By Ken M. Nelson
County Extension Agent 

Notes From Nelson

Infectious Causes of Calf Scours


March 15, 2023

Infectious causes of calf scours can be generated into 4 categories: bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and yeasts/molds. Non-infectious factors may contribute to scours outbreaks, including inadequate pre-calving nutrition of the dam and a poor environment for the newborn (wet weather, contaminated lots, etc.). Control of non-infectious factors is critical to preventing scours.

Bacterial causes of calf scours include Escherichia coli, Salmonella, and Clostridium perfringens. Most newborn calves are exposed to E. coli from the environment. Calves as young as 16 to 24 hours can be exposed via manure...

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