Many producers purchase medicated milk replacer without recognizing that it contains antibiotics and without understanding that the dose of antibiotics is too low to treat common bacterial causes of calf scours or respiratory disease. Use of medicated milk replacers can contribute to the dissemination of antimicrobial resistant bacteria, possibly causing treatment failures on farms or in human hospitals.
Almost half of U.S. dairy producers have found that sound animal husbandry practices eliminate the need for the routine use of medicated milk replacers. They have found that it is more effective to prevent scours and respiratory disease in calves through management procedures such as sanitation, isolation and an adequate amount of high quality colostrum given within 24 hours of birth.
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