Help - 3 calves dead.....

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Anonymous

We are starting into calving season here. The weather has been cold and very wet for the past 5 months. Normally, we have very few problems with the new calves. However, this year is different.....

We've had a total of 15 calves to date. Four of them have died. One of them wasn't a full term calf, so I'm not really concerned about it - I know in the cattle business, sometimes 'stuff' just happens for no reason.

However, the other three calves really have me puzzled. They were all born to good cows, who have had calves in the past with no problems. Each time, the calf is doing just fine - nursing well, active and alert. All were of normal size. All were 4 or more days old.

The first one, we found already dead. Nothing we could do to help it. The second and third one, we discovered in distress and attempted to get them back up and running, but to no avail. They didn't seem to have any problems breathing, but were too weak to stand on their own or nurse. Attempting to bottle feed them didn't work - it was as if there little mouths didn't work any longer. The could bite down on the nipple of the bottle, but were unable to suck. Calf #2 died before we could tube it and get milk replacer into it. Calf #3 we did tube successfully, and it acted like it might come out of it, but it died about 2 hours later.

Both of the latter calves had no temperature - actually they were cold - inside their mouths and inside of their ears. They also did not have any signs of scours. No snotty noses, no rattle when breathing, nothing to let us know they were having problems until they were down ........

We talked to another friend who raises cattle (about 10 miles away from our herd), and he had lost one calf today already, and another one was 'down' and he expected that it would not last the night, either.

The vet's office didn't have any answers either - they indicated that a lot of other farmers in this area are experiencing calving difficulties this year. And they couldn't tell us what the problem could be, either.

The only real difference this year as compared to previous years, is the amount of water in and on the ground - mud everywhere. It's impossible to find a dry spot for the cows and calves. We are doing our best to keep straw down in the barn, but it's a never ending process.

Please, if you have any ideas, let me know. We just don't have any idea what the problem could be......
 
OP
A

Anonymous

> We are starting into calving
> season here. The weather has been
> cold and very wet for the past 5
> months. Normally, we have very few
> problems with the new calves.
> However, this year is
> different....
> We've had a total of 15 calves to
> date. Four of them have died. One
> of them wasn't a full term calf,
> so I'm not really concerned about
> it - I know in the cattle
> business, sometimes 'stuff' just
> happens for no reason.

> However, the other three calves
> really have me puzzled. They were
> all born to good cows, who have
> had calves in the past with no
> problems. Each time, the calf is
> doing just fine - nursing well,
> active and alert. All were of
> normal size. All were 4 or more
> days old.

> The first one, we found already
> dead. Nothing we could do to help
> it. The second and third one, we
> discovered in distress and
> attempted to get them back up and
> running, but to no avail. They
> didn't seem to have any problems
> breathing, but were too weak to
> stand on their own or nurse.
> Attempting to bottle feed them
> didn't work - it was as if there
> little mouths didn't work any
> longer. The could bite down on the
> nipple of the bottle, but were
> unable to suck. Calf #2 died
> before we could tube it and get
> milk replacer into it. Calf #3 we
> did tube successfully, and it
> acted like it might come out of
> it, but it died about 2 hours
> later.

> Both of the latter calves had no
> temperature - actually they were
> cold - inside their mouths and
> inside of their ears. They also
> did not have any signs of scours.
> No snotty noses, no rattle when
> breathing, nothing to let us know
> they were having problems until
> they were down ........

> We talked to another friend who
> raises cattle (about 10 miles away
> from our herd), and he had lost
> one calf today already, and
> another one was 'down' and he
> expected that it would not last
> the night, either.

> The vet's office didn't have any
> answers either - they indicated
> that a lot of other farmers in
> this area are experiencing calving
> difficulties this year. And they
> couldn't tell us what the problem
> could be, either.

> The only real difference this year
> as compared to previous years, is
> the amount of water in and on the
> ground - mud everywhere. It's
> impossible to find a dry spot for
> the cows and calves. We are doing
> our best to keep straw down in the
> barn, but it's a never ending
> process.

> Please, if you have any ideas, let
> me know. We just don't have any
> idea what the problem could
> be......

Did your vet not mention TETANUS as a possible cause muscles ridgit, jaw clamped shut, cold temp (no shivering to produce heat)

the tetanus spore enters through the naval, a spot of iodine will help seal the opening on newborn

you can protect against tetanus by inoculation

regards Art

[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

With neighbor's cattle having problems too...sounds little weird. Do you regularly (2X year) vaccinate cattle for all diseases in your area? Tetanus can be picked up from the soil (so I am told)... are the holding areas and/or pens cleaned of manure and stuff? If more than one rancher in your areas has problem, sounds like the Vet needs to run some tests to see if there is something serious passing thru your area.
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Kinda the same problem, only we had calves at approximately 500 lbs. the calves quit eating and lost weight rapidly. Vet has no ideal what problem was. Have lost 2 so far

[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

We've had the same problems. Basically, its due to so much stress built up around these calves. Since its cold and wet, they are really having a hard time adjusting to the environment, so their immune system isn't working quite rihgt, giving diseases an easier time to infect them. The best thing we found to help them is to give each calf a dose of Nuflour, or some other generic antibiotic. It seems to help jump start their immune system, giving them a better chance. Also, if you have the facillities, getting any newborn calves out of the weather would also help. Good Luck.

[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

How long since these cows were vacinated for blackleg? Before the calves died, did they seem to be in discomfort? Kicked their legs, vocalized, or through their heads back like they were in pain? Any other symptoms you can think of may help.

[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

I found the following website which lists cattle illnesses, deseases, and vitamin/mineral deficiencies. I literally went all the way thru it, item by item, until I found the one that matched our calves symptoms.

<A HREF="http://www.organic-vet.reading.ac.uk/Cattleweb/help/indexidea.htm" TARGET="_blank">http://www.organic-vet.reading.ac.uk/Cattleweb/help/indexidea.htm</A>

The calves have contracted Acute Septicemic Colibacillosis. We have never vaccinated for this disease, unfortunately. Evidently, by the number of other people we have talked to in the area, no one has been.

I printed the paper describing this disease from the computer and had the fellow who owns the farm take it to the vet. He actually spoke to the vet this time (last time he was there, the vet was out). The vet agreed that this is a REAL problem in this area this year, partially because of the additional problems with the ground being so darned wet and muddy, causing the calves additional stress.

Anyway, the vet gave him calf boluses as well as Baytril and BoSe, to administer to every new calf born. This medicine will be administered over a 4 day period for each new calf born, but he felt it was our best defense to saving the new calves.

And, we are definitely going to get into a better vaccination program this year, which should alleviate or minimize this problem in the future.

Another website which was quite valuable, once I thought I found the problem, was this one at Merck.

<A HREF="http://www.merckvetmanual.com" TARGET="_blank">http://www.merckvetmanual.com</A>

Thank you all VERY MUCH for taking the time to post responses and encouragement to getting this resolved. I hope that we're on the path to having no further problems with calving this spring.
 

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