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Cancer Eye

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BeefmasterB

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Checked on my brothers cows today while he's away. Came upon this one. Got her to the vet who cut out the cancer and the eye itself (what was left of it), then sewed it all up. Had palpated her too - she's about 7 months into her pregnancy. The cow is about 9 years old. The cows other eye also has cancer eye that is just cranking up. Vet says the cancer will come right back. So, what would you do?

a. off to the sale barn in a month or so after the wound heals a while?
b. take a chance that the cow will calve alright and the cow will let it nurse over the next 3-4 months, and then to the salebarn?
c. other options?


 

1982vett

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Since you already spent the money to treat her and she is 7 months bred. I'd keep her long enough to calve her then sell her. Do with the calf whatever you want (keep it or sell it) and hope the other eye doesn't go bad in the meantime. If she starts to go blind in the other eye before she calves all bets are off. Sell her. I guess depending on the condition of the other eye you might be able to let her raise the calf for a little while but don't let her loose to much condition and watch that other eye. As soon as the buyer can see something bad with that eye they will take her for nothing. they might do it anyway with her having just one eye.

Being nosey now but I'd just like to know, what did the vet charge to fix her up?
 
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BeefmasterB

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1982vett":1fnw1d1t said:
Since you already spent the money to treat her and she is 7 months bred. I'd keep her long enough to calve her then sell her. Do with the calf whatever you want (keep it or sell it) and hope the other eye doesn't go bad in the meantime. If she starts to go blind in the other eye before she calves all bets are off. Sell her. I guess depending on the condition of the other eye you might be able to let her raise the calf for a little while but don't let her loose to much condition and watch that other eye. As soon as the buyer can see something bad with that eye they will take her for nothing. they might do it anyway with her having just one eye.

Being nosey now but I'd just like to know, what did the vet charge to fix her up?

The vet said if not for the calf, she should just be put down as the local salebarn may not take her. And it's possible that the calf might end up a bottle baby. The cow is plenty healthy right now. I've already relayed the known information to my younger brother who owns the cow. He will get the bill which the vet says will be around $250. There's no way he will be able to deal with a bottle baby. If I were in his shoes I'd run it to the barn after the wound heals, have them palpate again and advertise the pregnancy and the resulting sale should cover the vet bill and then some.
 

angie1

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If you can, bring her into an enclosed area while she still has a good eye ~ like a corral. She will become familiar with the area. Let her calf. She is 9 and I am thinking she knows the program by now. I would let her raise that calf for about 4 months. Put her feed in the same place always, the water also.

We have a mare near us that is blind and has been for many years. Every year she raises a fine foal.

But yes, sell her when the calf is old enough to wean safely. I would let her calf no matter what though. That calf will pay the vet bill when sold I am thinking. It is her only value now.
 

1982vett

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I figured it wouldn't be cheap. I've see some cowboys around here bid on some that are bred, in good shape and the eyes aren't to bad. Baby calves that are split off their mommas in the ring still bring pretty good around here.
 
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BeefmasterB

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1982 - I agree. He'll just have to watch for regrowth in the second eye and act accordingly. I've sold calves at 3.5 months but prefer to go much longer.

Toby - That could be an option for many but cancer cows carry a stigma. In the mind of a city wife (his), it's wouldn't be an option.
 

cfpinz

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How often does your brother check his cows?

If she was in my pasture I would have shot her and planted her that day.

The markets here won't allow cancer eyes, since you (he) have already invested the vet bill, trying to salvage a calf could possibly recoup some money. Let her put everything she can into the calf, but I'd plant her before she suffers much.
 

grubbie

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I am with cfpinz, If I saw her in my pasture I would have put her down. But I do understand so close to calving it would be nice to at least save the calf.
I have been through this, here is what I know for sure;

1. The other eye WILL get worse
2. When it does, she will be impossible to do ANYTHING with
3. As it gets worse, she will get MEAN
4. He will have to put her down (no matter what else happens from here)
5. He will wish he hadn't let her suffer so long to save a few bucks. (I mean no offense here, just my own experience)

Seven months along? I would confine her while you still can, get the calf out. If the sale barn won't take her, end her suffering. Yes, there will be a bottle baby, and it sucks, but it is part of raising cows sometimes. Just an opinion from someone who has been through it, and made the wrong decisions.
 

milkmaid

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That's beyond nasty. Is that typical of a cancer eye case following surgery?
 

TheBullLady

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Yuck.. I have to agree that's NASTY. I wouldn't have spent the $$ on the vet either.. she's way too far gone for me. You have to consider that even if she calves, she still has to nurse the calf for at least 3 or 4 months. I'm going to guess that the cancer is spreading pretty rapidly.. and her brain is pretty close to her eye! Just a thought..
 

1982vett

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milkmaid":25xqatgx said:
That's beyond nasty. Is that typical of a cancer eye case following surgery?
MM, I may be wrong, but I think that's before surgery. I imagine it smelled like it looks. You can definitely tell you have eye problems before it gets this bad. To tell the truth, I was surprised a vet would even try to treat one this bad. I kind of wondering what it looks like after but not sure posting that picture would be a good thing to do either.

Let me clarify my previous answer a bit. As for as nursing a calf to 3 - 4 months, I think that should only be considered if she heals quickly and nicely. Good week old calves split off their mommas in the ring still bring $100 - $160 in this area. That option also falls under the category of healing quickly and nicely. Those are the only reasons I mentioned holding her till she calved and watching the other eye closely as an option. I guess I should have added that if she shows little sign of healing other steps should be taken.
 
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BeefmasterB

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cfpinz":3r6t48pn said:
How often does your brother check his cows?

If she was in my pasture I would have shot her and planted her that day.

The markets here won't allow cancer eyes, since you (he) have already invested the vet bill, trying to salvage a calf could possibly recoup some money. Let her put everything she can into the calf, but I'd plant her before she suffers much.

He obviously doesn't check often enough. And we did have words. I think he can salvage the calf if he'll put the effort into it. I do not someone who is very good with bottle babies. This one will be a commercial Brangus.
 
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BeefmasterB

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grubbie":1ehe1bae said:
I am with cfpinz, If I saw her in my pasture I would have put her down. But I do understand so close to calving it would be nice to at least save the calf.
I have been through this, here is what I know for sure;

1. The other eye WILL get worse
2. When it does, she will be impossible to do ANYTHING with
3. As it gets worse, she will get MEAN
4. He will have to put her down (no matter what else happens from here)
5. He will wish he hadn't let her suffer so long to save a few bucks. (I mean no offense here, just my own experience)

Seven months along? I would confine her while you still can, get the calf out. If the sale barn won't take her, end her suffering. Yes, there will be a bottle baby, and it sucks, but it is part of raising cows sometimes. Just an opinion from someone who has been through it, and made the wrong decisions.

Grubbie, your right. And this one is the most manic of the bunch anyway. Getting her trailer, in the rain, by myself, in clay/gumbo soil was a feat unto itself. It's now a salvage project.
 
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BeefmasterB

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1982vett":15l67t59 said:
milkmaid":15l67t59 said:
That's beyond nasty. Is that typical of a cancer eye case following surgery?
MM, I may be wrong, but I think that's before surgery. I imagine it smelled like it looks. You can definitely tell you have eye problems before it gets this bad. To tell the truth, I was surprised a vet would even try to treat one this bad. I kind of wondering what it looks like after but not sure posting that picture would be a good thing to do either.

Let me clarify my previous answer a bit. As for as nursing a calf to 3 - 4 months, I think that should only be considered if she heals quickly and nicely. Good week old calves split off their mommas in the ring still bring $100 - $160 in this area. That option also falls under the category of healing quickly and nicely. Those are the only reasons I mentioned holding her till she calved and watching the other eye closely as an option. I guess I should have added that if she shows little sign of healing other steps should be taken.

Therse pics are before surgery. I could smell the rotted mass from 20 feet away. The vet recognized the problem right away. Once we had her in a hydraulic squeeze chute, which also controls her head movements, he began to break off chunks of the tumor with his hands. He then took a syringe with a 6" needle and inserted it back to her optic nerve injecting (lydocaine?) to deaden that area. After that it was just a matter of cutting away all of the affected tissues. It left an eye socket that you could fit a baseball into. He then sewed it all up. Gave her penicillan and a couple of other shots. I was going to take pics of this but figured it was way too gruesome to post on xmas eve. If this calf is allowed to nurse (this cow has been great in the past!) then it just a matter of how long. Mark - brother - will have to keep an eye on her. We do have a corral. with water, that he could put her in, along with hay.
 

I luv herfrds

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Let her have the calf and raise it, then shoot her in the fall. They don't bring anything in the ring.
 

1982vett

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I luv herfrds":1textelu said:
Let her have the calf and raise it, then shoot her in the fall. They don't bring anything in the ring.

That depends on your local market. In this area, as long has her head isn't bloody as it is now and if she stays in her current body condition she might bring $.25/lb. or there about. That would be around $300 for a 1250 pound cow which is a bit more than nothing. But the cow is not in Texas or Montana so neither of our marketing advice could be spot on.
 
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BeefmasterB

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1982vett":r567awmj said:
I luv herfrds":r567awmj said:
Let her have the calf and raise it, then shoot her in the fall. They don't bring anything in the ring.

That depends on your local market. In this area, as long has her head isn't bloody as it is now and if she stays in her current body condition she might bring $.25/lb. or there about. That would be around $300 for a 1250 pound cow which is a bit more than nothing. But the cow is not in Texas or Montana so neither of our marketing advice could be spot on.

1982 - the cow is located in Wharton County, Texas. There's a sale barn a few miles away. Haven't checked prices lately but you might be right on with the price per lb guesstimate. I'll be checking on this cow very soon and will post an after surgery pic, if possible.
 

grannysoo

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Wow. That's a rough looking pic. Perhaps you should take your brother to the sale barn if he can't keep up with his cows better than this....
 
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