How to spot dehydration in young calves
Video: How to spot dehydration in young calvesCalves that die from neonatal scours ultimately succumb to dehydration, electrolyte imbalances and, in some cases, acidosis. Knowing how to accurately determine whether calves have mild, moderate or severe dehydration, and how to help calves at each level, can optimize their health and survival, which can make a big mark on your bottom line.
Diagnosing calf dehydration includes performing a skin-tent test, looking for sunken eyes, watching for signs of depression and testing a calf’s sucking reflex. Mild dehydration in calves can be treated with oral electrolytes that contain salt, potassium, energy, amino acids and other ingredients to relieve dehydration, electrolyte imbalances and acidosis. It is important to alternate feeding fluids and milk throughout the day. Severe dehydration requires IV fluids and consultation with your veterinarian.
Always keep separate bottles and tube feeders for scouring and healthy calves. Be sure to clean and disinfect all feeding equipment after each use.