A home remedy can be an alternative to commonly used practices in curing calf diarrhea. There are owners of calves, both professional as well as hobby farmers, who are considering to use these alternatives. Some use it as a last resort and others because they prefer not to use antibiotics.
The question rises if this way of treating their calves from scours is sufficient enough to cure it. What does this treatment do exactly? Does it prevent dehydration or does it kill viruses and bacteria? This article can provide some answers to the working of home remedies.
Since most of the home remedies haven't been tested scientifically, guarantees can never be given. However, some products have shown to have good results. Which one will work and which will not, is something you have to decide for yourself.
There are two ways to help calves to overcome their scours. First combat the causes of the scours and second, support the health status and defense system of the calf.
Products that combat the causes of calf diarrhea.
Grapefruit seed extract.
This is an effective disinfectant and it is a powerful all-around antimicrobial product.
Lemon juice can kill pathogens that cause diarrhea.
Red or white wine.
Contain polyphenols or tannins, these are antibacterial agents.
This is a pro-biotic formula that consists of a strain of bacteria called Lactobacillus G.G. Research has shown that it protects against salmonella and clostridium, increases antibody response and intestine-related immune functions. It has also shown to be able to treat or prevent different causes of diarrhea, including Rota-virus, diarrhea caused by antibiotics, and colitis (inflammation of the lining of the colon).
Apple cider vinegar.
This contains Pectins which are effective against certain types of bacteria that cause diarrhea. Pectins also bind to disease-causing bacteria and flush them from the gut.
This is very rich in pectin, a binding substance, and tannins, which have an anti-viral effect.
This is a good remedy for bacteria-caused diarrhea.
This contains a chemical in the bark called myricitrin that fights germs, and also contains tannins which have a drying or astringent effect that will help relieve diarrhea.
Chickens are many times vaccinated against diseases that relate to diarrhea diseases. The chickens then pass the antibodies in their eggs. Research has shown that these egg yolk antibodies can prevent and treat scours very effectively.
Products that have a supportive therapy.
Reduces all intestinal inflammations and has an astringent working.
Methylsulfonylmethane is natural organic sulphur, one of the essential minerals. It helps reducing inflammation and aids the digestive system to work better. MSM has a healing and soothing influence on the mucous membrane that lines the intestines.
The roots of blackberry bushes have a chemical astringent that dries up excess fluid in the body. This drying up in turn helps stop scours.
These Pectins can coat the gut wall leaving a protective coat and slowing the passage of food.
Lignocelluloses and yeasts.
Are used to stabilize digestion and improve the consistency of the stools.
Citric and ascorbic acids.
These acids can restore the right pH levels to promote beneficial gut micro flora.
Chamomile and bilberry.
Soothe the intestines, act as a spasm reducer and as an anti inflammatory.
Make your own recipe by mixing one gallon of water with 86 grams of sugar, 14 grams of baking soda, 13 grams of salt and 3 grams of potassium chloride.
An alternative can be: 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 can beef soup, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 package of jelly pectin, plus add warm water to make a 2-quart total.
Acidophilus or live culture yogurt can help with the buildup of good bacteria in the intestines.
The essential oils in carrot juice have a positive effect on the stomach's mucous membranes.
Improve good bacteria in the intestines by adding FOS (Fructooligosaccharides) supplements. FOS can be found in vegetables and fruits. It is a soluble fiber and it has acidophilus as well as other needed bacteria.
Apple cider vinegar.
The vinegar helps cleaning the intestines and the complete digestive system and acts as a natural antiseptic. It also contains pectin which will thicken the stools.
Garlic can be a supportive product in several ways: it cleanses, soothes and reduces inflammation. Garlic has also a large amount of potassium which is needed for a good working of the contractions of the intestines. Potassium is also an important ingredient of electrolytes in the body.
Unprocessed bran can soak up the excess fluids in the intestines because it absorbs eight times its own weight.
Charcoal can stop the diarrhea quickly by absorbing the toxins that are causing the problem.
Substances in cabbage have shown to heal intestinal lesions.
Green tea is a rich source of tannins which has an astringent working.
Cinnamon and Cayenne pepper.
Cinnamon and cayenne pepper as a combination, is very effective in tightening the intestines.
Ginger can help with cramps or abdominal pain.
Tormentil has 20% tannins, making it very astringent and helpful in reducing inflammation.
As you can see there are many alternative products that can help curing and treating calf diarrhea. Most of them are supportive products that definitively can be a benefit for scouring calves. It is good to keep a close eye to these calves to see if the products actually work.
When in doubt, always consult a veterinarian because dehydration is a real threat to a calf with diarrhea and it can cause a rapid death. Learn more about commonly used practices in treating calf diarrhea here and how to prevent new outbreaks.