blind calf

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Well-known member
Dec 16, 2008
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NW Missouri
I'm 54 years old, been raisin' calves my whole life and have a first. Five days ago I had a cow have a calf. It was really cold, she went outside of the barn to calve, and I had to bring the calf inside for a few hours to warm him up. She claimed him, loved him up, he sucked,( I had tube fed him already, he probably had no colustrum(sp.) till he went out) so I turned him out in the pasture. I noticed he was bug eyed, but nothing else. Went to check babies today and he was competly blind. Never had that before. My vet, who is my best friend, is not available. Twenty years ago we had sheep, and they went blind, but I can't remember why. Maybe a mineral defiencinty? I have already have 70 on the ground, and no problems. Don't want to have any either. Will he come out of it? I plan to do nothing and if I can't send him to the feedlot, I'll take him to the sale barn. Any suggestions? Thanks gs
First are his eyes cloudy or are they clear and blue ?

There are many things that can cause blindness like IBR and BVD as well as deficiencies. So it is hard to say, but I am sure your vet will give you a somewhat definitive answer when he gets back.

As long as he knows where his lunch is he should be OK .Then he will probably stick close to mom. If you are worried about him I would keep them in a small area together instead of turning the pair out with the other cattle to pasture. As far as price when he is bigger you won't get diddly for him from the feed lot or sale barn .You would be best off to finish and butcher him yourself..It may just be one of those freak anomalies. Good luck and let us know what your vet says when he gets a chance to see him..
Well, my vet said what I thought he would. "He'll either be permanatly blind, or he'll recover. I don't know what's wrong with him." I am gonna wait and see. He seemed to be able to see a little out of one eye today. Thanks gs
Didn't your "vet friend" indicate that it could be caused by IBR?? I would want to test the cow & calf. The calf is pretty much a loss, but you don't want to keep a cow around that might be a carrier. Newborn calves with eye problems is highly associated with IBR.