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You are here: Home / Species Specific / Dairy Cattle / Neonatal Scours, Antibiotics and Dairy Calves / 14. Discussion with Client

14. Discussion with Client

Dr. Karl has sufficiently assessed the situation on the farm.  He has collected specimens (blood and fecal matter) from three sick calves and specimens (fecal matter, intestinal contents, sections of large and small bowel, and mesenteric lymph nodes) from the two dead calves. He will submit these specimens to his state veterinary diagnostic laboratory.

Before leaving the farm, Dr. Karl instructs Mr. Erby to give one liter of lactated Ringer's solution under the skin (subcutaneously) and two liters of oral electrolytes two hours post-feeding, twice a day, to each of the three affected calves.  Dr. Karl explains that the fluids replace the fluids, electrolytes, and bicarbonate lost with the diarrhea.  He leaves Chuck two boxes of oral electrolytes to use for the next few days.  Dr. Karl also tells Chuck to keep observing the other scouring calves for any changes in their clinical signs.  Since they are not depressed or dehydrated, Dr. Karl thinks it would be best to only monitor these calves at this point.

Chuck may be disappointed that Dr. Karl is not going to give antimicrobial agents to all of the calves with scours.  Dr Karl explains that giving antibiotics when treating an unknown disease could potentially make the situation worse.  Empiric therapy with antimicrobial agents is only acceptable when systemic signs are present (fever, depression, lethargy).

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