Symptoms Possible causes
Reluctant to stand Injury, joint ill (navel infection) Diarrhoea?
Swollen navel Navel infection? Hernia? Pizzle sucking?
Reluctant to drink – slow drinking Infectious disease in general, mouth injury (tubing rub), unpalatable milk or meal? Poor teat quality?
Scours – nutritional White or yellow faeces, normal temperature
Scours – infectious Foul smelling faeces, mucousy, watery, yellow/brown or bloody? Temperature elevated
Blood in faeces Can be normal in first 3 days
Coughing or rapid respiration Respiratory infection from poor ventilation or pathogens
Shivering Cold, wet or draughty conditions? Feeding cold milk? Inadequate shelter?
Kicking at the belly Abdominal pain, peritonitis, ulcers, twisted bowel? Indigestion – overfeeding, cold milk, gorging. Poor quality milk or meal?
Bloat Cold milk feeding – milk into rumen? Overdrinking/gorging? Young fresh grass? Clostridia?
Salivation High fever? Mouth lesions, injured jaw? Ulcers/abscesses?
Teeth grinding Scours present? Can indicate abdominal pain? Lack of fibre in diet? Boredom?
Pizzle sucking Low volume feeding, unsatisfied sucking instinct, lack of water?
Hair loss Often follows scours. Excessive cold and wet? Lice in covered calves? Fungal skin conditions?
Troubleshooting flowchart Give 1L oral electrolyte solution per 10kg of body weight and isolate calf for re-treatment in 6-8 hours Give 1L oral electrolyte solution per 10kg of body weight

If in doubt, contact your veterinarian