Cow problem

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patrick

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I have a calf/cow pair. The cow is about four years old and her calf is 10 months old. The cow has recently began to lose weight and she has two large patches where her skin is showing since the hair is gone! It looks like she has rubbed it bare by itching herself against a tree, but I don't see any scratches at those points. She eats well. During the winter, the pair had grass plus alfalfa hay. They did well all winter long. She and the calf are in a grass pasture with plenty of water. The calf appears to be healthy and is in good shape. This is my first time raising cattle. I've had the cow for about 15 months, and got her when she was pregnant. Finding a vet that will look at cattle is a PITA around here. Any ideas? These may seem like stupid questions, but I really don't know what's wrong with her.
 

Alice

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I don't know about the scratching stuff, but she might be losing weight if the calf hasn't been weaned off her. That's a pretty big calf to still be nursing mama. First thing I'd do is wean that calf.

Alice
 

Bez>

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Hair gone from scratching is probably lice.

If she is infested she will go down in weight.

It will clear up by doing nothing but it might not hurt to give her some Ivomec - or something similar - it will remove a lot of internal parasites as well.

Pull the calf - it is past time.

Bez>
 

dun

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This time of year all of our cows look moth eaten and it isn;t from lice. Scratching that dead hair itch can remove a lot of hair. Treat them for lice, but if the cow has it and the calf doesn;t I would lean more towards scratching off dead hair then lice.

dun
 

Oldtimer

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dun":ll918buh said:
This time of year all of our cows look moth eaten and it isn;t from lice. Scratching that dead hair itch can remove a lot of hair. Treat them for lice, but if the cow has it and the calf doesn;t I would lean more towards scratching off dead hair then lice.

dun

I agree dun-- We had about a week of record and near record temps in the 70's and after looking at how much the cows were rubbing, I was about to go choke my Vet for selling me bad lice product...But after getting a couple in the chute and checking them- it wasn't lice- just the warm weather and rubbing off the old winter hair.....
Now that normal temps are back, 20's-40's, and the snow is flying again- a few of those cows are a little naked in places and probably wish they still had that hair ;-)
 

Running Arrow Bill

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Livestock shed when the weather gets warm and until their summer coat is nice and slick they look mangey.

On the other hand, spring (March thru May) is the time to do your spring season de-worming and annual vaccinations of your cattle. Can also apply a good sprayed on insecticide to control horn and face flies, lice, etc.
 
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patrick

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Sounds good. The calf has been weaned now for at least three months. I keep the pair because cows aren't animals that like being alone. I'll probably get another cow this Spring.

Thanks for the help! I thought there might be something drastically wrong, but it appears not to be all that serious. It's certainly a good time to vaccinate and do the rest, as well.
 

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