Calf came out in pieces.

Cattle problems.
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Calf came out in pieces.

Post by SFrey » Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:49 pm

I just had my first heifer lose her first calf today. I'm not a beef man but I've been in the egg layers for a spell. I recently decided to buy a couple head of cattle and get my feet wet.
She's a 3/4 waygu 1/4 herford cross and looks great. Today she was walking with her tail up so I figured she was gonna drop a calf. When I got to her she was trying to push it out but couldn't get anything to move. We got her into the chute and when we checked her the calf was dead. Trying to pull on a leg would get you a bone or two. When we pulled on the back the spine and ribs came out. We finally got it all out and she passed a mess of fluid. She's been walking around and eating. When we got ahold of the vet he didn't seem to worried. He never came out (Sunday). I'm worried that she might get sick from having having the calf in there so long. Should I get another vet to come check her and what should I be watching for.



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Jeanne - Simme Valley
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Re: Calf came out in pieces.

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:33 am

Their reproductive system is amazing as far as "self-healing". Just keep a close eye on her and make sure she is eating and acting fine. Any sign of a fever, and yes, she will need to be treated. Many people automatically put antibiotic boluses in the uterus or give antibiotic shots - but - antibiotics kill bad and GOOD bugs. The natural bugs in her repro track will "eat" the rotting pieces still in her. If you kill the good bugs, it will take longer for her "self cleaning" to work. You will get lots of different opinions, but this has been vet recommended to me for many years now.
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Re: Calf came out in pieces.

Post by SFrey » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:26 am

Thank you for sharing the experience you've had. She's been up eating and drinking water. She's doing well so far.

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Re: Calf came out in pieces.

Post by wbvs58 » Mon Mar 25, 2019 6:23 pm

Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:33 am
Their reproductive system is amazing as far as "self-healing". Just keep a close eye on her and make sure she is eating and acting fine. Any sign of a fever, and yes, she will need to be treated. Many people automatically put antibiotic boluses in the uterus or give antibiotic shots - but - antibiotics kill bad and GOOD bugs. The natural bugs in her repro track will "eat" the rotting pieces still in her. If you kill the good bugs, it will take longer for her "self cleaning" to work. You will get lots of different opinions, but this has been vet recommended to me for many years now.
Well said Jeanne. I was going to say something similar but probably not as well as you put it but I had 2nd thoughts as I thought I would have people scream me down as has happened in the past in a similar situation. A lot of people want to throw in every antibiotic/antiseptic known to mankind to create a very sterile situation where the debris then just lies there to become mummified. The best thing that can happen is for them to come in season and usually a couple of cycles later they are squeeky clean. They are amazingly resilient.

Ken

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Re: Calf came out in pieces.

Post by SFrey » Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:01 pm

Ken: Should she be kept away from a bull for a while then? I have a neighbor that brings his bull to my pasture for the summer. It works nice for me and him but we could probably keep him out a while.

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Re: Calf came out in pieces.

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:54 am

wbvs58 wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 6:23 pm
Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:33 am
Their reproductive system is amazing as far as "self-healing". Just keep a close eye on her and make sure she is eating and acting fine. Any sign of a fever, and yes, she will need to be treated. Many people automatically put antibiotic boluses in the uterus or give antibiotic shots - but - antibiotics kill bad and GOOD bugs. The natural bugs in her repro track will "eat" the rotting pieces still in her. If you kill the good bugs, it will take longer for her "self cleaning" to work. You will get lots of different opinions, but this has been vet recommended to me for many years now.
Well said Jeanne. I was going to say something similar but probably not as well as you put it but I had 2nd thoughts as I thought I would have people scream me down as has happened in the past in a similar situation. A lot of people want to throw in every antibiotic/antiseptic known to mankind to create a very sterile situation where the debris then just lies there to become mummified. The best thing that can happen is for them to come in season and usually a couple of cycles later they are squeeky clean. They are amazingly resilient.

Ken
thanks for the "re-inforcement" - I generally get a lot of flack for saying that also.
As Dun always said - "benign neglect".
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Re: Calf came out in pieces.

Post by wbvs58 » Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:44 am

Probably keep the bull out for a couple of cycles but even if the bull is in straight away she won't go in calf until all is ready even though he will try.

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Re: Calf came out in pieces.

Post by MRRherefords » Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:28 am

This happened to one of ours. She was an older girl and showed zero signs of coming close to calving. One morning I found her laying down with a head out. I reached in and got the front legs out. As I pulled on the front legs they came right off! The rest of the calf came out in pieces as well. It was obvious that it had been dead for a little bit based on the smell. It was not a big calf and she was a big cow. She just had no desire to push. We chose to cull her due to age, which we think factored into this.

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Re: Calf came out in pieces.

Post by 76 Bar » Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:15 am

Jeanne's advice and Ken's reinforcement of same is spot on. I had the extreme good fortune to be mentored by a highly skilled "old time" DVM who expoused the same philosophy regarding retained placenta's/uterine debris and assorted body abscesses. Dun was right. Inappropriate meddling often does more harm than good.

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Re: Calf came out in pieces.

Post by Nesikep » Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:45 am

as long as she's bright eyed and eating, she's fine!
What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence
-Christopher Hitchens

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Re: Calf came out in pieces.

Post by farmerjan » Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:53 pm

The only other thing you could add is to give her a shot of Lute which will help to get her to clean a little better. I also am of the mind to NOT immediately throw antibiotics at them. Monitor her eating, and see if she has much fluid passing. If it starts to smell "bad", she might have a uterine infection. Then that will need monitoring and probably treatment.
As far as the bull going in, if he is around it might kick her hormones in gear, which will get her to cycle, which will help to make sure she has cleaned up inside. Her system will not "settle" until it is in good "healthy shape" so I don't think it will hurt either way. If you have the vet out for anything, I would have him palpate her and he can give you an idea if her system feels normal, which would indicate she has cleaned up.
Eating and drinking normally is the best sign that she doesn't have any real problems.

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Re: Calf came out in pieces.

Post by SFrey » Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:03 am

I turned her out to pasture. She's been eating well and drinking plenty of water. She walking good and seems to be doing well. Can't find anything that shows infection or the like. Maybe next year.

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Re: Calf came out in pieces.

Post by True Grit Farms » Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:24 am

SFrey wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:03 am
I turned her out to pasture. She's been eating well and drinking plenty of water. She walking good and seems to be doing well. Can't find anything that shows infection or the like. Maybe next year.
Great news. I use the other line of thinking, I'd of put a couple of bolus in her uterus. Prevention is better than treating, IMO.
If we'd of know this we'd of picked our own cotton.

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Re: Calf came out in pieces.

Post by TCRanch » Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:32 am

Lutalyse is my first line of defense with a retained placenta or potential infection. Then I wait, watch closely, get up close 'n personal for a good whiff. 9 times out of 10 she's good to go.

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Re: Calf came out in pieces.

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:48 am

True Grit Farms wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:24 am
SFrey wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:03 am
I turned her out to pasture. She's been eating well and drinking plenty of water. She walking good and seems to be doing well. Can't find anything that shows infection or the like. Maybe next year.
Great news. I use the other line of thinking, I'd of put a couple of bolus in her uterus. Prevention is better than treating, IMO.
Actually, Grit, in this case "prevention" IS harmful. You are killing the good bugs that are needed to clean her out properly. And I totally believe in give a shot of Lute - but (I believe) you need to wait about 10 - 14 days before giving the shot.
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