I need help with a down calf

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rtarmstrong

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I am new to this Board, but I am in desperate need of some help. I have a 4 to 5 month old calf that up to about 1 week was out in the field running and acting like a normal calf with the other calfs, but last Friday I noticed that it was staggering a little with its back legs, then Sunday when I went to feed, this calf could'nt get up. It makes all the motions that they do when they try to get up but it can't lift itself off the ground. Had the vet out he said she was selenium deficient, he gave her a shot of Thiamine, Micotol and ADESE (?) when he was here and left me another shot to administer to her on wednesday. Well now it is thursday and she is still down. She eats well, we are feeding her where she is at and bottle feeding her milk and providing her plenty of water to keep her from dehydrating. Only other problem that I had noticed in her recently was that the skin around her eyes was very pink, but not the eye itself just around the eye. She has also been given a shot of Banimine and Dex with no results. She has tons of energy, just can't get up.

Any suggestions would be helpful
 

Texan

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rtarmstrong":rdk1i9ue said:
She has tons of energy, just can't get up.
If your calf is trying to get up, you need to help her up, whatever it takes. Get her up and make her stand there for a while to get some circulation back. Try to do it several times a day, or at the very least, roll her over to the other side and leave her sitting up with her legs under her.

Don't lose a calf that is eating and trying to get up!
 

cattle_gal

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One year I lost 30 calves to white muscle (selenium def) before we found out what it was. For this calf to have white muscle seems uncharacteristic. You said she has lots of energy. Typical white muscle calves have a hard time even using their mouth at birth that is when they are born alive, let alone a week old and previously running with the herd mates and just in the rear. And if she dies have a vet do an the autopsy right away. And take samples to send off to lab to confirm the problem. Have you had any problems like this in the past? Also have a soil test
done to see where the mineral levels are on your place.
 

dun

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Just a shot in the dark, but did the vet listen to her heart. A couple of years ago we had a very similar case that we worked with for a month or more. The vet on a whim listened to his heart and found he had a bad valve (heart murmer). As he got older and more active it started to be a problem.
Grasping at straws.............

dun
 

Arnold Ziffle

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You say "micotol" --- do you mean "Mycotil"? If so, I sure hope your vet didn't leave you another dose of Mycotil to administer yourself. If he or she did, you had better be VERY careful about how you administer it -- talk to your vet. As a matter of fact, if I'm not mistaken, I read that Mycotil was supposed to have been pulled from use, and authorization to administer it was revoked by the feds in late June 2004. Humans have been known to get a sickness called DEATH by getting some of that stuff in their system by accident, like when trying to administer it to cattle.
 
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rtarmstrong

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My receipt from the vet says micotil (?) but he may have just misspelled it on the handwriten receipt. But the extra shot he left was an extra dose of the selenium. Just got back from checking on her, she's still down but acts like she is going to get up, just can't do it. She moves around on the ground, not far just sort of scoots and is sucking the bottle, she has quite a healthy appetite. I talked to the vet tonight and he said to just give it some time.
 
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I remember a heifer calf I once treated on a farm that was originally found lying flat on her side with even flies walking on her eyeballs. We picked her up with a front end loader, got her to the barn and treated her with selenium--her blood levels were almost non-existant, and she'd had a shot at birth. She was down for over two weeks, and the cow would stand over her so that the calf would nurse. We lifted her daily (at least once) and gradually she was able to stand. It took longer so that she could walk. She made it to slaughter, since there was sufficient damage that she always had a bit of a wobble to the back end.

For me, where there's life, there's hope.

There are two tests that can be done to test for selenium in a living animal. One is called glutathion peroxidase (aka GSHPx) which is an indirect test, the other is a direct selenium level. Both are good indicators of the problem.
 

Running Arrow Bill

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Just curious! Periodically I read something on a board about mineral deficiencies and calves weak, down, trying to die, etc., etc.

Would seem to me that if a cattle person was feeding a quality mineral free choice 24/7 and had quality hay that there wouldn't be a mineral problem in the calves or others.

Don't some of those regional areas sell mineral blocks or tubs or loose minerals that are formulated for known mineral deficiencies in ones locale? If so, then why don't some cattle people use them to hopefully prevent problems from happening? Just doesn't make sense to me.... :?: :eek:
 

J Baxter

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rt

The next time you go to feed her, pick up on her tailhead and let her do all the standing she can on her on. She may even walk a ways with you maintaining her balance. It takes as much muscular strength to maintain balance as it does to provide motor function and walking one is a lot better than just rolling her.

JB
 

dun

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Running Arrow Bill":b4jcy3bb said:
Just curious! Periodically I read something on a board about mineral deficiencies and calves weak, down, trying to die, etc., etc.

Would seem to me that if a cattle person was feeding a quality mineral free choice 24/7 and had quality hay that there wouldn't be a mineral problem in the calves or others.

Don't some of those regional areas sell mineral blocks or tubs or loose minerals that are formulated for known mineral deficiencies in ones locale? If so, then why don't some cattle people use them to hopefully prevent problems from happening? Just doesn't make sense to me.... :?: :eek:

In this area there are pockets of selenium deficiency. Normal minerals work in 99.9% of the areas so that is what the normal mineral mixes are aimed at. Could be a failure to metabolize the selnium or something of that nature. In known selenium deficient areas there will be extra selenium minerals available. They weill cost more so some folks save a buck and go with those that don't contain the extra.

dun
 
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rtarmstrong

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I was just wondering is their possibly a oral selenium that can be administred the vet said that it could take 5 to 6 days since the injection was a slow absorbing injection and did not enter into the bloodstream quickly. She is starting to sit up more today. Went outside to check on her about midnight last night and heard this awful mooing in the field, she had somehow managed to get herself to move about 15-20 feet from where we had left her and got herself caught on her backside. So at midnight last night we were trying to move a 150-175 calf that was scared out of her wits, but we did learn the hard way that even though she isn't walking the girl does have on powerful kick to her. She seems to be on a up and down pattern, you'll check on her once and she seems to be full of pep and then sometimes you check on her and she seems worn out. Drank the bottle quickly this morning and does not seem to interested with it tonight (She is only back on the bottle to keep enough liquids in her to keep from dehydrating) I keep hoping that I'll go out and she will be up, only time will tell. And I wait...
 

plbcattle

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you might want to check to see if it is dallas grass poisoning. I lost a cow and a calf to it a couple of weeks ago. the vet who came and fixed a prolapse cow for me a couple days ago said he just treated a whole herd that had it. 15 died and about 50 were sick. he said it had been 10 years since he had seen it. Look at your grass if it is tall and teh seed heads will be black with mold. the cows I had with it acted the same way you are refering to. they all got better with time exept for the 1 cow. the calf died because her mother had it when she calved and she never took her calf and it died. we bottle fed it and even had a $400 vet bill trying to keep her alive. She was out of one of my best donors(that;s how it always goes)Im not saying thats what your cow has but it sounds real famillar. Good luck
 
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rtarmstrong

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It's odd that you mentioned the grass poisoning, because about 4 days before we noticed her sort of staggering is when we got rolls of hay delivered to our place and she is the only calf that has really been eating it. Our other calf prefers the grain and sweet feed that we also feed. The other cows eat it but they weigh around 700 to 800 pounds. Is it possible that if it is dallas grass poisoning that it would just affect her based on her weight being less than the other cows also eating it? Just came in from looking at her, she's perky this morning and has a lot of movement in her legs. Maybe today's the day she gets up on her own. (keeping my fingers crossed)
 

PLR

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Two years ago I had a cow that exhibited strange symptoms Like Staggering, Tense Muscles, and Teeth grinding. After going to one vet and getting a diagnosis of a brain tumor I got a second and third opinion. The second vet had no Idea. The third vet did a blood test(the first one done) 3 days after onset of symptoms. It showed Extremely low Magnesium Levels or what is know as Grass Tetney. After some research I determined that it was caused by too little forage that had not grown on Unburned land. Unfortunately the cow had been down for 5 days before proper treatment was administered and it was too late for it to allow her to recover. We kept trying for 4 more days and the cow finally stood. We thought she was recovering. We moved her to another pasture and after two more days of steady decline we decided to end the suffering. She had not eaten the whole 11 days.

I hope you calf does improve.

Good Luck

Shelby
 
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rtarmstrong

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We had her up several times but she was only able to stand there, she was never able to walk. I fed her a bottle of milk about Noon yesterday, she was alert and seemed to be full of energy, only too check on her about 2:30 and she was dead. Thank you for all your advice you have given me.
 

TheBullLady

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Awww.. so sorry to hear about your loss! It's awful to lose them after you've agonized and worked with them for so long.

:(
 

PLR

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Sorry to hear of your loss. To help future cases make sure you have the vet do a necropsy. This will tell you what it was and if it was preventable tell you how to stop it from happening again.

Shelby
 

bward

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My guess would be...... acute lead poisoning. When you have the necrospy done have them check for that as well.

My sympathies to you.
 

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