Next up in our scour series is Rotavirus.  Rotavirus is another very common cause of scour and is present to some extent in most cattle herds.

Rotavirus and typically causes scour in calves from five to 14 days old.  Infection usually occurs through oral contact with infected faeces.  Rotavirus can be present in older cattle without any symptoms and hence one of the major sources of rotavirus infection is carrier cows which do not show any symptoms which then shed the virus around the time of calving.


  • Pale yellow diarrhoea, sometimes with mucous and blood flecks present.
  • Dehydrated calves
  • Drooling
  • Calves becoming sick from secondary infections.
  • Constant straining and trying to pass manure


  • Rotavirus can be prevented by vaccinating all pregnant cows prior to calving
  • Ensure calves receive adequate colostrum in the first hours after birth to increase resistance to infection
  • Keep calving housing clean, dry and well bedded
  • Hygiene: keep calving pens and calf housing clean and clean all feeding/calving equipment after use
  • Once infected ensure calves are protected from dehydration by administering fluids
  • Antibiotics can be administered to reduce secondary bacterial infection
  • If cows become severely dehydrated, a vet may need to administer a drip

For further advice on any of the above, please contact a member of the Moocall team to speak to some of our breeding specialists on +353 1 96 96 038 or email