A scoring system is an instrument that enables the scorers, including farmers, technicians, and veterinarians, to adopt a systematic approach for diagnosis or monitoring, as it decreases bias and confounding and increases objectivity. Practically, it 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, helping 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; possibly, 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. Further research is needed in this regard to increase scores validation and encourage their application in bovine calf neonatology.
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