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Calf under year old death

PhilipCoffey

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So, for the past four months I half had one calf die from suspicious causes. At first I figured it was pneumonia, but these calves have all been perfectly healthy and then they just die before a 24 hour period. I had the most recent one die about thirty minutes ago. This one was very personal for me as she was as loving as a dog and I had no intent to sell her. She is also the only one I've found prior to death. She was lying down, breathing hard and grunting. She was sweating, cold, and her face was swollen around the eyes. She was also foaming at the mouth. I sat down with her and rubbed her side for a bit and then she flipped her head into my lap, rolled her eyes back and died. No physical wounds. I am curious if anyone else has had this issue or thinks they know what the issue is, please let me know. Pneumonia or something different, like someone poisoning my livestock?
 

greybeard

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So, for the past four months I half had one calf die from suspicious causes. At first I figured it was pneumonia, but these calves have all been perfectly healthy and then they just die..... before a 24 hour period.

More info please.
I'm confused--How many did you have originally and how many have now died?
How old were the calves?
How long did you have them before they died?
Where did you get them--homegrown from your own herd or calves from a sale barn or somewhere else?
 

RanchMan90

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Sounds like a neurological problem. I had one I bought a month ago, she did well until 2 weeks ago. She looked a bit droopy pulled her and gave a shot of draxxin, 1 week later she was very alert but foaming at the mouth. I gave her another shot of draxxin and took her to vet thinking perhaps it was rabies. He said it was not rabies but another neurological problem, she died the next day after she stopped eating and drinking on her own.
 

Lucky_P

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Have a post-mortem exam performed.
IMO... from what you've told us... it's blackleg until proven otherwise.
 

PhilipCoffey

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No. These calves had not been vaccinated for blackleg. But the symptoms for blackleg are not the symptoms these calves showed. They were all under a years age. The symptoms are closer to anthrax. At the vet now. Seeing if we can get a post mortem done. The calves were born here on my ranch, we have approximately 15 in their section. The calves are dying within a few hours. 4-5 tops. Not showing anything wrong until they hair that period, then instantaneous trembling death.
 

dun

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Have their dams been vaccinated for blackleg and are they still nursing the cows?
 

farmerjan

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We now vaccinate every cow once a year for blackleg when they are going through the chute for preg ck and also for lepto since it seems to be a problem here. Plus the calves get blackleg when they are in the 2-3 month old range. Have lost several over the years and it's just not worth it. Cheap, quick fix, then you rule it out. Most that we lost never felt the bubbly crackling under the skin, most all looked like a pnuemonia type breathing and foamy around the mouth. The most often that calves die from blackleg is from 4-8 months, healthy good looking calves, no apparant problem and then just dead. They receive a basic immunity from the cows for the first 8-12 weeks...then they need the shot. Once a year booster is suggested. We never did the booster, but do now.
 

Rafter S

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I've always vaccinated mine when I first work them (1-3 months old), and then heifers get another one at weaning. So far I've been okay.
 

PhilipCoffey

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Yep. Vet says it was blackleg but was surprised she didn't have any of the symptoms. Got a ten pack of the shot, about to give it to them.
 

Lucky_P

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"The most common symptom of Blackleg is a dead calf."
That's about right...In 30 years of involvement with veterinary medicine(and 50+ around cattle)... I've seen exactly ONE live 'blackleg' calf... and it was dead within 12 hrs.

To me... a dead, unvaccinated calf... is a blackleg case until proven otherwise.
 
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