2. Farm Background
It was a busy Tuesday morning at the Dairy
Solutions Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Karl, the owner, walked into the
office and the receptionist immediately handed him a message from Chuck
Erby, a local dairyman. The message said that Chuck wanted to
talk to Dr. Karl about a diarrhea (scours) problem in his dairy
Dr. Karl picked up the phone and called Mr. Erby. “Hey Chuck, this is Dr. Karl. I hear you have a scours problem. What’s going on?”
“Well, for the past 2 weeks I’ve been treating several scouring calves with sulfa tabs and electrolytes - with little to no response. Now I have switched to tetracycline pills. To top things off, this morning I had one die and several are looking very sick,” Chuck responded.
“Sounds like you have your hands full. I will be out this morning to see what we can do. I’ll probably necropsy the one that died this morning.”, Dr. Karl replied and hung up the phone. He grabbed his boots and keys, and then he and Gretchen headed to his truck.
Dr. Karl gave Gretchen an overview of Majestic Farms as they drove to investigate the calf diarrhea problem.
Majestic Farms has been a family farm for over 50 years, and Mr. Erby is a longtime client of Dr. Karl. The farm is a small dairy with a 60-cow stanchion barn on 200 acres. In the past few years, Mr. Erby has had some problems with scours among the calves at Majestic Farms, but only a couple of calves have died of scours. Mr. Erby has tried various approaches to prevent scours, but little has worked. Despite the history of a scours problem, Mr. Erby has been reluctant to make improvements in his calf management as suggested by Dr. Karl.