Helpful Hint for Bacterial Scours

By Laurie Seale

Have you ever had a deer with a continual scour problem?   I think most of us have experienced this at one time or another.  Sometimes the scouring animal will clear up for a while (with or without treatment) and then the scours return once again. 

Years ago, one of the fecal samples I sent in for diagnosis came back with no sign of parasites.  The diagnosis was bacterial scours.  Since that diagnosis, I always assume bacterial if a sample comes back with no sign of parasites. 

At that time there was a drug on the market that my veterinarian recommended called “Gallimycin”.  It was an excellent drug that needed to be given once a day for 5 days.  In my opinion, this $10 bottle of medicine was “liquid gold” because it cleared the scours up almost immediately and the scours never returned for any of the animals treated with it.

It wasn’t long after finding the so-called “miracle” drug that it was removed off the market.  Had I known I would have stocked up on it before its removal.  It has been at least 6 years since it was taken off the market and finally this year I was able to purchase it once again. 
The liquid form of the drug is still priced at $10.  It is too thick to go through a dart so a handling facility is required for giving shots.  This form of treatment works best because you know the animal is getting the required dosage.  I also found Gallimycin in a powder form that can be added to the water for any animals you cannot run through a handling facility.  I did have the opportunity to use the powder form this fall and it worked quite well as long as there is no other source of water in the pen.  The powder form runs about $25 and treats 130 gallons of water.  Both products can be purchased through Jeffers Livestock. 

I am not a veterinarian so this information is only given as suggested advice.  Please consult your herd veterinarian whenever you are experiencing health issues in your herd.