Cow won't stop licking calf's umbilical cord

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pd

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Hi again,
One of my cows has a 6 day old calf, in good health at this stage; but I am worried because the cow keeps sucking on and licking the calf's umbilical cord, as a result it has not dried out. I am worried it will get infected. I have put iodine on it several times. Maybe she likes the iodine??? Is there anything else I can put on it to put her off this habit?

After she has licked it she raises her head and pulls her upper lip back, kinda like a bull on heat (hopefully it is just motherly love...)

But I really want her to stop for the health of the calf - any more great advice please?
Thanks :D
 

cattle_gal

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Did you cut the cord off at the base?

The cow is cleaning the calf from the dirt Aka iodine. Cows will do this. They think they are cleaning the bad off.

So if you don't have the cord cut off do so and then take some iodine in a suringe and put in in the cavity of the cord. Then that is it. be done with him.
 

Linda

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Some cows will gravitate to a site that has iodine on it and won't leave it alone. Make sure your cow has free choice loose mineral available to her. She may be deficient in mineral.

I wouldn't put any more iodine on the calf. Trim the cord, but not too close, and leave it alone.

Also, if you do decide to put more iodine on the site, I would definitely avoid injecting it. Make sure you use a dilute tamed version of iodine. Iodine is a strong irritant and can cause trouble if not properly used. It could also be the iodine you've been putting on the site has caused inflammation the cow senses and she's trying to "fix" the problem, but I suspect she may be mineral deficient.
 

dun

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If it's a bull calf, some cows frequently lick the navel and penis to make them urinate

dun
 

greenwillowherefords

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Am I missing something here? I always just let nature take its course and never yet have put iodine on the cord or had a problem with them.
 

redwhiteface

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I quit using iodine when I had a cow get too aggressive with the licking on the cord and tried to bite it off. Unfortunatlly she succeded and the calf bled out before I could get to her.
 
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pd

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Many thanks to everybody :D .

I suspect that dun's suggestion is close to the point, as I have noticed her licking the calf as it urinates (yes, it is a bull calf). I only put the iodine for the first time when the calf was 5 days old and was concerned that the cord was still wet, and could get infected; so she was sucking the cord well prior to the iodine application.

I don't normally put iodine on unless I have assisted the calving and it has been wet and muddy or born in the yards.

She is a very enthusiastic mother, and last year when her twins were a bit slow to get up after birth she bit their tails off - so maybe it is just her character?!
 

dun

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pd":1u8jcuo8 said:
Many thanks to everybody :D .

I suspect that dun's suggestion is close to the point, as I have noticed her licking the calf as it urinates (yes, it is a bull calf). I only put the iodine for the first time when the calf was 5 days old and was concerned that the cord was still wet, and could get infected; so she was sucking the cord well prior to the iodine application.

I don't normally put iodine on unless I have assisted the calving and it has been wet and muddy or born in the yards.

She is a very enthusiastic mother, and last year when her twins were a bit slow to get up after birth she bit their tails off - so maybe it is just her character?!

She does definitly sound like a character

dun
 

txshowmom

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If it were me I wouldn't worry about it. But if it bothers you that much seperate the calf overnight and then put them together long enough for her to nurse then seperate them again. The cord should dry up and then you can turn them back out.
 

cattle_gal

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Greenwillow,

In certain environments(wet and bare ground that is above 32 degrees and ground that may not fully dry - bacteria growning environment) if a calf doesn't have the cord cut off and given iodine(yeah gentle solution) right inside the base(not way up in side) not just the outer portion of the cord asap after birth they will get naval ill or if that doesn't happen there then the bacteria goes into the joints. Either way the calf is toast and lots of medication and maybe he'll make it. If the cord is left long the bugs have a hay day to grab on and travel up into the calf. The infection doesn't become appartent for a week or 2. And the first signs besides the calf becoming dopey is the very thick cord up into the inside of the calf. And if they get joint ill the joint(s) gets big from the puss and breaks open.
 
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