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Bull with stifle injury

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TCRanch

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Have a 3 year old bull with a stifle injury - cranial cruciate ligament injury to be specific (walks on his toe with heel elevated). And the swelling isn't prominent enough to even see it, it's more on his inner thigh. I've had stifle injuries before and they were either sold or slaughtered but they were also pretty severe cases. Vet said to keep him at the barn a couple weeks, give him aspirin and hope for improvement. He's pretty candid when he thinks we should sell/slaughter/euthanize.

Soooo, anyone ever have one with a stifle injury that healed? More to the point: any chance this bull will be able to breed again?
 

bird dog

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My 5 y.o. bull had the same injury about 6 months ago. Kept him penned for three weeks to see if he would get better. He didn't but the swelling did go down. Vet said even if he did get better, he would most likely re-injure himself. I don't doubt that he could get a cow or two bred but I needed him to breed a bunch in a short period of time, so he was replaced.
 
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TCRanch

TCRanch

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Stocker Steve":1iehdotb said:
Is this an occupation hazard, or to they usually need to get drilled from the side by the competition, to cause this?
In this case my bulls were fighting, naturally in the part of the pasture that has pretty rough terrain. Idiots :roll:
 

Bright Raven

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Stocker Steve":1fasvyxh said:
Is this an occupation hazard, or to they usually need to get drilled from the side by the competition, to cause this?

They don't have to be fighting. It can happen when mounting especially on bad ground.
 

Workinonit Farm

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Knock wood, I've not had a bull with this type of injury. I have dealt with this type of injury in horses, though, some healed almost 100%, others did not. Personally, I find horses easier to pen-up/stable etc. in order for them to heal. Bulls, not so much, therefore I would be inclined to sell him.

If you feel that you have the time, and the bull is worth the time & effort, to deal with a penned up bull for a few weeks, and take a gamble, then have at it. If not, then he should be travelling down the road.
 

Putangitangi

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I've had a couple over the years, most recently last breeding season. I figured he'd easily hurt himself again if I let him and so he went to slaughter. I don't think it's worth the risk once there's a weakness in such an important bit of the animal's structure!
 

Lucky_P

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Most of the time, it's a career- ending event, and salvage slaughter is usually in order for most commercial bulls.
But, if you can afford or want to try...put him in a 1 acre lot with feedbunk & water at opposite ends.
6 months minimum rest and rehab...longer is better.
He *may*be able to go back to work; but maybe not. It's a crapshoot.
 

elkwc

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We had one get stifled 2 years ago. He was a good bull so she wanted to keep him around a while to see if he would get ok to breed again. He was an easy keeper and we had extra wheat and put all the cows on wheat and he got too heavy. We pulled some weight off and he had a limp but got to where he got around well. That fall put him in a pasture with some Red Angus heifers I had AIed and and easy keeping cow. They were all cattle I didn't want on wheat. He bred the two red Angus then the cow when she calved. Then put him with 30 head last summer. He bred all of them. The pasture was one of 3 and where was have our working pens. I brought another bunch in and shut off a pasture for them. Had a fence issue a while earlier and as I had to come to KS hired a man to fix it. He took baling wire and made a eye in the barb wire and then just ran a single strand of the baling wire around a Tee post. Well during the night the two bulls found the weak spot and the younger bull crippled the older bull in his good leg. Otherwise I feel we would be using him this year. Didn't have an open cow in his pasture. He had a limp but bred cows ok. Had one big 8+ frame cow and he bred her. He wasn't a big bull he weighed 2,085 when we sold him. He sired mainly bulls but his heifers are excellent cows so hated to lose him. Kept one son last year and another this year.
 

bird dog

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Steve, My bull was the only bull in the herd at the time in a pasture that was not terribly rough but it wasn't no row crop land either. Real estate folks call it rolling. It was my first one with this type of injury. Hope it will be my last. I wouldn't have fooled with him at all if he wasn't a nice gentle easy keeping bull.
 
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TCRanch

TCRanch

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Guess it's not looking good for my boy. He's definitely an easy keeper and eating his aspirin boluses like a champ (little Karo syrup helps) but I can't keep him separated & contained in that small of a space for 3 months, let alone 6. And assuming best case scenario: he heals beautifully & back on his A-game. At some point in time I'm going to have to put him with other bulls and they can just smell the weakest link. Dang! I really like him.
 

wbvs58

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As Lucky said.

TC the trouble with cruciate ligaments they snap like rubber bands so the ends are miles apart will never heal. The body does try to stabilise the joint by laying down scar tissue around the joint, probably the swelling on the medial side that you see is the start of it. Unfortunately it also restricts the movement as well. The cruciate ligaments stop the fore and aft movement between the femur and tibia so while scar tissue may produce enough stability for walking on flat ground, when he is up on his back legs there will be some shifting movement causing pain. If it has been a while since he had his end in, he might go on with the job but if there has been a lot of work for him to do he might just pass on the offer and eat grass.

Ken
 
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TCRanch

TCRanch

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wbvs58":20kipvfq said:
As Lucky said.

TC the trouble with cruciate ligaments they snap like rubber bands so the ends are miles apart will never heal. The body does try to stabilise the joint by laying down scar tissue around the joint, probably the swelling on the medial side that you see is the start of it. Unfortunately it also restricts the movement as well. The cruciate ligaments stop the fore and aft movement between the femur and tibia so while scar tissue may produce enough stability for walking on flat ground, when he is up on his back legs there will be some shifting movement causing pain. If it has been a while since he had his end in, he might go on with the job but if there has been a lot of work for him to do he might just pass on the offer and eat grass.

Ken
Calving ease +14, throws great calves, had him with my heifers this year but his work is done. That said, he never holsters his gun and loves his job so I'm fairly certain grazing would be at the bottom of his priority list. BUT I don't want him to be in pain or re-injure to the point we'd have to put him down. And we have essentially no flat ground.
 
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TCRanch

TCRanch

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Chocolate Cow2":36as3w3l said:
Here 'ya go TC. Just load that bull up and take him to K-State. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... 171031.htm

He does have obamiecare, right? :lol:
That's probably when one of my vets was still at K-State. Rod's registered but not a top dollar bull & NO Obamacare for him so thinking the $$$$ out of my pocket for the surgery would equal the amount of buying a new bull.

Interesting link, thanks for sharing!
 

Dempster

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I wouldn't expend a lot of effort trying to get aspirin in him, as a ruminant he will not be able to utilize much of it.
 
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TCRanch

TCRanch

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Dempster":1tyq6i21 said:
I wouldn't expend a lot of effort trying to get aspirin in him, as a ruminant he will not be able to utilize much of it.
Had to look it up: "slowly and incompletely absorbed". So while it may help a little, this is evidently another case of do it if it makes me feel better. Good to know, thanks!
 

Stocker Steve

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Lots of threads on injured bulls. Lots of threads on bulls with attitude. Lots of threads on bulls fighting...
What is an average productive life for a breeding bull in a multi sire pasture?
 

elkwc

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Stocker Steve":3142d2cv said:
Lots of threads on injured bulls. Lots of threads on bulls with attitude. Lots of threads on bulls fighting...
What is an average productive life for a breeding bull in a multi sire pasture?

Steve I will be watching the replies to your question.

We sold some 10-11 y/o bulls in the last 3 years. Used to run 2 bulls together. On the big ranches I’e been around in rough semi arid country it was 8-10 years. Now some PB breeders are telling me that a commercial breeder should only expect 6 years. And even if he is still sound he should be sold then in order to turn generations over faster. The 8-20 is still my goal.
 
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