Dairy calf treatment for diarrhea : are the drugs we use effective?
Pereira, Richard V.
Adams Progar, Amber L.
Moore, Dale A.
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More than 50% of deaths in pre-weaned dairy heifers in the US is attributed to diarrhea. When dairy producers and calf caretakers devote their efforts towards disease prevention, they can minimize their use of drugs to treat calf diseases. As concerns about antimicrobial resistance increase, it is especially important to re-examine drug use on dairies. This publication will focus on the use of drugs to treat dairy calfhood illnesses. Diarrhea in pre-weaned calves is more common than respiratory disease and is most commonly caused by viruses (Rota and Corona) and protozoa (such as Cryptosporidium) that are not killed by antibiotics. Occasionally, diarrhea can also be caused by bacteria such as E. coli K-99 and Salmonella, which require antibiotic treatment. Determining if a calf with diarrhea needs treatment with antibiotics can be challenging when relying only on loose feces as a clue. The purpose of this publication is to assist dairy producers and calf caretakers with treatment decisions for diarrhea in pre-weaned dairy calves.