Clinical scoring systems in the newborn calf

A scoring system is an instrument that enables farmers, technicians and veterinarians to adopt a systematic approach for diagnosis or monitoring. The system decreases personal bias and confounding and increases objectivity. 

Practically, the scoring system is a number assigned to a patient that correlates with a probability that a diagnosis can be confirmed or that a specific outcome will follow. This article examines the clinical scores designed or adapted to bovine medicine that aim to assess newborn calf viability and to diagnose and monitor neonatal calf diarrhea and respiratory diseases. This helps the clinician promptly recognize calves needing medical assistance. 

Despite the large number of clinical scores described in the literature, these are still barely used in farm animal practice. This could be due to the complexity of the scores and missing recommendations for intervention are reasons for their lack of popularity as well as the crosswise lack of consistency among scores designed for the same purpose. Researchers concluded that further research is needed to increase scores validation and encourage their application in bovine calf neonatology.

Monica Probo and Maria Cristina Veronesi. “Clinical Scoring Systems in the Newborn Calf: An Overview.” Animals (Basel). 2022 Nov 3;12(21):3013. doi: 10.3390/ani12213013.

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