot and I suspected dehydration. When we brought him home he was given 1 mil. micotil and 1 mil. ivormectin. Yesterday I started kopectate to try and improve the scours, it has had little effect, He is extremly weak does not walk or stand. I would be greatful for any suggestions as he is now I don't think he will last very long. Thank You. Catharine

Hi, I'm Dr. Steve. It sounds like your calf could have coccidiosis that can cause bloody diarrhea. The treatments you have used may help with bacteria, but not with coccidiosis. To treat coccidiosis you should use a product called Corid (in the US) it's active ingredient is amprolium. You need to treat once a day for 5 days. There is a dose on the label that you should follow. I can't give information because I'm not sure what strength you have in Canada. Keep giving an electrolyte supplement to keep him hydrated while the amprolium (corid) is working. He may be too weak to save, but try this and if you can keep him eating, he might make it. Keep him comfortable as best you can. If he doesn't get better, you should have a vet examine him and check his stools for coccidiosis. Good Luck.


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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hi Dr. Steve, The product Calf Span is for coccidiosis. I have used it before, I still have 2 of the bolus left so will try them again.If it is coccidious it seems a little diffrent yhen before, Some of the stool was a dark grey colour with what looked like bits of blood in , now it is a pinkish fluid. I have also noticed he is sensitive on either side of the tail head, would that have any meaning? Catharine

Thanks for the information. Calf Span boluses contain sulfamethazine which is an older antibiotic labeled for E.coli scours. It does have some activity against coccidiosis. The COrid (amprolium) is a liquid that is specifically for coccidiosis and has worked for me better than sulfamethazine. There could be more things going on here,let me give you some more thoughts. Calves that scour long enough can get streaks of blood from irritation and damage to the intestines. Coccidiosis causes blood more regularly than other causes of scours. Without diagnostic tests to see what the actual cause of the scours is, we have to consider the possibility and treat for all causes.

Causes of scours are: 1. Bacteria (e.coli, Salmonella, Clostridium) treatment is antibiotics. Micotil will help with this. The 1 shot the calf had lasts 3 days. You may need to give another shot of micotil. Some bacteria are resistant to some antibiotics. It is possible that you have bacteria that needs a different antibiotic. Draxxin is a newer medicine and lasts 5-7 days. It is a good one for bacterial scours.


2. Coccidiosis -treatment Sulfamethazine once a day for 5 days in a row. or Corid (amprolium) once a day for 5 days in a row. Treating for 5 days in a row is the key


3. Viruses (rota, corona, esp.) There isn't any specific treatments for viruses.


4. Parasites- You ave used ivermectin and that should take care of that.


5.Mixed infections-You can have coccidiosis, bacteria and viruses at the same time. The only thing to do in this case is treat for coccidiosis and bacteria and the calf's immune system will have to handle the viruses on its own.


With this said I would give another antibiotic shot, preferably Draxxin, but micotil may be OK. Treat for coccidiosis for 5 days in a row, preferably with corid,but calf span may be OK.Last but not lease you must maintain hydration and electrolyte levels while the medicine is working. I recommend an electrolyte that has a thickening agent like SKy High Energy by Schuyler Labs or Resorb. If you don't have access to these , any electrolyte solution will help. Give the calf the electrolytes as per label directions twice a day with no milk. The electrolytes have enough energy to keep the calf going and milk can irritate a scour. Once the calf has quit scouring you can go back to milk. There are a lot of issues that can complicate scours in a calf and sometimes the damage to the intestines is too much to survive and you can lose the calf in spite of treatment. I hope this has helped. Good Luck.


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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Hi Dr. Steve, Thanks for the information,regretably it was to late for this little guy but will keep the info for future referance. I am most disappointed because we have some amprol here that I could have used but didn't because the calf span had been prescribed more recently. Normaly I do take samples for culture but this time I was having trouble getting a good fresh one during office hours.

In our area there are mostly horses and small animals.Vets dealing with cattle are far and few between and some distance away. I am sure others are dealing with the same situation and are very grateful for the service you provide. Once again Thank You!!

I'm Sorry for your loss, as you have said if you learned something from this experience it may not be as bad. Good Luck in the future and thanks for the question.

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