Down Calf

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Apr 29, 2006
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Calving has been going to good.
Got out there Yesterday morning, noticed a calf laying with his pals, but all spread out. Not a big deal right? just enjoying the nicer weather.
Checked a couple hours later and the other calves were off doing calf things. He lay in exactly the same position. What the heck! Something wrong here. Fresh poo, normal as can be, temp normal. I look him over for injury, nothing obvious. [don't have an X Ray at the ranch] ;-)
His stomach is sunk, I force feed 1 liter electrolytes and vitamins and nutrients. a few hours later another dose and another before heading home. No change in the calf and he is not good.
This morning early I expect the worst. No visible change, fed him medicated milk replacer [forced] He fought me and kicked his back legs. And more normal poo. Good sign I thought.
I don't know what else could be wrong? other then injury.
It's going out one way, but what about the other? I would be suspicious of its kidneys.

Get it on some sulfa drugs and see if that pulls it around. :cowboy:
Now that is a strange one. Electrolytes and vitamins didn't give him a pick me up so it does not sound like an anabolic/metabolic imbalance. Did you check his naval ?

I would keep up with the electrolytes and milk as well as administer a brood spectrum antibiotic. I know you said no fever but something is going on..Keep taking his temp as well. I would keep him close by you all the time if he cannot move he is coyote bate, He needs to be kept warm as well..

Good luck and keep us updated.

I forgot to add what vitamins did you give ,,I like to give AD as well as b12 orally or mix it in with the electrolytes ..Also what is your selenium like in your area, or do you give a dose to newborns.. Too much or not enough have the very similar symptoms..
If it were me, speaking from experience, rather than play the guessing game I would haul him to the vet. Good luck.
Cold at night and warm during the day, right? Only thing I can think of right now is overeating disease.
Had calves go down the same way, started keeping the Anti Toxin on hand and have saved a few with it.

Since I can't see the calf, call the vet and get it dianogsed.
With the electrolytes I give him a product that is a nutritional supplement for young calves has a good concentration of vitamins and minerals. He has also had Oxytetracycline bolus and in milk replacer. Navel seems a little swollen with no sign of infection. Calf is in my warm up box, open for sunshine in the day and closed at night. He is propped up with straw and laying in a natural position. Last feeding yesterday he sucked on my finger some but still force fed.
Much better this morning, took a half liter on his own, I'll wait and offer more feed in a couple hours. still doesn't try to stand.
I'll check his temp again. When I first checked it was slightly less then 100. Little cool?
He was outside then, now in a good sheltered area.
Do you have a vet you can "just talk to"? Might ask if Selenium Deficiency is a problem in MN. The suppliments you are feeding usually don't have any SE (or never enough if your area is deficient). SE affects large muscles - heart, lung, tongue, leg muscles, etc. A healthy lively calf can drop like a rock, and they don't run a fever - until a secondary problem arises. Vets have BoSe and MuSe. I use "B"oSe on "B"abies & "M"uSe on "M"ommas. Same product just different concentration. Good luck
Good news. The calf tried to stand yesterday, I helped it and it stood, wobbly at first, gulped down two liters.

Bad news, one back leg drags, checked it out, found a clean brake between the knee and hip. A gap in the bone felt easily on the inside of his leg. Seems strange there is no noticeable swelling? This morning standing on his own and hungry.

Now, not sure what to do?
mnmtranching":1cdcbcac said:
Now, not sure what to do?

How old of a calf?

You can get some casting material (since obviously he lets you handle him well)... tons of guaze, followed with tons of guaze, casting material (sets in minutes) and then wrap with Coflex or something...

...remove cast in about 4 to 6 weeks, sell him upon weaning.

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