3 month old calf with Pneumonia

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May 8, 2017
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I am completely new to cows! I have a three month old highland calf I got at 5 weeks (lost mom). Never would take a bottle nor would it take a bucket of milk. It was already chewing cud. (Vet thought mom didnt produce much milk to begin with since it was already cud chewing). Ate grain and hay fine. fast forward, now 3 months old...we had a huge heat wave and he developed pneumonia. Treated with Nuflor, Baytril and banamine. Seems to be doing better...temp down, breathing not as labored. This lil guy was also banded at 5 weeks...not sure why?? Anyway, he has become a pet of my kids, and looks like he will be living here and not headed to freezer. My question is, how well do these guys recover from pneumonia and do they typically have lingering effects?
All male calves should be banded shortly after birth unless they are top quality and will be used for breeding purposes. You definitely would NOT want a bull for a pet - can be very dangerous. If you caught it quickly, he may not have any permanent damage. Any kind of lung disease/infection can damage the lungs. No way of knowing until he gets active. If he runs and ends up having a hard time breathing you will know there was damage. We call them "lungers".
If his dam did not have adequate milk production, he may not have received adequate colostrum, which can compromise his resistance to challenges as a growing calf. Sounds like you are doing a good job with him.
Thanks Jeanne...I hope I caught it...he still is breathing faster than normal (only been 24 hrs since he got antibiotics) but he seems a little more interested in playing etc. Never thought about the lack of colostrum..ugh...

when you say lungers, what exactly do you mean? Can they go on as a pet to live a decent life (not minding proper weight gain stunting etc if that happens) or will they always be sickly or???

Any advice would be greatly appreciative...kids and I for that matter have become very attached to him
Pneumonia always leaves lesions on the lungs, only way to know exactly how much damage has been done would be
to have necropsy performed. That would really stunt his growth, but you could have him stuffed and then he'd be
totally safe for the kids to ride and play. :cowboy:
Otherwise too early to say, he may come out of it with little to no long term problems and will still be delicious
when the kids tire of him and want a pony, or a giraffe or an airplane. Perhaps he'll end up a lunger.
But it usually takes a relapse or two to do enough damage to make him a true lunger.

Didn't your vet recommend a follow up shot of nuflor on day 3?
Perhaps it was not bad enough to recommend... but I would... even though I would never over rule a vet that has
actually examined an animal verses making an online diagnosis.

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