Ceva Animal Health, maker of Rehydion, is urging vets to highlight the benefits of oral rehydration therapy (ORT) to scouring calves to farmers as part of its new ‘Making Milk Matter Against Scour’ campaign.
The company highlights figures which show that about 170,000 of calves born alive each year die in their first month of life1 and that up to 50% of deaths are caused by scour2, with over 48% of dairy heifer calves diagnosed with scour preweaning3. ORT, says the company, could help save the industry £60 million a year1.
The new campaign will encourage farmers to use ORT during scouring to provide sufficient essential electrolytes to correct acidosis, while still continuing with milk feeding. The company says milk is the best source of energy and fluid replacement for scouring calves and stopping milk has been shown to have no impact on the resolution of scour. In fact, calves left on milk during scour can continue to gain weight. The Making Milk Matter Against Scour initiative is being backed by a PR and advertising campaign and a social media initiative.
During the campaign Ceva will be running surveys to capture both vets’ and farmers’ experiences of scour and ORT. To take part in the vet survey visit https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ORTVet. There will be a prize draw from completed entries, with 10 vets receiving a £10 Amazon voucher.
Stephenie Clarke, product manager at Ceva Animal Health said: “The ‘Making Milk Matter Against Scour’ campaign will help highlight the financial and welfare benefits of using ORT at the first signs of scour and the importance of administering it alongside milk which is the best source of energy and will help calves maintain weight gain.
“The scour survey will provide us with an insight into the use of ORT in practice and on farm to help us drive improvements across the industry.”
James Adams, BVSc FHEA MRCVS, farm animal lead at Langford Vets, University of Bristol, added: “If I could offer one piece of advice to farmers with scouring animals it would be to ensure hydration as dehydration is what kills! Rehydrating an animal is essential if an animal is to be able to regain its normal function and fend off any disease.
“We’ve been using Rehydion in our vet practice for approximately two years and we mainly recommend that farmers use it in cattle, but our clients also use it in lambs and kids. We get a lot of positive feedback from farmers on Rehydion, as they feel that it is effective and convenient to use, which aids compliance, and it can be given with milk, which is essential for maintaining a positive energy status.”
For further information on the ‘Making Milk Matter Against Scour’ initiative visit www.makingmilkmatter.co.uk, contact your local Ceva Account Manager, call Ceva on 01494 781510 or email [email protected].
- Ortiz-Pelaez A, Pritchard DG, Pfeiffer DU, Jones E, Honeyman P, Mawdslew, JJ (2008) Calf mortality as a welfare indicator on British cattle farms. Vet. J. 176:177-81
- Onstad I (2010) Calf Nutrition and Colostrum Management. NADIS https://www.nadis.org.uk/disease-a-z/cattle/calf-management/calf-nutrition-and-colostrum-management/ accessed 07/10/20
- Johnson KF, Chancellor N, Burn CC, Wathes C (2017) Prospective cohort study to assess rates of contagious disease in pre-weaned UK dairy heifers: management practices, passive transfer of immunity and associated calf health. Veterinary Record Open 4:e000226. doi:10.1136/vetreco-2017-000226
- DEFRA 2003
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