Rehydration during scours
Calves suffering from scours lose fluids and salts and don’t absorb the sugars they need for energy. This can cause alarming weight loss and dehydration. Therefore, lost fluids and salts must be replaced as soon possible to maintain calf energy.
- A good quality oral electrolyte (such as Novolyte) at therapeutic levels during the diarrhoea and recovery period is the most efficient way to ensure optimum calf health.
- Oral electrolytes are lower in energy than milk, so milk feeding should be continued during the scouring period.
- It’s important to feed both milk and electrolytes during rehydration. Ideally feed 2L of milk followed by 2L of electrolytes. These feeds should be 4 hours apart as the electrolytes can interfere with milk digestion.
- Use high-quality electrolytes such as Novolyte to ensure a balanced intake of salts and energy.
- Electrolytes can be offered via a teat feeder, trough, bucket or tube feeder.
- Warm feeding (38°C) is recommended to increase voluntarily drinking.