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Scours, Diarrhea, White Scours, Yellow Scours


Causes:Scours in Goat Kid

  • The bacterium Escherichia coli causes the disease in very young kids (newborn to 2 weeks) and is usually related to dirty surroundings. E. Coli is very commonly found and some types of the organism are more likely to cause disease than others. Outbreaks rapidly worsen unless strict sanitation procedures are begun.


  • Severe depression
  • Weakness
  • Watery diarrhea
  • Rapid dehydration is evidenced by skin that stays up when pinched and the eyes sinking into the head
  • Skin is cold and clammy
  • Many causes of scours in kids can have the same or similar symptoms. Kids will die quickly unless lost fluid and electrolytes (body salts) are replaced.
  • Diagnosis is based on the symptoms and can be confirmed by laboratory culture procedures.


  • The organism is taken in by mouth, usually very soon after birth. Lack of adequate colostrum usually contributes to colibacillosis. See the section on care of the newborn.

Treatment:Scours in Cow Calf

  • You should 1) replace fluid loss, 2) correct electrolyte balance, and 3) kill the organism with antibiotics. Replace the milk given to the kid with any of the formulas listed in the Therapy Section under Treatment for Scours. The appropriate amount is 10% of body weight, needed for daily usage or maintenance, plus the percentage lost due to dehydration. Start the kid on an oral antibiotic, such as neomycin, spectinomycin, chloramphenicol, tetracycline, or a sulfa drug at about 5-10 mg/kg of body weight, twice daily. Always follow label direction on drugs.


  • Kids are born with no immunity and must receive colostrum from their mothers to become resistant to disease. Feeding the kid well with colostrum before it is 2 hours old will protect it until it is old enough to build its own disease defense mechanism. After the first 12 hours of life, the kids ability defend it’s self against these antibodies is diminish and is gone by the time the kid is 24 hours old. Clean surroundings also are important to prevent this disease. Kids should be born in clean or unused areas and kept warm and dry, but not necessarily in a closed building.


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