Summer Scour Syndrome

What is Summer Scour Syndrome?

Summer scours syndrome is a relatively new phenomenon whereby calves start to scour profusely, become dehydrated and losing weight rapidly a few weeks after turnout to grass.

Symptoms of Summer Scour Syndrome

  • Calves stop thriving, have a poor appetite and lose weight
  • Calves have unresponsive scour
  • Calves may have mouth ulcers

It is important to rule out other factors such as coccidiosis, as this can also lead to the symptoms above.

Causes of Summer Scour Syndrome

As new-born calves are born with undeveloped rumens, they struggle to digest the lush summer grass high in nitrogen, and low in fibre.

Problems from Summer Scour Syndrome

  • The primary harm from summer scours is the loss of water and electrolytes (body salts) in diarrhoea. This loss of water and salts creates dehydration and alteration of the acid-base balance of the bodily fluids. Inflammation of the intestinal lining impairs the calf’s ability to digest nutrients, creating weight loss and the potential for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). If untreated, these changes can be severe enough to result in death.
  • In addition, certain bacteria (certain strains of Salmonella and Clostridium perfringens) can release toxins that cause harm to multiple vital organs in the calf.
  • Calves affected with summer scour are twice as likely to develop pneumonia.
  • Growth rates are also affected.

Summer Scour Syndrome – Treatment 

  • Increasing fibre in the diet can help alleviate symptoms.
  • Ideally graze calves on older grass, where more stem on the grass is present.
  • Rumen development begins within the first few days/weeks after birth and is advanced by exposure to healthy bacteria from the environment and the consumption of solid feeds. TERRA NutriTECH Rumen Guard is specifically formulated to help the rumen develop and eliminate summer scour. Rumen Guard should be used 30-60 days prior to turnout to grass.

Rumen Guard also helps to lessen the cases and severity of coccidiosis and ensures better thrive for your calves. Rumen Guard creates a healthy gut microbiome. This supports a healthier and earlier development of the intestine and the rumen, for improved calf health and productivity.

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