Weak Calf Syndrome
Grant Dewell, DVM, Reneé Dewell, DVM, and Terry Engelken, DVM
Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine
Iowa State University
Weak Calf Syndrome (WCS) typically describes calves that are born alive, but lack normal vigor. Many of these calves die shortly after birth. Often, affected calves cannot stand and nurse by themselves. If they do stand, they are very slow in getting up and often adopt a hunched posture. Herds affected with WCS may also have stillborn calves. With intensive management, some weak calves may survive. The Iowa State University –Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory has received reports of weak calves from producers and veterinarians. Unfortunately, it is difficult to correct a WCS problem in a herd after it has been identified with the birth of one or more weak calves. There are multiple factors that may contribute to WCS during gestation including suboptimal dam nutrition, mineral deficiencies, and infectious diseases. Unfortunately, the inciting cause of WCS is not always diagnosed. For more go here .