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Another dead calf

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Ky cowboy

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Bought a reg Angus heifer last year had her ai'd to low birth weight Angus for an early February calf. Was putting out hay today and found a bull calf dead out past the rings. We were going to put her and a few more heifers we were going to so this spring up in the barn this week wasn't expecting her to go over a month early. Calf was fully developed but only weighed probably 35lbs, makes me wonder if I had her up in the dry if of the little thing would of made it. Now for the question what am I doing wrong, 2 dead calfs 2 different farms different bulls both born early and small. On another farm I lease the cows run pretty much untouched just wormer and on the other two home places I try to do things right (?) And i have better luck on the lease farm hardly ever loose a calf. And to top it off my 5 year old son has been counting down the days till she had her calf. Is there any vaccinations I should be giving to them to try and get them to carry full term. Very frustrated
 

dun

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Here's a guide to if it is possibly too early: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=44910
I would make sure that all of your cows/heifers are vaccinated with a MLV for everything that your vet can think of. Might even have the dead calves blood tested for BVD, bangs, lepto, etc. Not sure if there are blood tests for any of those but I would start to think that the soil or the housing, etc. is harboring some kind of abortion causing pathogen. I'm just spit balling but I would sure be bending my vets ear about possible cuases and methods of treatment/prevention.
 

callmefence

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Ky cowboy":1r86iha9 said:
Bought a reg Angus heifer last year had her ai'd to low birth weight Angus for an early February calf. Was putting out hay today and found a bull calf dead out past the rings. We were going to put her and a few more heifers we were going to so this spring up in the barn this week wasn't expecting her to go over a month early. Calf was fully developed but only weighed probably 35lbs, makes me wonder if I had her up in the dry if of the little thing would of made it. Now for the question what am I doing wrong, 2 dead calfs 2 different farms different bulls both born early and small. On another farm I lease the cows run pretty much untouched just wormer and on the other two home places I try to do things right (?) And i have better luck on the lease farm hardly ever loose a calf. And to top it off my 5 year old son has been counting down the days till she had her calf. Is there any vaccinations I should be giving to them to try and get them to carry full term. Very frustrated

I've noticed this phenomenon. Lease pasture cows never fed, rarely vaccinated and only wormed by safeguard blocks. Few problems and consistently bigger calves.
At home cattle are fed worked, graze in improved fertilized pasture. But at a much higher stocking rate. And there's more problems.

A big reason for sure is that anything suspect of trouble is brought home to be watched. The cows left to take care of themselves have proven their capable.
But I'm convinced cattle are healthier when they can spread out a bit and live of a variety of grasses. And even other things weeds, brush, leaves, cactus, and nuts.
 

Margonme

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I agree with dun. Leptospira can be a cause of late abortions. I doubt anything regarding shelter had anything to do with the abortion. As dun said, vaccination to provide Fetal Protection is an effective preventative practice.

I would caution you about drawing conclusions based on the comparison of one farm against the other. Think about it of course but you have a very small data base to base conclusions on.

I am discouraged that your 5 year old son had a bad experience. Try to support him and explain that it goes with the territory. Good luck to you and yours.
 
OP
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Ky cowboy

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My boy will be alright he already understand that everything dies, I've never try to sugar coat cost anything like that to him. I'll defiantly contact the vet tomorrow they're closed today for holiday, seems like everyone tries to find ways out of work anymore it's not new years it's the 2nd. Sorry for the little side rant. Thanks for the advise
 

angus9259

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My disappointment with finding a dead one never seems to diminish nor does my search for answers. That said, it sure seems to me that 99% of them just happen or you'll never know the answer. I had one like that this year as well.

As Dun said, you can certainly focus on vaccinations to minimize abortions for various reasons but this one even had my vet scratching his head since he knows my vaccination program.

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=105761
 

FlyingLSimmentals

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Know several who just put out salt and only deworm their cattle that seem to do okay. I often tell my dad if we only did that all of ours would die. Try to keep good loose mineral out at all times, and vaccinate all adults for lepto and other reproduction diseases as well as pink eye at least once a year and deworm at least twice per year. Plus they all get fly tags before summer. Calves get vaccinated for black leg & pinkeye except a few late borns. Anyway we still lose a few, just wonder if I only gave salt and dewormed them how many more I would lose.
 

angus9259

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FlyingLSimmentals":1wte5duc said:
Know several who just put out salt and only deworm their cattle that seem to do okay. I often tell my dad if we only did that all of ours would die. Try to keep good loose mineral out at all times, and vaccinate all adults for lepto and other reproduction diseases as well as pink eye at least once a year and deworm at least twice per year. Plus they all get fly tags before summer. Calves get vaccinated for black leg & pinkeye except a few late borns. Anyway we still lose a few, just wonder if I only gave salt and dewormed them how many more I would lose.


I wonder this alllll the time..... I used to be "that guy" - grass, water, salt. I'd lose a few. Now I have a bullet proof program and guess what? I lose a few. Now I just scratch my head more when it happens.
 

Margonme

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Caustic Burno":24u8s6c8 said:
I was thinking lepto or neosporia neo is usually second trimester.

CB, I referred to a couple University publications. Says abortions due to leptospirosis occur after 5 months of pregnancy.
 

Margonme

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angus9259":1rwojjv6 said:
FlyingLSimmentals":1rwojjv6 said:
Know several who just put out salt and only deworm their cattle that seem to do okay. I often tell my dad if we only did that all of ours would die. Try to keep good loose mineral out at all times, and vaccinate all adults for lepto and other reproduction diseases as well as pink eye at least once a year and deworm at least twice per year. Plus they all get fly tags before summer. Calves get vaccinated for black leg & pinkeye except a few late borns. Anyway we still lose a few, just wonder if I only gave salt and dewormed them how many more I would lose.


I wonder this alllll the time..... I used to be "that guy" - grass, water, salt. I'd lose a few. Now I have a bullet proof program and guess what? I lose a few. Now I just scratch my head more when it happens.

Angus,

I have not lost a single animal due to infectious disease in the 7 years I been here. Have yet to experience a single abortion. Knock on wood. Maybe I have been blessed by the Bovine Gods but I believe it is due to my herd health and vaccination program.

I lost a heifer due to laceration of uterine artery during partum. I lost a young cow that got bloated on a ton of white clover. I had a calf euthanized due to malformed spinal column this fall.

My vaccination program relies heavily on using MLV vaccines. That includes coronavirus and rotavirus.
 

angus9259

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Margonme":2lq34eag said:
Angus,

I have not lost a single animal due to infectious disease in the 7 years I been here. Have yet to experience a single abortion. Knock on wood. Maybe I have been blessed by the Bovine Gods but I believe it is due to my herd health and vaccination program.

I lost a heifer due to laceration of uterine artery during partum. I lost a young cow that got bloated on a ton of white clover. I had a calf euthanized due to malformed spinal column this fall.

My vaccination program relies heavily on using MLV vaccines. That includes coronavirus and rotavirus.

I suppose that's true. I've only had one late term abortion in 20 years and it was a cow I bought. That calf that I posted earlier was just dead and weird when I found it but was only 15-20 days early - old enough to live. My post was just my way of saying shyt happens even when you pour the fairy dust to em.

I use MLV bovishield gold FP5L5 and 7 way clostridials with pinkeye annually. The calves all get double vaccinated at weaning and wormed twice a year. When the calves are born they get inforce 3 internasal and BoSe. The dams are all vaccinated prior to calving with corona and rota virus for scour protection in the calves through the milk. They get hi mag mineral in the spring, fly control mineral in the summer, bloat blocks when the clover flushes and a general all purpose mineral in the winter. The calves get bovatec mineral to keep the coccidia in check. They all get wormed twice a year. The calves all get checked for BVD PI as well.

My rate of illness and loss is very similar to when I did none of this. That was my point.
 

Caustic Burno

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Margonme":le41rw9l said:
Caustic Burno":le41rw9l said:
I was thinking lepto or neosporia neo is usually second trimester.

CB, I referred to a couple University publications. Says abortions due to leptospirosis occur after 5 months of pregnancy.

Lepto is become a real problem here transmitted by hogs calves are born early or die shortly after birth within a day.
Neospora has been a on and off again problem as it is transmitted by canine
 

wbvs58

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Your in the middle of winter there so the calf would be still in good condition, put it in the fridge and get an autopsy done on it and samples taken including the membranes if they are still around. That would be your best chance to find out. I would call it a premature birth rather than an abortion, being a heifer BVD would be on top of my list.

Ken
 

Lucky_P

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If you don't have diagnostics done, you'll never know... hopefully this is not the first in a coming storm of aborted/stillborn calves.
That said, as a veterinary pathologist who's also a beef producer and former large-animal practitioner, I can tell you that abortion/stillbirth cases are potentially the most frustrating and least rewarding of any diagnostic pursuits. We can usually pretty well 'rule-out' the things that you and your veterinarian can do something about... IBR, BVD, Lepto, Neospora, etc. But, so far as actually being able to pinpoint exactly WHY a calf was aborted... probably less than 25% of the time.

Why is that, you might wonder? Here's some rambling thoughts...
A lot of things come into play...
1. decomposition/degeneration, whether in utero before expulsion, or afterwards, before the producer finds them...
2. scavenging by critters - I get 'em submitted more often than you'd think that are just an 'empty shell', with no internal organs left...
3. No placenta to examine. I know... the cow may have eaten it, the dogs/coyotes/buzzards may have eaten it, it may still be in the cow, as she goes over the top of the next hill... but, when I get placenta to examine - about 50% of the time, there's something going on in those fetal membranes - and NOTHING in the tissues from the calf itself! If placenta is not available or just not submitted for examination... the chance of getting a diagnosis is easily cut in half.
4. It's not an infectious or toxic problem. Could be a lethal genetic defect, etc. Back in the early 1990s, diagnosticians at the UofSaskatchewan diagnostic lab cultured fibroblasts(connective tissue cells) from the pericardial sacs of third-trimester abortions that were not decomposed at presentation... then karyotyped them; about 11% had chromosomal abnormalities that may or may not have been a lethal defect.
5. No paired maternal sera. To really do a proper job of 'blood-testing' for abortion agents, we really need a serum sample from the dam at the time of abortion, and a 'convalescent' sample collected 2-3 weeks later - so that we can look for increasing or decreasing antibody titers to the various agents. Sometimes we get the first sample... but rarely the just-as-important second one.
6. Disease in the cow... sometimes it's a cow issue... and the vets and diagnosticians aren't always privy to that info. Several years ago, a producer was losing some ET calves near term... we found NOTHING in the calves or placental membranes. But, when the cows started dying of anaplasmosis about 5 days later... Bingo!

Stillbirths/perinatal deaths probably skew the 'definitive diagnosis' numbers downward. These are full-term or near-term calves, either delivered dead or found dead soon after birth. So many things can go wrong... prolonged labor due to fetal/maternal size mismatch, abnormal pelvic structure in the dam, malpresentations, posterior deliveries, etc...that end with a dead, but completely normal calf. Some years, we see lots of perinatal deaths, particularly in cold winter weather, when dams have been on a protein-deficient diet... calves born to protein-deficient dams generate less body heat and take much longer to get up and nurse... and if it's really cold, they may just lie there and freeze to death.
 

Chocolate Cow

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Is there any benefit to using "Stay Bred" vaccine at preg checking time? I've never used it but see a number of guys in my area using it. I don't like using any MLV on a pregnant cow. I vaccine with one in the Spring before going to grass, about a month or so before bull turn out.
 

JW IN VA

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Caustic Burno":101nzo8z said:
I was thinking lepto or neosporia neo is usually second trimester.

A blood test by your vet will tell you if you have those.Lepto is a fairly simple fix.Neo simpler but not as great for you-slaughter sale for positives.
 

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