Late last week, an article came out on Cattle Network, entitled “Cattle Update: Diarrhea in Weaned Calves,” which provides some in-depth information on a well-known illness most of you have probably come across over the years. As the article states, it’s pretty standard for newly weaned calves to break out with diarrhea, which is commonly “caused by BVD (Bovine Virus Diarrhea), mineral deficiencies (particularly copper or selenium), worms, and coccidiosis.”
Coccidiosis (the condition that the bulk of the article concentrates on) is an infection caused by a particular strain of parasite. Causes of the condition vary, but it is…
…primarily a disease of the young where there is crowding, stress, and/or nonimmune animals. Older cows certainly act as a reservoir and shed oocysts into the environment. Stress such as shipping, weaning, dietary changes, cattle shows or sales, and other problems can precipitate an outbreak of coccidiosis.
The entire article is certainly worth a read as a refresher, and includes in-depth details on how it might spread, how it can be diagnosed and treated, and some of the latest information available on the subject.