Feedlot Calf - sickly since we got her

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DATorrie

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I am real sorry if the answer lies somewhere within all these replies... but I am running out of time.
Dolly (shorthorn cross, perhaps) was 5 days old when purchased from a feedlot. We purchased 5 altogether and the bull calf died within 2 days.
Dolly went off her milk - not drinking her bucket, really depressed looking. To the vets for help. Kept her over night and put on antibiotics and IV fluids. Tested for colostrum and she was borderline.
For the past 8 weeks she has been up and down with lethargy and off milk. Not a great eater of oats, grass or hay. She just lies down for the whole day.
NOW, we find out she has facial paralysis (left side), on medacam and trimoxidan. Off milk again!!
Obviously her immune is so compromised that nothing is working for her.

Is there anything I can do for this calf to boost energy and appetite.

 

boondocks

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First, welcome! :welcome: Cute calf, hope she pulls through and hope others with more experience with bottle calves will weigh in
 

Supa Dexta

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From a feedlot? As in accident calf from feedlot heifer? Thats about the worst place you can buy a calf I would think, keep dumping money into it, paying for a lesson at this point - might as well make it a good one you remember.

Its already well medicated and has seen a vet. I'm curious what tested for colostrum is though?
 

TCRanch

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Poor baby! Glad she's been treated by a vet. I'll give a slow calf a shot of Vitamin B Complex for energy but not sure it will help in this case. Is she dehydrated? May need electrolytes. Good luck!
 

cowgirl8

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Not getting colostrum is not a death sentence. I've seen this in FB groups when people get a calf or have one get sick. Most suggestions are 'give colostrum'..(after 24 hours its just expensive milk replacer)...or if you sell a calf you get hit with the questions of if it got colostrum. Getting it is a good thing, but its not going to make a calf bullet proof. I'm going to guess this calf was dehydrated at some point and it suffered organ damage. #1 mistake most people do when they start off with bottle calves is they make the mistake of force feeding a sick calf milk after letting it not eat for a day or two..
Your calf has been to a vet, just do what they say to do....
 

Craig Miller

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At 8 weeks old you should be trying hard to her to eat something along with giving her the milk too. Maybe try just some plain sweet feed. How much milk is she taking? What about free choice water?
 

Stocker Steve

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cowgirl8":3oeeapux said:
#1 mistake most people do when they start off with bottle calves is they make the mistake of force feeding a sick calf milk after letting it not eat for a day or two

So what do you do with a "rescue calf" that has not eaten for a while?
 

Stocker Steve

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DATorrie":1gnyyaqp said:
Is there anything I can do for this calf to boost energy and appetite.

Many folks use vit B, or Karo syrup on nipple, for appetite. Syrup helps with energy also if you add it to replacer.

They sell paste in push tubes for an energy boost. Seems to work if calves are in decent health but in a tough environment.
 

cowgirl8

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Stocker Steve":2i9ew9xp said:
cowgirl8":2i9ew9xp said:
#1 mistake most people do when they start off with bottle calves is they make the mistake of force feeding a sick calf milk after letting it not eat for a day or two

So what do you do with a "rescue calf" that has not eaten for a while?
IV electrolytes...if not via IV you tube it in. Its not hard to tell if a calf is dehydrated. Pump milk into a dehydrated calf will kill it. It takes water to digest milk, water that a dehydrated calf cant spare. Its like someone stranded on a boat thirsting to death. The reason they cant drink salt water is because it takes more water to digest it, same principle with a dehydrated calf and milk....Get them hydrated first, then worry about starvation. 3 days irreversible damage to organs without water, 5 days dead.... you can go without food for longer before you die, treat dehydration first.
 

farmerjan

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I would say the same as far as electrolytes and keeping her hydrated. The vet should be the best source of advice since you've already been there. If she is from a feedlot heifer, then she has alot going against her so it is not a good place to start. Unless they are basically free, I would be hesitant to get calves there. I spent a ton of time and money when I was first raising calves, by getting the ones that were less than healthy and in the long run it is seldom worth it.. I am a big believer in Vit B as an appetite stimulant also. I'd say quit the milk but if she is not eating much grain then I don't know. I usually always start them on a "sweet feed" also. Plain oats won't entice her like a molasses type feed. Good luck with her.
 
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DATorrie

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boondocks":3vypbcm4 said:
First, welcome! :welcome: Cute calf, hope she pulls through and hope others with more experience with bottle calves will weigh in

Thank you and I hope to find some helpful replies :)

It is going to take me a little time to answer everyone, but will try ... as soon as I get educated on using this forum :)
 
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DATorrie

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Supa Dexta":d9vkm0ee said:
From a feedlot? As in accident calf from feedlot heifer? Thats about the worst place you can buy a calf I would think, keep dumping money into it, paying for a lesson at this point - might as well make it a good one you remember.

Its already well medicated and has seen a vet. I'm curious what tested for colostrum is though?

I'll will take your advice and keep dumping MY money into helping her.
As for a 'colostrum test" you would have to ask my vet clinic how they do that test.
 
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DATorrie

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TCRanch":1f12pc3r said:
Poor baby! Glad she's been treated by a vet. I'll give a slow calf a shot of Vitamin B Complex for energy but not sure it will help in this case. Is she dehydrated? May need electrolytes. Good luck!

Thank you! :)
She has been on electrolytes as soon as she goes off her bottle/bucket. I do not force or drench her .. I let her take her time getting it down.
Dolly sees a vet at least once a week... sometimes for a problem and sometimes the vet just 'pops' in to see how she is doing.
 
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DATorrie

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cowgirl8":1kxud316 said:
Not getting colostrum is not a death sentence. I've seen this in FB groups when people get a calf or have one get sick. Most suggestions are 'give colostrum'..(after 24 hours its just expensive milk replacer)...or if you sell a calf you get hit with the questions of if it got colostrum. Getting it is a good thing, but its not going to make a calf bullet proof. I'm going to guess this calf was dehydrated at some point and it suffered organ damage. #1 mistake most people do when they start off with bottle calves is they make the mistake of force feeding a sick calf milk after letting it not eat for a day or two..
Your calf has been to a vet, just do what they say to do....

Thank you! The moment we seen that Dolly was in trouble (off milk), she was to the vets for rehydration (IV fluids for 24 hours)
We follow the vets advice to the letter. Dolly has dry eye as well and she gets her eye drops faithfully three times a day :) .. I have no problem following instructions :)
 
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DATorrie

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Craig Miller":glg3jc5w said:
At 8 weeks old you should be trying hard to her to eat something along with giving her the milk too. Maybe try just some plain sweet feed. How much milk is she taking? What about free choice water?

Dolly is on 2 litres of calf replacer... she also eats some oats, calf starter, and grazes a grassy field. Water has always been available from the moment we brought them home at the age of 5 days.
 
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DATorrie

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MRRherefords":yjgbacvw said:
If she is really bad off, I would get electrolytes into her. Good luck with her.

as soon as she goes off her bucket, for the rest of that day I watch her graze and drink water.
Thank you for your reply :)
 
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DATorrie

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Stocker Steve":2t1wyxa7 said:
cowgirl8":2t1wyxa7 said:
#1 mistake most people do when they start off with bottle calves is they make the mistake of force feeding a sick calf milk after letting it not eat for a day or two

So what do you do with a "rescue calf" that has not eaten for a while?

I don't give her two days. I watch her graze the field and drink some water.... if she has not drank her bucket that evening, the vet says to give her a shot of RESFLOR every 3 days for a total of 3 shots. Usually the next day Dolly is drinking as normal and no issues. But once the meds wear off she is down and depressed and we start again.
 
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DATorrie

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Stocker Steve":fwfs9ety said:
DATorrie":fwfs9ety said:
Is there anything I can do for this calf to boost energy and appetite.

Many folks use vit B, or Karo syrup on nipple, for appetite. Syrup helps with energy also if you add it to replacer.

They sell paste in push tubes for an energy boost. Seems to work if calves are in decent health but in a tough environment.

I will try this (syrup) on her bucket nipple this evening .. thank you :)
 
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DATorrie

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cowgirl8":29ptbrjd said:
Stocker Steve":29ptbrjd said:
cowgirl8":29ptbrjd said:
#1 mistake most people do when they start off with bottle calves is they make the mistake of force feeding a sick calf milk after letting it not eat for a day or two

So what do you do with a "rescue calf" that has not eaten for a while?
IV electrolytes...if not via IV you tube it in. Its not hard to tell if a calf is dehydrated. Pump milk into a dehydrated calf will kill it. It takes water to digest milk, water that a dehydrated calf cant spare. Its like someone stranded on a boat thirsting to death. The reason they cant drink salt water is because it takes more water to digest it, same principle with a dehydrated calf and milk....Get them hydrated first, then worry about starvation. 3 days irreversible damage to organs without water, 5 days dead.... you can go without food for longer before you die, treat dehydration first.

Thank you ... I keep 'pinching' skin checking for dehydration ...
Can she just have electrolytes daily while grazing and eating her oats and rations?
 

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