Coccidia, a parasitic protozoa that colonizes in the intestinal tract of cattle, is one of the “biggies” of pathogens that cause scours in pre- and post-weaned calves. Eggs are produced internally and pass into the environment via shedding in manure. Nearly all animals on dairies will eventually be exposed to coccidia.
Source: Dairy Herd Management, December 7, 2017.
If the natural exposure of young calves can be managed to maintain a low level of infection, they can build immunity without excessive damage to their gut and loss of normal growth. Preclinical use of approved additives is recommended.
INSIGHTS: The four additives approved in the United States for use to control coccidia activity in the calf after exposure include:
- Deccox®-M [decoquinate] – available in milk replacer, or powder, mixed with milk to make suspension
- Bovatec® [lasalocid] – available in milk replacer, liquid additive to mix with milk
- Rumensin® [monensin] – added to dry feeds like calf starter grain
- Corid® [amprolium] – liquid can be added to milk or milk replacer, or dry crumble