Dead Calf

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Anonymous

Has anyone had experience with a cow giving birth to a dead calf? This is a first for us! I won't go into all the nasty details, but when the cow (7 year old) went into labor, the calf had obviously been dead for a long time. I remember the cow having a bloody type discharge at least 6 weeks ago, and thinking that she had perhaps aborted. I figure not that must have been when the calf actually died.<p>We are going to ship to cow if she survives, but I'm curious as to what could be the cause of this. Any ideas?
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Anonymous

Did the calf smell or not at birth. If the calf stank, there were bacteria which had caused rotting of the calf, possibly after death or possibly the cause.Did the calf look normal? Did you feed moldy hay--can cause abortions. Viruses such as IBR, BVD or akabane can cause abortions such as this. I'd recommend talking with your vet, getting serology against brucellosis, lepto, IBR, BVD and whatever else they suggest now, and in 2 weeks if she survives to figure out the problem. This could certainly become a herd problem, best to see if it was infectious or preventable, or just an accident.Good Luck<br>V
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Anonymous

<p>Thanks for the help Vicki. The calf looked as normal as a nasty dead calf can look I suppose. Yes, it stunk, obviously decomposing badly. <p> I'm sorry to say we didn't vaccinate the herd the past two years here at home, so I'm sure that's to blame. If I ship the cow, are the others still at risk? The majority of the cows have already calved, so all I can do is hope. <br>Thanks again.
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Anonymous

I can't say if the rest are still at risk without knowing the cause. I'd really like to rule out brucellosis and lepto (can be done on a single blood test) before the cow is shipped, since these can certainly cause problems for you next year if around, especially with heifers, so I'd still recommend talking with your vet about this.<br>Good Luck<br>V
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