4 mo old calf down

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OP
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Wow you folks sure like to try to read something between the lines.
Maybe you should go back and read the whole thing and only those things.
I see two extremes here. One chides me for referring to a calf as "he" instead of it.
Some others seem to think Im inhumane for little more than having a sick calf.
Some who think "organics" automatically means "no good".
Holy crap, people, get a grip.
Organics flew just fine for centuries until some "businesses" began convincing farmers and others
that if they paid them for something else they would be even better farmers.
Bull !
How many of those improvements did we pay for that 10 or 20 or 30 years later we found out
was not such a good idea after all.
Poisons, land burned out, etc....
As for the PETA members here, we not only did something right a way, and plenty at that,
people around here who know me think I go too far in treating my animals like pets instead of
the other way around. They would be closer to the opinions seemingly expressed by Bez.
So don't try to make me out as some inhumane monster. You couldn't be further off.
Why is it people are allowed to die natural deaths, but animals must be euthanized ?
How do you know an animal is suffering if they show no outward symptoms of it ?
Do you think anything that ends in death must involve suffering ?
 

KNERSIE

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Maybe you should just call the vet next time?..................... :roll:

edited for a typo
 
OP
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If you read the posts you would know we can't get a vet out here.
I don't know about where you are but here there is a tremendous shortage of vets
that are willing to come to the farm and/or work with beef cattle.
Maybe we should move to some place where there is a vet?
Hell, maybe we should just not farm.
Everyone who loses an animal should probably not farm.
We should all just hunt and gather.
More humane.
Unless you are a bad shot and the game you shoot suffers.
Then just gather.
 

hillsdown

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When I have an animal down that I cannot find a reason for I usually like to give them an IV cocktail of Dextrose and if they are not bred it is with Dex. If they do not get up right away after their IV then I call a vet. Fortunately most get up and you can evaluate the situation further to rule out injury .

BTW it is becoming more and more common that people can not find a vet no matter where they live. Or a good cow vet. We need more cow vets and something needs to be done as an incentive for people to want to practice large animal medicine besides horses.
 

milkmaid

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"thefarmerswife" -- slow down a little. Ignore TN's posts (everyone else does) but take some serious thought about what all the rest of us have said. We're cattlemen and women too, all of us, to some degree or another -- from the folks who have a handful to the folks who have several hundred. We've fought our best to keep sick ones alive and most of us have gotten emotional to some extent about putting down an animal we own.

I put a horse down Saturday -- well, not personally, because one of the other guys offered to, but I made the decision. I've put calves down before; it's all part of the business and it's not related to having access to a vet. I've got one of the best vets in the country just a few miles from my house.

Organic farming is fine -- my boss's heifer herd is certified organic -- but I don't like it if it ever means an animal doesn't get treated when they ought because someone wants to keep their organic status. Seems that wasn't the case here, so organic or not organic isn't the issue in this post. Why bring it up?

How do you know an animal is suffering? animals are good at masking pain. If they're not participating in normal bovine or equine activities then there's something wrong. If it's a non-fixable problem (as in the case Saturday; barbed wire and horses don't mix) then it's suffering that needs to be ended with a bullet. If it's a fixable problem then fix it. Sometimes there's gray areas, as in the case of my calf -- see the other board for that post -- but for the most part it's clear cut black and white.

So, if you have a downer calf that's not participating in normal bovine activities like walking and has to be turned daily... that should not go on for an extensive period of time. Ollie had a quote once I always liked: never let the sun set on a downer cow. Some exceptions are made, but not many.

Part of knowing when to call it quits is related to the time, knowledge and experience a person has. I know I've kept some critters longer than I should have because I didn't know. I still make mistakes but I keep much fewer non-fixable problems than I used to. This calf may be the one that you have to learn on -- the one that lives as a downer for a month before you finally put him down -- but hopefully you'll choose differently next time.
 

GMN

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thefarmerswife":3jm82qtx said:
Wow. I see why some people don't ask for help.
Ask for a little input on a sick calf and get the snot beat out of ya.
A calf who is sick can of course be treated conventionally, but will then be removed from its organic status. No problem.
We just happen to raise organic beef here. This calf was never organic anyways as it came from a conventional farm. We just don't happen to have our experience in conventional treatment of sick calves.
This calf was removed so early from its dam because it came from a conventional farm and that's what they do there. Our calves stay with their mothers here until the mothers have had enough of them. We have some of the biggest healthiest calves you'll ever see.
Calves raised properly under organic control rarely get sick because the emphasis is on prevention.
It is not luck.
I acted as soon as I saw the calf lying down more than I thought it should have. It was still predominantly on its feet at that point, and may I point out still eating and drinking normally then and with no fever or other outward symptoms. It was only after isolating it and removing it from the pasture that it started becoming more obvious that indeed there was something wrong. We began administering antibiotics as soon as we brought it in.
The extra minerals offered are organic, not offered because they are organic, just because we have them.
Because they are organic does not make them any less effective than conventional stuff.
Yes, we have had fecal samples tested for worms and they were clean.
To the mean people, sad to see people so miserable they must beat up someone else for kicks.

Fact is you can't have a Vet out for every sick calf you have, you have to be practical about it too. Economics does come into play on any farm.

GMN
 

angiefettig

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We've just had (are having) the exact same problem. One of our (seven) calves, 4 months old, couldn't get up 3 days ago and now he can't even move his legs. He has the same eye junk, a lot of it, and a really good appetite. He had diarrhea but since we've been hand feeding him several times a day, his stool has really firmed up. We're new "farmers" but I've been doing a lot of research and I'm convinced it's white muscle disease. The calves weren't getting any mineral and we're in a selenium deficient area. I wish we would have known before. We've tried hoisting him up with a tarp and pully but the tarp won't stay. We got him up with a couple square bales under him but he slipped off after a day. He's flat out on his belly and I just don't know how his joints can recover after 3 or 4 days of this. I think we'll try the selenium shots but I was wondering if anyone knows if it's possible for him to recover even now. I do know that a lot of times white muscle disease is mistaken for pneumonia (I think possible pneumonia was mentioned in a previous thread).

Angie
 

GMN

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angiefettig":5bc4a9c6 said:
We've just had (are having) the exact same problem. One of our (seven) calves, 4 months old, couldn't get up 3 days ago and now he can't even move his legs. He has the same eye junk, a lot of it, and a really good appetite. He had diarrhea but since we've been hand feeding him several times a day, his stool has really firmed up. We're new "farmers" but I've been doing a lot of research and I'm convinced it's white muscle disease. The calves weren't getting any mineral and we're in a selenium deficient area. I wish we would have known before. We've tried hoisting him up with a tarp and pully but the tarp won't stay. We got him up with a couple square bales under him but he slipped off after a day. He's flat out on his belly and I just don't know how his joints can recover after 3 or 4 days of this. I think we'll try the selenium shots but I was wondering if anyone knows if it's possible for him to recover even now. I do know that a lot of times white muscle disease is mistaken for pneumonia (I think possible pneumonia was mentioned in a previous thread).

Angie

Ya know I got to thinking about past calves I have had with down problems, and I remember for a bit we had 1-3 that had this issue, just down, and the Vet said it was a defiency of Vitamin B, he did come out and I did give the calves mega doses of Vit B, but they did not make it. I thought if I had another, I would do the Vit B right away, but I never have had it since those 3. I thought it could be related to that batch we switched to raising on rock, and for some reason, I have no idea how, but I thought it could be related. We don't use rock anymore and have had no further problems with calves being down.

Are his joints swelled up? That could be something totally different. The neighbor had a calf that had joint ill, not sure what he did with it, but it wasn't down though, able to stand, just looked horrible.

I would say the outlook for your calf is grim.

GMN
 

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