Calf Health & Care – The Fundamentals of Treating Sick Calves

Proper care of sick calves is important for several reasons. First, sick calves have slower growth and development because their energy is used to fight disease. Sick calves also transmit the disease to other animals. With proper care, you have the best chance of a sick calf recovering quickly, gaining normal weight, and no longer carrying infectious viruses and bacteria.

Pain treatment for calf health

In most animals, including calves, pain causes a response very similar to stress. A common symptom of pain or stress is loss of appetite. Since proper nutrition is so important to the calf's recovery, there is an incentive to treat the pain so the animal can eat properly.

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Stress is also known to damage the immune system and reduce its effectiveness. If pain triggers a stress-like response, the calf may take longer to recover because its immune system is not fully functioning. Relieving pain or addressing the root cause of calf pain can be a positive step in aiding recovery.

Identify the right drug to treat calves

This may seem obvious, but using the right medication is very important when caring for a sick calf. Sometimes owners are tempted to treat common symptoms with the medications they have on hand. However, it is important to treat the cause, not the symptom.