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Calf snot: causes, treatment

Young cattle are more susceptible to disease than adults. This is due to the fact that at an early stage of development, the immune system is not yet able to resist various pathogens. Therefore, every livestock breeder should pay attention to warning signs in a timely manner. If the calf has snot, this symptom should not be ignored, as in some cases it can indicate serious health problems.

Checklist of Reasons Why Calf Snot Flows

Various factors can provoke the appearance of this symptom. Therefore, before treating snot in a calf, you need to establish the root cause of their appearance. After all, a symptom does not always indicate a cold.


Calf snot can be a reaction to an allergen. Most often this is due to the introduction of dietary supplements into the animal's diet. Allergies can be triggered by:

  • high concentration of protein in feed;
  • soy milk replacer;
  • poor quality complementary foods.

The calf may develop this reaction to medications that have been used to treat another disease. And also for insect repellents and care products.

Important! The choice of dietary supplements for young animals must be approached reasonably, since the purchase of non-certified feed leads to additional costs for treatment.

It is possible to determine what is an allergen only thanks to the personal observations of the breeder. Therefore, the veterinarian first of all asks the owner what changes in the conditions of housing and nutrition have occurred, after which the calf has snot.

Additional signs of allergy can confirm the diagnosis, such as:

  • small rash;
  • plaque on the tongue;
  • diarrhea or constipation;
  • swelling of the skin.

Food allergy is widespread in cattle

Respiratory tract diseases

Snot in a calf may indicate an upper respiratory infection. Any delay will greatly complicate the situation. Therefore, first of all, you need to call a veterinarian who will confirm or deny the fears.


This disease is typical for calves of the first year of life. According to statistics, it is diagnosed in 25-30% of young animals. Most often, bronchopneumonia develops during weaning, fattening, rearing. Lack of timely treatment can lead to irreversible consequences.

With bronchopneumonia, the bronchi and lungs are initially affected, in which serous exudate accumulates. As a result, this is manifested by a runny nose and cough.

The main provoking factors:

  • cold;
  • stress;
  • lack of vitamin A;
  • lack of walking;
  • a sharp change in temperature.

An accurate diagnosis can only be made by a specialist on the basis of clinical signs and laboratory tests. With timely treatment, the calf recovers in 7-10 days.


This disease affects young animals between two and five months of age. The main provoking factor is weaning from the cow, as a result of which the calf's immunity decreases. Also, pneumonia can develop with the joint maintenance of young animals of different ages.

The first sign of pneumonia is depression and diarrhea. Subsequently, the calf develops abundant snot, coughing, breathing quickens up to 60 breaths per minute and the temperature rises sharply.


A dangerous disease caused by Koch's bacillus. Infection occurs through airborne droplets, as well as through water and food. In calves, tuberculosis manifests itself in an acute form, which is accompanied by a profuse discharge of snot.

Additional symptoms:

  • dry skin;
  • stable high temperature - about 40-42 degrees;
  • lack of appetite;
  • wheezing when breathing.

Tuberculosis is not cured. The infected animal must be slaughtered with subsequent disposal.

Important! This disease poses a danger to human health, therefore, if there are suspicious signs, you need to take precautions.


A parasitic disease that develops against the background of the penetration of the nematode Dictyocaulus viviparus into the animal's body. In the mature stage, it is localized in the middle and small branches of the bronchi, as well as in the area of ​​the posterior diaphragmatic lobes of the lungs. The nematode parasitizes in the body of calves from 1.5 to 12 months.

The primary sign of invasion is a depressed general condition and a gradual decrease in appetite. With the further development of the disease, the calf develops a cough with wheezing and shortness of breath, as well as thick mucopurulent snot.

Important! In the absence of adequate therapy for dictyocaulosis, the calf subsequently dies from exhaustion with obvious signs of intoxication.

Infectious diseases

Calf snot can be a sign of infection. The causative agents are various pathogenic microorganisms. The danger of infectious diseases is that they develop rapidly and can lead to infection of the entire livestock.

Infectious diseases are manifested most often not only by a runny nose, but also by fever.


This infection is most commonly diagnosed in calves under eight months of age. The causative agent is Escherichia coli, which enters the body through dirty equipment.

When infected, the animal develops debilitating diarrhea with bloody and mucous impurities. With further development, pathological changes occur in the lungs and bronchi, therefore snot and rapid breathing appear. A lowered body temperature is also recorded - about 32-34 degrees. Colibacillosis can cause death of an animal if therapy is not carried out in a timely manner. Recovered calves noticeably lag behind in growth.

Subacute stage of pasteurellosis

The causative agent of infection is Pasteurella multocida. It is transmitted by airborne droplets, and less commonly through food and drink. An infected calf produces serous-purulent snot with blood impurities. You can also identify an infection by dry cough, fever and the presence of swollen areas in the neck, dewlap and limbs.

Nodular dermatitis

The disease is characterized by the appearance of bumps on the skin. The causative agent is DNA-containing viruses. The incubation period lasts from 3 to 30 days.

Initial signs of the disease:

  • high temperature - about 40 degrees;
  • liquid abundant snot;
  • lacrimation.

48 hours after the onset of the first symptoms, round subcutaneous nodules with a height of 0.5 cm form on the body of the animal. After several hours, necrosis of the affected skin areas begins.

Breach of content rules

The reason for the appearance of snot in a calf may be a violation of the basic rules of keeping. Inflammation of the upper respiratory tract contributes to:

  • high air humidity;
  • lack of ventilation;
  • wet litter;
  • the development of fungus in the barn;
  • lack of regular walking.

In the presence of at least some of the conditions listed in the young, immunity is significantly reduced. And this can lead to more serious illnesses.

What to do if calves have snot flowing

When snot appears, it is necessary to transfer the animal to a separate warm room. You should also provide a complete diet, consisting of easily digestible feed in the form of a mash of ground oats and bran. It is important to ensure that there is always clean water in the drinker. For the treatment of a runny nose, it is necessary to rinse with carbon dioxide.

In the event of an allergy, the veterinarian prescribes antihistamines, as well as vitamin complexes to increase immunity.

For the treatment of infectious and colds, complex therapy with antibiotics and immunomodulators is used. This combination has a depressing effect on pathogenic microflora and increases the body's resistance to its effects.

Only a veterinarian can determine the cause of the appearance of snot in a calf, so you should not delay time and self-medicate

Prevention measures

To preserve the young and eliminate the likelihood of developing diseases, it is necessary to follow simple rules.

Preventive actions:

  1. Disinfect animal equipment and care tools on a regular basis.
  2. Replace the dirty litter in a timely manner.
  3. Provide outdoor walking for animals.
  4. Conduct timely vaccination of young animals.
  5. Purchase only high-quality feed and certified dietary supplements.
  6. Provide separate housing for animals of different ages.
  7. Apply vitamin complexes to maintain immunity.
  8. Equip the calf housing with ventilation.
  9. Conduct timely deworming.


In a calf, snot is a sign that something is not right in the animal's body. The sooner the cause of the condition is established, the less harm it will cause to the health of the animal. As you know, any disease is easier to treat at the initial stage of development.

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