'Calling in the vet is just half the battle when treating sick calves'
The unfortunate reality on a lot of farms is, despite the best efforts of everyone involved, a calf will get sick.
The vet is called and treatment is administered. The vet washes up, has a quick chat and disappears out the gate to the next call.
The temptation is to go back to work and try to get on top of the endless list of jobs. But the calf is still sick and needs a lot of special care and attention from the farmer to make a full recovery.
A clean, dry and warm isolation pen is required. A very cost effective and fantastic idea I have seen lately is the use of a plastic IBC tank. One side was cut to make a door and the opening at the top was used to affix an infra red lamp.
It was bedded with clean, dry straw. It warms up the calf very quickly and can be easily and effectively disinfected when the calf has made a full recovery.
In cases of pneumonia or scour, small frequent feeds are best. We have already mentioned keeping a calf with scour on milk feeds for the best chance of a full recovery. In the case of a calf with pneumonia, they may not have the energy to stay sucking for a prolonged period so small, frequent feeds help.
Regular monitoring is needed. Calves with scour should be checked for signs of dehydration.