Black Leg????

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Sep 7, 2004
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We own a Cattle/hog farm. He has 75 head of cattle that graze in 100 acers in the summer. This year our calves started dieing....the vet came out and did an otopsy and said he though it would be either black leg or Anthrax. The results came back from the UofM and all they said was " low copper". We are currently treating one calf with pennicillian that her left eye is swollen shut, completly. Her face is so huge and she WREAKS! Her face is rotting away ( or so she smells). She is strong but she is away from the herd, and we think the heffer abandond her because shes never by her....long story short, we dont know what it is!!! the vet did an otopsy on 2 calves and both reports said nothing was wrong but low copper. It isnt supposed to occur if cows over 2, HOWEVER, we had one that was about 5 that got it....lots os unanswered questions! If anyone has delt with this disease before, please help us out! This is how we make a living..... :cry:
Hello Rodeo,
Sorry about your troubles. I know that one of the first signs of copper deficiency in cattle is an impaired immune system. Your calf may have an infection as a result of this deficiency. Cattle with this problem often loose the pigment their hair -especially around the eye area. Cattle can become copper deficient even if you are feeding mineral supplements. Excess sulfer and molybdenum in their forage or feed can interfere with copper absorbtion. Do you have an Ag agent that could help you analyze your forage and check for low copper or high sulfer/molybdenum? Best of luck to you.
It sounds a lot more serious than "low copper" to me.. have you considered getting another opinion? If you're close to a veterinary teaching hospital, I would load that heifer up and take her there.

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