Dead calf

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dave_shelby

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Lost a three day old calf today. First poop was very bloody. Is that birth defect or what?
 

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Its a first for me, but that isnt saying much.

Acted normal day 1, day 2 less energy. Should have at least hit it with some abx in hindsight.

Kids are skinning up the dead calf this afternoon to graft on, Ill head out to the dairy to fetch a calf after work.
 
Lost a three day old calf today. First poop was very bloody. Is that birth defect or what?
Wild grazing animal newborns I received for care as a wildlife rehabber had bloody diarrhea when received soon after birth. All of them also had an underbite because of underdeveloped premaxillary bone, white areas on the lungs and an enlarged right ventricle of the heart. The fawns or elk calves that did not survive usually had not suckled, so did not get any milk after they were born, possibly because their underbite interfered with ability to produce normal suction. Did your calf have an underbite? I assumed that what caused the other health issues on the wild newborns was also responsible for the leaky blood vessels in the intestines causing their bloody stool. I necroposied the newborns if I wasn't able to save them, so saw the issues with the lung, heart and intestines. As I posted in another calf issue on CattleToday, those birth defects are consistent with deficiency in certain minerals, especially manganese, calcium and other minerals needed for normal development and with thyroid hormone disruption during development. Mineral deficiencies seem to result in thyroid hormone disruption and thus in the distinctive newborn health issues. I have attached a photo of a beef calf that was brought to me by a neighbor to necropsy. Note the severe underbite. It also had lung damage and the enlarged right heart ventricle. It did not live long after it was born. It had inflammation of the intestines.
 

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A couple of years ago one of my calves (less than a week old) developed diarrhea which over the course of the day became a very bloody diarrhea. I thought coccidiosis was most likely, but looked at a fresh fecal sample via microscope, and while there were some coccidia, it was mostly made of bacteria. I contacted my vet and gave me the details about the calf and the fecal smear, and he suspected an E. coli infection. He couldn't come out that day but suggested I start her on antibiotics, and the blood had gone away when he came the next day. The diarrhea also rapidly improved. My calf went from being active that morning to a little sluggish that afternoon, and she probably would have died of dehydration if I hadn't been closely watching her.
 
Dunno if it might be this-intussusception- I'd seen it in patients when I was working as an ER nurse- I just checked- cattle do get intussusception just like humans do- where the intestine telescopes within itself. It's a surgical emergency in humans (mostly babies or young children, adults can get it..) '...Although rare in cattle, intussusception was most common in calves < 2 months old Survival rate for cattle treated for intussusception was low (< 50%)...' https://experts.illinois.edu/en/publications/intussusception-in-cattle-336-cases-1964-1993
 
Long couple days in the spring crush. I should have kept a sample of the poop. Neighbor checked calf out and thought it look like it got stepped on but wasn't sure.
I did get a Holstein bull calf and working on getting it grafted. The milk looks good all four tits giving something, not sure what to look at though.
 
Long couple days in the spring crush. I should have kept a sample of the poop. Neighbor checked calf out and thought it look like it got stepped on but wasn't sure.
I did get a Holstein bull calf and working on getting it grafted. The milk looks good all four tits giving something, not sure what to look at though.
Long as milk is flowing, u SHOULD be good. I keep mine penned together til I'm certain things are working right and they are bonded well.
Allows me to catch a problem early...
 
Long couple days in the spring crush. I should have kept a sample of the poop. Neighbor checked calf out and thought it look like it got stepped on but wasn't sure.
I did get a Holstein bull calf and working on getting it grafted. The milk looks good all four tits giving something, not sure what to look at though.
If you are getting milk and it looks good then it's probably fine on that front. If the teats were hard and what was coming out was bloody or real off color or coming out the consistency of cottage cheese then that would be mastitis.
 
I assume you mean to check the cow's milk for any pathogen that may have contributed to the 1st calf's death???
As in bloody milk only. Since her milk was good that has been ruled out. I didn't read if they found bruising when the calf was skinned so don't know if being stepped on was possible. The other is viral scours.
 

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