Calf Scours, Valuable information-Electrolyte Recommendation Jan 19, 2014 14:00:01 GMT -5 richard olson, elnini, and 1 more like this
Post by Debbie Lincoln on Jan 19, 2014 14:00:01 GMT -5
My latest foster calf is scouring badly and I am doing the supportive therapy of electrolytes between nursing, probios, kaolin, checking his temp, and keeping him warm. So far, he is up and down, but holding on.
I was using an electrolyte solution recommended by a KFCer - "hydrafeed" - and I noticed that his poops were even more watery after giving him the solution, and that prompted me to do a bit of research. I found an Australian publication that is IMMENSELY helpful.
You can download it yourself from this page.
It has a great definition of the stages of dehydration, different kinds of ELECTROLYTES - based on how the calf is feed, disinfection, human contamination, etc.
One piece of info that I found very enlightening is to NOT USE electrolytes that contain baking soda.
To quote: "If calves are left with their dam, do not use an electrolyte solution that contains bicarbonate or citrate as this will prevent milk clotting and make scours worse."
Hydrafeed has both. So I am going back to my homemade solution of sugar, salt and potassium MINUS the baking soda, as this makes sense to me.
I welcome input from those wiser than I...
Edited to add:
I found the following in another publication (http://extension.psu.edu/animals/dairy/health/nutrition/calves/feeding/electrolytes-for-dairy-calves)
"Alkalinizing agents are added to decrease metabolic acidosis and may also provide some energy. These are usually attached to sodium and include bicarbonate, citrate, lactate, acetate or propionate. One of the most common alkalinizing additions is bicarbonate, which should not be fed directly or within a few hours of whole milk. Bicarbonate and citrate inhibit the formation of the casein curd in the abomasum. If feeding an oral rehydration solution with bicarbonate or citrate, it should be fed about 4 hours after milk feeding. Acetate is the most easily metabolized. Alkalinizing agents should be included at 50 to 80 mmol/L."
This essentially says that electrolytes with bicarbonate (ph lowering) agents SHOULD NOT BE ADDED to milk, but instead should be fed several hours after nursing.
edited 3-25-2020. I now use a product called “First Defense” within 24 hours of calf’s birth. Injectable or as a bolus (easy). It provides immunity to the major causes of scours in calves.