cupid's knees

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I previously posted my concern over my 3 year old steer lifting his hind legs all the time. He had gotten up to 2000 pounds and I had put him on a diet in June. In October, he got out of the pasture and spent a weekend while we were out of town eating lush grass. It was after that, I noticed his lifting his hind legs to his belly. After a month of this, I called the vet. I suspected founder, but she said no, it was arthritis from the excessive weight he had carried. His knees on his hind legs were swollen. She gave him banamine and put him on bute for a week. That helped some, but his knees stayed swollen. He still lifted his hind legs, but not as often or as high. I put him on bute for a month--4 pills/day for a week, 3 pills/day for a week, etc. He seemed better, even running and playing. But his knees continued to have swelling. After the month of bute, I have waited to see if any difference. His knees are still swollen and he has trouble walking. Of course, it is really cold and the ground is frozen. I want to give him Red cell since that helped a horse I had with some arthritis. I want to be sure Red Cell is okay for a bovine. It says for use with horses and not to give it to sheep, but no mention of cows. I can't keep this animal on bute all his life. Any suggestions? What are the signs of founder 3 months after it occurs? Thanks. I love Cupid and don't want him to hurt. Thanks. Susan

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It is possible/likely that he has a mycoplasmal infection of his joints. It will cause arthritis, but is the primary agent, and can be very hard to clear. Penicillin won't touch it. Tetracyclines, nuflor and micotil will all get it, but none get great penetration within the joint. I'd recommend you talk to your vet and find out where you can get the joints x-rayed and maybe tapped and cultured, and go from there. Good Luck. V

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