Diseases and parasites


Calf Scours

I Nutrition

a. Causes
This is caused by poor nutrition and feeding e.g. dirty milk, dirty buckets, overfeeding etc.

b. Signs

  • Calf scours
  • Loss of appetite
  • Rise in temperature
  • Dejectedness
  • Dehydration

c. Control

  • Reduce or completely withdraw milk for two to three meals
  • If the above does not work withdraw milk 2-3 meals and then replace it with warm water mixed with ½ tablespoon of baking powder plus two tablespoons of common salt and 110g of glucose (should be mixed in 4.5 litres of warm water).

II Infection

a. Causes

  • This is mainly caused by infection of virus and bacteria

b. Signs

  • Dehydration sets in.
  • Calf weaken very fast

c. Control

  • Call a Veterinary Doctor for treatment

Calf Pneumonia

a. Causes

  • The disease occurs if the calf is exposed to sudden chilly conditions (e.g. droughty quarters).

b. Signs

  • Watery discharge from nose and eyes
  • Shallow and rapid breathing
  • Calf coughs and will not eat

c. Control

  • House all calves for the first 6 weeks if in cold areas.
  • Call veterinary help when it occurs.



a. Types

  • These are mainly ticks, fleas, lice and flies

b. Control

  • Regular dipping or spraying with approved and effective acaricides and insecticides.


a. Types

  • Mainly roundworms, flatworms, liver flukes, etc

b. Control

  • Dose calves with recommended anthelmintics at 4 months and every 6 months thereafter.

c. Method


  • Restrain the animal either by putting it between you legs (for small animals) or by putting it into a crush.
  • Measure the drug into the bottle or drenching gun according to manufacturer’s instructions
  • Put one hand over the animals nose, open the mouth just enough to admit the gun or the bottle.
  • Place the bottle in the corner to the animal’s mouth and ensure that the tongue is not held when dosing.
  • Hold the mouth closed for a few seconds after withdrawing the gun or bottle so that the drug is completely swallowed.


Calves should be vaccinated against killer diseases such as:-

  • 4 months old – against black quarter disease
  • 6 months old – against Anthrax and Black Water
  • 3-8 months old – against Brucellosis in heifers.