Problem with bottle calf! NEED HELP!

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colby_010
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Problem with bottle calf! NEED HELP!

Postby colby_010 » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:18 pm

Got a 23 day old bottle calf that was doing pretty good until the night before last. He was a twin and did not get Colustrum from momma. I had to tube him with store-bought colustrum about 18 hours after he was born, which I know probably didn't do any good. The first week it was 50/50 and then his energy started coming to him and he would jump and buck when he saw me coming with the bottle. He has been scouring a little for about 2 weeks and I can't seem to get rid of them. His energy level was great until the night before last. He wouldn't take the bottle at all and was lethargic. He has not shown any signs of dehydration. I got him to take 2 pints of milk yesterday morning but couldn't get him to take anything last night. This morning he was trembling and feverish although he did take 3 pints of milk. Gave him a shot of Baytril because thats all I had on hand besides LA 300. Called 3 vets and all are "too busy" to see him. One of them told me it was probably navel infection setting in and to start him on 8cc of Penicillin a day for a week and then bring him to his clinic and he would remove the infection. I don't feel an abscess anywhere around the navel and I don't think he has a hernia either. He was better tonight and took all his milk that I gave him and his energy level seemed a lot better. I'm not 100% convinced it's navel infection but I'm not sure what else it could be. Any ideas? Thanks for ya'lls help.
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Son of Butch
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Re: Problem with bottle calf! NEED HELP!

Postby Son of Butch » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:54 pm

What is his temperature?
Navel ill/infections are nearly impossible to treat successfully, so penicillin being cheap at least makes you feel like
you're trying. The infection usually settles in the joints ie knees. I've never heard of a Vet "remove an infection."
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Re: Problem with bottle calf! NEED HELP!

Postby farmerjan » Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:09 pm

Scouring a little for nearly 2 weeks kicks out the idea of coccidiosis, but it still could be. They usually show signs of lethargy, not wanting their bottle or being half-hearted about it. Scoury but not usually the squirts. Often some blood BUT NOT ALWAYS. Usually it will make them go downhill and kills them, but have had a few over the years that seemed to fight it somewhat so were "sorta sick"....
I would try some corid to rule out coccidiosis...it's not real expensive and will take care of that possibility. Since the vets are "too busy" to see him; I would also repeat the baytril in 3-5 days or whatever it says on the bottle. I haven't used any baytril in awhile so can't remember.

I agree with SOB don't know what infection the vet would remove. Navel ill usually does settle in the joints. That's a new one to me....

Penicillin is also cheap so if not the baytril, putting him on pen for a week wouldn't be that big a deal....again, if they are all too busy to see him then antibiotics would be preferable to losing the calf.

Not getting the colostrum right away didn't help, but getting the stuff you got into him is still better than nothing. Yes they get antibiodies, but it also helps to get their gut tract innoculated with some good "bugs" and being thicker also helps to get the meconium plug to pass and the whole system a "jump start". I will give any bought calf a bottle of colostrum when I bring it home, even at 2-3 days old. It has all the properties that a calf needs, "from an on the farm source". Sorta like a "vaccination" from a local source. Maybe not what they tell you or teach in vet school, but it sure works for me. I have anywhere from 2 to 6 nurse cows with calves at a time and I do not buy calves to bury them. Right now have 2, with 2 calves each, and the third one just calved and she will get 2-3 more calves since she is a real good milker. Of the other 2, one only has 2 good teats and the other is my old guernsey and she just doesn't milk all that great but she is a good momma, so at her age she gets a pass. And 2 calves is more than the average beef cow so she doesn't have anything to be ashamed of. Took a hol bull off her last year that weighed over 500 lbs as well as her 1/2 angus heifer calf.

One thing, are you using an ALL MILK , milk replacer? If it's got soy in it, then that could very well be part of the problem... 20/20 fat/protein all milk milk replacer is essential.
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Re: Problem with bottle calf! NEED HELP!

Postby Son of Butch » Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:48 am

farmerjan wrote: 20/20 fat/protein all milk milk replacer is essential.

:nod:
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Re: Problem with bottle calf! NEED HELP!

Postby colby_010 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:18 am

The milk replacer is NurseTrate Classic by ADM and it is medicated with Lasalocid (coccidiostat). No soy with 20/20 fat and protein. I don't feel an abscess or a hernia at the navel. No blood in the stool so I don't think it's a cocci issue, but he is still scouring a little still. No dehydration. His stool has went from a yellowish color to a grayish/green color. I have also started him on some oral Neomycin 2 days ago. His energy levels have been up since yesterday morning and he has came running to the bottle again, but I am still worried he has something going on. I haven't taken his temp but I will do so today and post again this afternoon. I appreciate the input so far and any more suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Re: Problem with bottle calf! NEED HELP!

Postby dun » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:23 am

It doesn;t make sense, but for light scours I've had success with 5 cc of Nuflor given orally. Never had to give it more then once. But that was on calves sucking cows not bottle calves.
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Re: Problem with bottle calf! NEED HELP!

Postby farmerjan » Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:44 pm

Sounds like you have all the bases covered. You know, sometimes they just don't always feel 100%....If he is back to eating, the green/grey color is not a concern to me. Try stopping the anti-biotics after 3 days, then about 36-48 hours later, give some PRO-BIOTICS. There are several kinds, but one kind I use is Pro-Bios, its in a tube that is probably 3" in diameter....it says right on it for calves etc and is full of lacto-baccillus and other good stuff to get their gut tract back to normal. Anti-biotics kill all the good and bad bacteria in the gut, so this is like reseeding the good stuff. I use pro-biotics regularly before I go to anti-biotics unless there is a very obvious problem like high temp or wheezing or snotty nose like pneumonia or respiratory. Sometimes I have found that just cutting out a feeding, or just feeding electrolytes once or twice instead of milk gives them a chance for their system to "right it's self".

I don't see where there is any navel ill or joint infection if there are no hard places, no swelling, nothing tender to the touch.

Finish the course of whatever anti-biotics you are giving, then get some probiotic good bacteria in its gut and hopefully it will work to get his gut back in good order.
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Re: Problem with bottle calf! NEED HELP!

Postby farmerjan » Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:48 pm

One other thing, try cutting the amount you are feeding. He might just be getting too much at a feeding. Or try a smaller amount 3 x a day. I constantly tell people with jersey bottle calves "don't feed so much". Sure they want it and will try to butt you into the next county but think about nature, they get a cup/pint or even a qt at a feeding several times a day....not 1/2 gallon at a time. Don't ask me why they might all of a sudden get a sensitive stomach but sometimes just cutting back a bit will take care of it.
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Re: Problem with bottle calf! NEED HELP!

Postby Nite Hawk » Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:01 am

What are you feeding? replacer or real milk?
if you are feeding real rich milk, like jersey milk, you might want to dilute it a bit and cut the volume back. Gray /whitish poop points in the direction of too much volume.
However fever indicates probably infection /cocci, but with gray poop maybe both problems, too much volume and infection.
Also ,Probiotics are a must for a calf that never got colostrum..
I have never seen a calf thrive on replacer--survive--yes,
Thrive, well that is another story...
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Re: Problem with bottle calf! NEED HELP!

Postby Son of Butch » Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:30 pm

Nite Hawk wrote:Also ,Probiotics are a must for a calf that never got colostrum..
I have never seen a calf thrive on replacer--survive--yes,
Thrive, well that is another story...

Land O' Lakes 26% protein 20% fat
Neighbor uses it with computerized calf self feeder for his holsteins. I never saw a better group than his last winter.
I'm not sure about justifying the cost, but boy those calves shined and grew like weeds.
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Re: Problem with bottle calf! NEED HELP!

Postby cowgirl8 » Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:48 pm

Take a stool sample to your vet. Could be stomach worms, or a virus....which the things you treated it with will not work...Navel ill he'll walk stiff or refuse to walk. A vet can get him on the path he needs to be on...
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Re: Problem with bottle calf! NEED HELP!

Postby Son of Butch » Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:03 pm

cowgirl8 wrote:Take a stool sample to your vet. Could be stomach worms, or a virus....which the things you treated it with will not work...Navel ill he'll walk stiff or refuse to walk. A vet can get him on the path he needs to be on...

How many stomach worms would you expect to find in a 23 day old Bottle Calf since most have never seen a pasture?
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Re: Problem with bottle calf! NEED HELP!

Postby cowgirl8 » Sat Oct 21, 2017 5:59 pm

Son of Butch wrote:
cowgirl8 wrote:Take a stool sample to your vet. Could be stomach worms, or a virus....which the things you treated it with will not work...Navel ill he'll walk stiff or refuse to walk. A vet can get him on the path he needs to be on...

How many stomach worms would you expect to find in a 23 day old Bottle Calf since most have never seen a pasture?

You'd be surprised..
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Re: Problem with bottle calf! NEED HELP!

Postby farmerjan » Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:25 pm

Have also found worms in calves that were born and put into hutches. Don't know how they got them. Not common and probably not the problem, but still an off chance.
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Re: Problem with bottle calf! NEED HELP!

Postby cowgirl8 » Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:44 pm

Simple fecal sample test will help a lot..... No point in treating a calf for something it doesn't have and waste time in getting the right treatment into it....
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