Treatment of diarrhea of neonatal calves. Academic Article uri icon


  • Therapeutic strategies for the treatment of diarrhea of neonatal calves should be logical and should be targeted at correction of physiologic dysfunction. Appropriate, specific antimicrobial or antiprotozoal therapy should be instituted when colibacillosis, salmonellosis, or giardiasis is confirmed or suspected. All calves with diarrhea should be rehydrated if necessary, and proper nutritional support should be provided. Antisecretory agents such as flunixin meglumine and bismuth subsalicylate may be beneficial for treatment of calves with colibacillosis and salmonellosis. Adsorbants, such as attapulgite and bismuth subsalicylate, also may reduce loss of fluids. Perhaps loperamide or a similar drug will be proven effective in calves in the future. Potentially harmful drugs include several antimicrobial agents when they are administered orally, because they result in malabsorption; kaolin and pectin, which increase loss of ions during diarrhea; and motility modifiers that cause a decrease in all types of intestinal motor function. Finally, success should be measured by indicators of production such as survivability, days treated, weight gained, and net profit. Our goal should be to restore and maintain the health of the calf, not simply to alter the volume and consistency of the feces.

published proceedings

  • Vet Clin North Am Food Anim Pract

author list (cited authors)

  • Roussel, A. J., & Brumbaugh, G. W.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Roussel, AJ||Brumbaugh, GW

publication date

  • January 1991