News & Advice

Ashley O’Driscoll, Veterinarian, Anexa Vets

Whether you have your own weaner calves or you are planning on grazing dairy weaners, it pays to have a think about preventing the common causes of scours post-weaning.

Coccidia is a common cause of scours in weaned calves. We often see it when farmers don’t feed enough meal after weaning, stop feeding meal too soon after weaning, or when calves are weaned too early or in poor condition. Once calves are infected and showing signs of coccidia (straining, bloody scours), the calves need to be treated with a specific drug. Medicated meal is good at preventing coccidia, but not treating it.

Yersinia is a common cause of contagious scours that can spread quickly through a mob of animals. This needs appropriate diagnosis and treatment with antibiotics.

What about drenching?

In general, it is safest to use an oral drench every four weeks until January, when you might want to consider changing drench. Abamectin is not recommended as it has a very low safety margin; it is really easy to overdose/kill calves (this is why we recommend a safe oral product).

However, you might want to consider having a chat with your vet about young stock drenches, as it is very possible you are drenching too often or with the wrong product.

If you have any questions about using fecal samples to make decisions about drenching, or what drench to use, contact your local Anexa veterinarian or Sales Rep.

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