Dying Calves (Again)

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Anonymous

I have posted several messages over the past year concerning dying calves. I know dealing with bottle calves is hard anyway, since they do not have the immunities nursing calves have. However, The last two calves that have died & two that are presently sick have all had similar symptoms that are different that what I have experinced before. They go from being healthy and fine one day to being lethargic and sickly the next. The first sign is a wobbly back leg, which generally leads to them eventually not being able to stand up. They generally scour, but will still eat. They live about 1-2 days after they show the signs. About 1-3 hours before they die, they will lie on their side and kick their legs continuously and moan and wail. It is pitiful to watch this happen. The calves are all under two months old.I am under the belief this might be some type of pneumonia. Any suggestions? Thanks, keith

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Anonymous

Have you had a vet look at these calves while they're sick?

> I have posted several messages
> over the past year concerning
> dying calves. I know dealing with
> bottle calves is hard anyway,
> since they do not have the
> immunities nursing calves have.
> However, The last two calves that
> have died & two that are
> presently sick have all had
> similar symptoms that are
> different that what I have
> experinced before. They go from
> being healthy and fine one day to
> being lethargic and sickly the
> next. The first sign is a wobbly
> back leg, which generally leads to
> them eventually not being able to
> stand up. They generally scour,
> but will still eat. They live
> about 1-2 days after they show the
> signs. About 1-3 hours before they
> die, they will lie on their side
> and kick their legs continuously
> and moan and wail. It is pitiful
> to watch this happen. The calves
> are all under two months old.I am
> under the belief this might be
> some type of pneumonia. Any
> suggestions? Thanks, keith
 
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Anonymous

If you keep having trouble raising calves, you should re-analyze you program. You need to find calves that come from a farm willing to give them their colostrom immediately after birth. Then you need to find out FROM A VET, what shots are necessary for your area. If nothing else, they should receive BoSe (Selenium) and A&D (vitamins). Preventative health programs are extremely helpful and much cheaper than treating sick calves or having dead calves. You will find working with a vet is much cheaper than what you are doing. Jeanne

Simme Valley in NY
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Anonymous

> I have posted several messages
> over the past year concerning
> dying calves. I know dealing with
> bottle calves is hard anyway,
> since they do not have the
> immunities nursing calves have.
> However, The last two calves that
> have died & two that are
> presently sick have all had
> similar symptoms that are
> different that what I have
> experinced before. They go from
> being healthy and fine one day to
> being lethargic and sickly the
> next. The first sign is a wobbly
> back leg, which generally leads to
> them eventually not being able to
> stand up. They generally scour,
> but will still eat. They live
> about 1-2 days after they show the
> signs. About 1-3 hours before they
> die, they will lie on their side
> and kick their legs continuously
> and moan and wail. It is pitiful
> to watch this happen. The calves
> are all under two months old.I am
> under the belief this might be
> some type of pneumonia. Any
> suggestions? Thanks, keith

I asked my husband who is a vet what he thought of your calves and he said it sounds like they are starving to death. The weakness is caused by being hypoglycemic - low blood sugar. Are you feeding them a good milk replacer with enough fat in it? How about calf starter? Good luck.
 
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Anonymous

First of all let me say bottle calves will make you lots of money if you manage well and have a little luck as well.When you first get your calves give them a 4-way shot. IBR-BVD-PI3-BRSV for prevention of pneumonia. Also go to a vet and buy a bottle of micotil keep it on hand.At the first sign of sickness give a shot.Be careful with micotil it is a dangerous drug if you self inject accidentially get to an emergency room fast! My best results have come when I could bottle feed 3 times a day it makes the calves healthier.Do not castrate before weaning.The best you can do though you will lose these babies sometimes.

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Anonymous

> Is your recommendation on the four
> way shot just for bottle fed
> calves or are you recommending of
> all calves? Bottle feds are high risk for respitory problems.Sale barn cattle are high risk also.Anytime I mix cattle.I guess it should be standard for all calves.

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Anonymous

I don't agree with the Mycotil suggestion, or the suggestion for the vaccine! Mycotil is great for older calves, but waste of money on young bottle calves. If you'll read the label, I'm pretty sure it isn't recommended for nursing calves. And vaccines are great for healthy calves, but won't protect your calves from what is probably affecting them at their young age.

Have you considered getting a vet out to look at one of the calves..either before you lose it, or after to be posted? I raised bottle calves for years, and nothing will kill a calf quicker than the scours. Unfortunately, there are many causes of scours, and finding a "cure" is very hard. 90% of the time if you can give the calves electrolytes and enough fluids to keep them from dehydration long enough to kick the bacteria, they will survive. As you know, many times sale barn calves are not given cholostrum, which makes their immune system almost non-existant.

Once you get a "bug" into your barn or raising area, it's not unusual that every or most of the calves you bring into that environment will catch it as well. That's the primary reason many successful calf raisers use calf hutches. That way the calves aren't intermingled, and passing sicknesses from one to the other.
 
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Anonymous

We used to raise several hundred calves a year. The 4-H kids would come out and buy calves for 4-H Vealer class. I had one family come out and bought two healthy robust calves, really full of P & V. A week later they called and said they had both gotten shipping fever and died. I had them come out and gave them two calves to replace them, I felt pretty guilty about not having seen they were getting sick. A week later they called again, both calves had died of shipping fever. I finally got around to asking them some questions about their feeding, facilities, etc. They finally said they had gotten two calves from a dairy and they had both died of shipping fever, but they were cheaper then my calves, they had just given them to them. Turns out they hadn't done anything to the facilities after the calves died, just hauled the calves out and put the ones from me. I had them spray the whole area, especially the inside of the sheds with a heavy mixture of clorox and water and wait two weeks. They came up a couple weeks later and picked up two more calves, won blue ribbons at the fair with them. The point is, the bugs that cause a lot of these pesky illness' can be easily eliminated with a good soaking of clorox and water. Your sheds/barn, feeding utinsels or whatever could be causing re-infection of even healthy calves.

dunmovin farms

> I don't agree with the Mycotil
> suggestion, or the suggestion for
> the vaccine! Mycotil is great for
> older calves, but waste of money
> on young bottle calves. If you'll
> read the label, I'm pretty sure it
> isn't recommended for nursing
> calves. And vaccines are great for
> healthy calves, but won't protect
> your calves from what is probably
> affecting them at their young age.

> Have you considered getting a vet
> out to look at one of the
> calves..either before you lose it,
> or after to be posted? I raised
> bottle calves for years, and
> nothing will kill a calf quicker
> than the scours. Unfortunately,
> there are many causes of scours,
> and finding a "cure" is
> very hard. 90% of the time if you
> can give the calves electrolytes
> and enough fluids to keep them
> from dehydration long enough to
> kick the bacteria, they will
> survive. As you know, many times
> sale barn calves are not given
> cholostrum, which makes their
> immune system almost non-existant.

> Once you get a "bug"
> into your barn or raising area,
> it's not unusual that every or
> most of the calves you bring into
> that environment will catch it as
> well. That's the primary reason
> many successful calf raisers use
> calf hutches. That way the calves
> aren't intermingled, and passing
> sicknesses from one to the other.
 
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Anonymous

> I don't agree with the Mycotil
> suggestion, or the suggestion for
> the vaccine! Mycotil is great for
> older calves, but waste of money
> on young bottle calves. If you'll
> read the label, I'm pretty sure it
> isn't recommended for nursing
> calves. And vaccines are great for
> healthy calves, but won't protect
> your calves from what is probably
> affecting them at their young age.

> Have you considered getting a vet
> out to look at one of the
> calves..either before you lose it,
> or after to be posted? I raised
> bottle calves for years, and
> nothing will kill a calf quicker
> than the scours. Unfortunately,
> there are many causes of scours,
> and finding a "cure" is
> very hard. 90% of the time if you
> can give the calves electrolytes
> and enough fluids to keep them
> from dehydration long enough to
> kick the bacteria, they will
> survive. As you know, many times
> sale barn calves are not given
> cholostrum, which makes their
> immune system almost non-existant.

> Once you get a "bug"
> into your barn or raising area,
> it's not unusual that every or
> most of the calves you bring into
> that environment will catch it as
> well. That's the primary reason
> many successful calf raisers use
> calf hutches. That way the calves
> aren't intermingled, and passing
> sicknesses from one to the other. You don't have to agree with my micotil suggestion but it does work. I did read the label and it does not say not to treat nursing calves. My vet sells me micotil for the sole purpose of treating young calves and it does cure them.The IBR shots are for healthy cattle.Micotil is not a waste of money on small calves it is the best thing going for sick calves.

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Anonymous

Micotil is not licenced in Canada for cattle under 150 lbs, but can be used below that at 3cc/100lbs (double dose) below that weight successfully. This dose was initially recommended to me from the drug rep and has since been repeated at vet conferences.(at greatly elongated withdrawal periods for meat) I cannot comment on its off label dosage for any but my own clients, so please discuss this and any antibiotic usage with your own veterinarian.
 
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Anonymous

Keith, it may be that your problem is Enterotoxemia which can be taken care of with a seven way shot. Ask a vet about dosage and administering for your specific need.
 
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