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Coccidiosis in Calves & Heifers?

Prevention is key — closing down the coccidia life cycle

Coccidiosis in calves and heifers is a costly infection of the large and small intestines caused by protozoan parasites. Coccidia undergo developmental reproductive stages in the animals’ intestinal cells.

How can dairy producers prevent coccidiosis in their replacement animals?

  • Limit fecal-to-oral transmission of the coccidiosis parasite through environmental management

– Minimize exposure of animals to fecal-contaminated feed, water and soil
– Routinely clean maternity pens for early prevention
– Practice all-in/all-out hutch management (clean and relocate hutches between calves)
– Minimize contact between calves
– Wash boots and clothing routinely after coming into contact with calves
– Prevent overgrazing of pastures
– Raise water troughs above the ground

  • Isolate animals with severe clinical signs of infection (severe diarrhea, dehydration)
  • Include Rumensin® in the calf starter to prevent coccidiosis “breaks”

Why Rumensin?

  • Rumensin® (monensin, USP) is approved for the prevention and control of coccidiosis in calves and heifers
  • Rumensin is approved for increased rate of weight gain in heifers
  • On average, Rumensin provides a 7:1 return on investment in calves and heifers3

To learn more about Rumensin for dairy operations, contact: Jim Stefanak, mobile 330-298-8113, email stefanakj@elanco.com


  1. McDougald LR, Hofacre C, Mathis G, et al. Chemotherapy of coccidiosis. In: Long PL, editor. The Biology of the Coccidia. Baltimore, MD: University Park Press;1980:373-427.
  2. Long PL, Jeffers TK. Studies on the stage of action of ionophorous antibiotics against Eimeria. J Parasitol. 1982;68(3):363-71.
  3. Elanco Animal Health. Data on file.

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