Coccidiosis is an animal health problem caused by certain micro-organisms called coccidia or oocysts. They are hidden from sight, and can live for years in the environment, and survive under normal heat and cold changes. Stress caused by weather, feed changes, and weaning make dairy calves very susceptible to coccidiosis outbreaks. Calves ingest the infective parasites (oocysts) right from the start, by licking hair coats, nibbling on bedding and other contaminated materials.
Understanding the Cocci Life Cycle
The typical life cycle for the Eimeria species of bovine coccidia last about three weeks. The sporulated oocysts are ingested by the calf, and rupture releasing sporozoites that infect epithelial cells of the gut mucosa. If the sporozoites are not stopped at this point of the life cycle they continue to reproduce (asexually) within the cell wall developing into millions of organisms. After about 14 days, the organisms reproduce sexually and invade the large intestine causing hemorrhaging which results in the clinical signs of bloody diarrhea. Damage to the intestinal lining may become permanent, resulting in poor performing animals. In severe cases, death occurs as a primary result of the diarrhea, which causes a loss of electrolytes and dehydration.
Calf Pro provides Coccidial Control from Birth to Weaning
Calf Pro acts early in the cocci life cycle
Calf Pro is a unique liquid formulation of Bovatec (lasalocid), a coccidiocide plus 8 essential vitamins. It acts early in the life cycle of the coccidia before they mature and cause intestinal damage. Intestinal damage is responsible for poor nutrient absorption, water and electrolytes.
Calf Pro gives immediate protection
Calf Pro provides immediate protection from the first feeding, starting 48 to 72 hours after birth. It eliminates the need to wait until calves consume enough dry for adequate protection. Calves seldom eat enough dry starter until 4 to 5 weeks of age.
Clinical Coccidial infections are usually not noticeable until three to four weeks of age or older. That’s because the oocysts take 3 to 4 weeks to develop and cycle through the digestive tract and cause the diarrhea symptoms. The infection begins at the time of ingestion. It’s during the development time that the parasites do their damage. Prevention is the best method for control.
Calf Pro controls subclinical infections not visible
Calves can ingest the coccidial parasite (oocyst) soon after birth, however, only about 5% of calves exhibit clinical signs of infection (bloody scours and dehydration. Subclinical infections reduce the absorption of critical nutrients resulting in slower weight gains.