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Dallis grass Staggers!

Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:02 pm
by branguscowgirl
Just wanted to give you all an update on my Dallis Grass dilemma. (Mow vs. Let ur grow.) Well, I did not get it mowed this year before it went to seed. So I took my chances, and mowed it down. One of my young cows must have ate it up like hay, (though she had plenty of other grass to choose from!) Now I have been dealing with "staggers" for a few days. :bang: I wanted to give the details of my ordeal to maybe help those that have never dealt with this before. The cow affected is a 2yr. old Brangus, with a nice big bull calf at side. (Res. Champion cow/calf at CA State Fair this year.)
I first noticed her standing very still in the middle of the pasture. She was alert, and watching everyone else. (Everyone else was grazing.) I walked out and put a halter on her, and her first few steps were a bit uncoordinated in the back legs, then she seemed to walk out of it. I put her and the calf in the corral for the night and fed them hay. I noticed that she would spread and square her back legs to keep her balance, and her neck appeared stiff or sore when she would put her head down to eat. The next morning she laid down and could not rise. She could get to her front knees, but no strength or coordination in her rear legs to get her up. The calf nursed with her laying down. She ate, drank, peed and pooped while down. She remained sternal and alert. She was drooling. The Vet came out. No temp. But we gave her Dexamethesone and Pen G IM for good measures. Still not sure if this is infection, injury, or staggers at this point. Blood work was ran, all normal. I fed her lots of good hay to counter the effect of the toxins in case it was "Staggers."
By evening she was rising on her own and walking to feed and water. She still falls over in the rear end if she turns too sharp. She walks with rear legs spread for balance. Went ahead and tubed her with Magnesium, (Just in case we had Grass Tetany, though not the time of year for it.)
Day 3 since I brought her in. No more drooling. Standing and rising well. Walking a bit stiff gaited in the back legs. Gets a bit uncoordinated if turned too sharp, but catches herself before falling now.
Two different vets believe this is Dallis grass Staggers but opt to keep her on the Pen G for awhile and give 1 more dose of Dexamethasone.
I hope this gives someone researching "Dallis Grass Staggers" a picture of what it can look like. :compute:

Re: Dallis grass Staggers!

Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:06 pm
by Kingfisher
How come none of the other grazers got Ill?

Re: Dallis grass Staggers!

Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:11 pm
by branguscowgirl
Through my research, and the vets opinion, "older cows learn to avoid it." If they have plenty to eat, the younger cows are usually the ones that eat it by mistake. Like most toxic plants.

Re: Dallis grass Staggers!

Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 11:22 pm
by branguscowgirl
Well, my girl has not had any Dex for 2 days and no change. (Did not decline.) She is getting around great. Walks with a bit of a toe drag in the back. Still gets wobbly and weriod when she urinates or turns to sharp. Honestly, I am not convinced that this is not a spinal injury.....What do all of you think??

Re: Dallis grass Staggers!

Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:25 pm
by branguscowgirl
Well, its been a couple weeks since I brought this cow in and treated her. She is now walking great. I turned her and her calf into a pasture by themselves. Her only noticeable deficit is when she backs up. Her back legs look weaker than normal. I am really feeling like this was a spinal injury from a larger cow mounting her.

Re: Dallis grass Staggers!

Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:30 pm
by greybeard
How long after you mowed it or turned them in on the Dallis grass did you notice the problem?

Days? Hrs?

Re: Dallis grass Staggers!

Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:41 pm
by branguscowgirl
They had been on the Dallis grass on going. It is only this year that I did not keep it mowed short. First I noticed the sticky stuff on the horses. Did my research and learned about the Ergot fungus. (At this point, the grass was very tall and it appeared that they were not eating it.) I opted to mow it down, and a week or so went by before I noticed her with serious paralysis. So if it was the Dallis grass, she grazed on it after it was mowed. :bang: My mistake for not removing them!

Re: Dallis grass Staggers!

Posted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:19 pm
by NewMoo
I have a five month old bull I suspect has this. I have him in a pen with water, shade and sweet feed. He won’t eat the sweet feed.

He is still nursing, but I am unable to get his crazy mother in the pen with him. This is my first case of what I suspect is dallisgrass staggers. I am tending to my disabled father’s herd (loving it) but have much to learn.

What else can I do?