Dead Calf

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Feb 24, 2007
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We lost a 5 day old calf this morning.
He was up and moving around really well yesterday. This morning he was completely flat out.
Was born on the first, we banded, tagged, de-horned and gave him a shot of Alpha-7 within 12 hours of birth. Cow had Scour Bos 9 before calving.
Took him in to the vet. They tried to get an IV in him, but couldn't. His temp was 92 degrees, so we know he was really cold.
Had a post done on him we really wanted to know what killed him.
Vet told us that there was no milk clot in him to indicate that he had nursed in the last 12 hours. No fat was on his kidney. Vet said he starved to death. He was not stepped on or showed any sign of trauma.
Calf had passed some stool before we took him in about the size of a silver dollar, there was a little diarrhea and what looked like small lumps in it.
Vet told us that the cow had mastitis; he never saw her; and that is what caused the calf death.
When we got home I checked her bag. It was not overly warm, or hard and the milk was clear.

No idea what killed this calf. :(
If the calf starved to death and the cow does not have mastsitis I would guess e coli k99 maybe got the calf. What is Alpha 7 ?

I don't know what to say ILH expcept sorry, it really sucks whne you get them posted and you don't get an answer.
HD Alpha-7 is a shot we give to help prevent over eating disease.
It's listed on the bottle Clostridium Chauvoei-Septcum-Novyi-Sordellii-Perfringens Types C&D Bacterin-Toxoid.
Never thought of e coli k99
Vet told us that there was no milk clot in him to indicate that he had nursed in the last 12 hours. No fat was on his kidney

The last one I lost to K99 and had posted looked like what you said, there was no milk clot in the intestines (or whatever it is). Vet knew it right away by looking at the calf even before cutting her open.

Was the calf dehydrated really bad ?I would say yes if it was suffering from hypothermia that bad. K99 gets them really fast usually with in 12 hours of symptoms do If you do not catch it right away it is a losing battle.

I use colimune now as soon as every calf is born, losing a very expensive embryo calf was a huge loss and I never want to see that again.
Without seeing the cow and calf I will speculate. Calf starved, sounds like a valid diagnosis. I assume the cow is a proven mother? Was she one of those that spends more time trying to get her calf away from you and others would be dangers then standing for the new calf? How is her udder? if she has the hard udder hard teat syndrome makes it REALLY hard for any calf to nurse. let alone a calf that is hard born or a little week. For me, I would cash in on the cow.
HD I'm waiting to hear from our regular vet to hear his thoughts.
Husband saw him yesterday morning and he was up and doing fine, our son fed the cow last night, but did not see the calf inside the barn. We think he was outside in the pen.

When your vet cut open that calf, was there a strong smell about it?
I mean I've been there with the butcher gutting the steers, but the calf smelled bad.

mnmt the cow was a first year heifer last year and raised the 3rd heaviest calf out of the heifers. She was pretty upset in the pen because she could not get to her calf. Great mothering. I already described the bag above.
Both my husband and myself reached underneath her and squeezed milk out of all 4 teats. Each one was soft. She never tried to kick either of us.
I dealt with a mild case of mastitis in the first milk cow I owned. This cow has none of the symptoms. Milk cow kicked me out of the pen the second I touched her bag.
ILH not that I remember, but she was posted outside on a cold day and it was very windy, I remember all of us running back to the house to warm up ..

What about salmonella ? Let us know what your vet says..
i just had the same thing ahppen after 2 weeks..didnt do the necropsy(??) tho...just shook my head. 1st heifer in 2yrs and it died after 2 weeks..was eating..mommas bag was down..she didnt bring it aournd much so it was to late when we got it
Stocker Steve":2ehpn8u7 said:
What causes e coli infection in a new calf?

What is special in colimune?

E. coli spreads from the gut through calf’s body and causes abscesses in the brain, eyes, kidneys, and joints.
Occurs when newborn calf ingests it in manure, mud or other material before or along with getting colostrum.
Virtually impossible to treat successfully.
Prevented by calving in clean, dry areas, cows having clean udders, and keeping colostrum clean and refrigerated or frozen.
Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC)
Specific strain (K99) attaches to intestinal cells and causes a hypersecretory diarrhea.
Toxin turns on cell’s fluid pump which in turn pumps large amounts of fluid into the gut
This process can pump so much fluid into the gut that the calf dies before the external signs of diarrhea appear.
Almost the only diarrhea that occurs within first 3 days of life, often in first day.
Prevented by feeding colostrum containing K99 antibodies.

The polyclonal antibodies in Colimune®-Oral are produced from a selected strain of enteropathogenic E.coli. In addition to K99 antigen, these strains also possess somatic and capsular antigens related to enterotoxigenic strains of E.coli which produce both heat labile toxins (HLT) and heat stable toxins (HST). K99 pilus antigen is frequently associated with enterotoxigenic strains of E.coli isolated from the intestine of calves, sheep and pigs. Pilus antigens have been shown to be the main attachment mechanism whereby EPEC attach to and colonize the small intestine of neonatal animals. Any mechanism which will interfere with this attachment and colonization process is capable of reducing the intestinal colonization, diarrhea and mortality associated with K99 EPEC infections.

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