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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16247
Experience:  As a veterinarian, I have been educated to treat all animals, big and small.
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What causes dearrah in cattle it also stands what a arched

Customer Question

what causes dearrah in cattle it also stands what a arched back
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

Do you mean diarrhea/scours?

If so, how long has he had signs? What does it look like? Any blood?

Any weight loss, changes in thirst or appetite?

Any fever?

When was he last wormed? What did you use?

What vaccines has he had?

Is he the only animal affected?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
For about a month. There is no blood just greenish brown.
They have had weight loss. Not really a noticeable change in appetite or thirst.
Not sure about a fever.
They have never been wormed and no vaccines.
We lost one about a couple days ago but I didn't notice diarrhea.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

Thank you,

Just so I am clear on the situation, how many are scouring? The whole herd?

What are you feeding?

Are they on pasture?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
As far as I know it is just the one. We feed them hay. and yes they feed from the pasture.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

Thank you,
Now as I am sure you can appreciate, we can see diarrhea in cattle for a range of reasons (just as in people). Now if we only have one animal affected, we need to be aware that this one could be a risk to the others or could have an issue that isn't contagious. So, this means we have to be wary of an infectious process (bacterial, viral, protozoal, parasitic) present, a shared exposure (ie toxins, dietary issues, etc), but also more subtle issues (ie BVD, Johnes, etc).

With this in mind, we do need to take a step-by-step approach here. To start, it'd be ideal to isolate this one affected animal. That way we just reduce exposure risks for the others as well as reduce pasture contamination. Furthermore, if this has been going on for a month, it’d be ideal to submit a stool sample for analysis. This can be checked for parasites and protozoa, tested for viruses, and cultured for pathogenic bacteria. Based on those results, you would be aware of which agent was potentially triggering this and could target treatment effectively.

Otherwise, we have to initiate broad spectrum care to rule out as much as possible while supporting him. To start, t'd be best to worm the herd if you haven't done so. Furthermore, since we have had a death,make sure you use a wormer that also covers against liver fluke.

Further to this, we’d want to increase their access to hay/roughage. This will help bulk up stools and slow the diarrhea. Furthermore, we can also add OTC powdered Kaolin/ Kaopectate to his feed as this anti-diarrhea will also slow loose stools so we can help get him absorbing more food/fluid and avoiding wasting and weight loss. At the same time, if he is showing signs of dehydration (sunken eyes, skin tenting, etc), we may need start drenching electrolytes to keep him hydrated..

Finally, while again a fecal analysis is ideal to ensure we are treating properly and effectively; you could consider a trial on a broad spectrum antibiotic (ie Penicillin) to try any at least rule out some bacterial agents for this. This is something we can usually obtain from the local farm suppl.

Overall, we have a number of considerations for chronic diarrhea in this bull. In this case, we'd be best to isolate him from the other stock and the pasture. Furthermore, we'd want to consider covering bases for parasitic causes and having a stool sample tested. Depending on that, we can use our supportive care and target treatment to ensure we clear this for him and protect the rest of the herd.

All the best,

Dr. B.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.
Hi Ted,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. B.