Infection from Banding?

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Jan 3, 2009
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I banded a 600# calf 5 days ago. He got a tetanus shot earlier and then a booster at banding. Yesterday the scrotum was swollen, the skin near the band looks infected. Temp was 103.6. Gave him banamine & Pen G, sprayed on topical treatment. Today 2nd Pen G, temp 102. Still swollen & soar. Plan on at least 2 more days on Pen G. Will he come along or should I get the vet?
You can always call a vet. I think you may want to call them if for nothing more than some stronger antiobiotic. If you're getting some OTC stuff, you'd probably do both of you a world of good getting something more potent.
Better call the vet .If the sac is swollen below the band then you've got trouble . Whatever you do don't stop the pen, add Banamine to it and give Tetanus Anti-Toxin .
The band is not tight enoiugh . What kind of bander did you use ?

No, he didn't get the band tight enough or it slipped . After you have seen some bleed to death the bander begins to look llike a better choice.
I used the XL Bander. He was on the big side and I think the band slipped up towards his body. The band just wasn't strong enough. 20/20 hindsight, I shoulda done him earlier. Is the other bander with the tubing and metal clip a better choice? I talked to the vet 2 days ago, he thought the Pen G would be enough. If his condition doesn't turn for the worse, I'm thinking of letting him go til Monday then see if I need the vet. What is tetanus anti-toxin?
I would at least cut the bottom of his bag off. better yet cut the whole sack off that will do away with most of what is causing the infection.
jb50":3sr2yyv5 said:
What is tetanus anti-toxin?
Tetanus antitoxin is made from serum from animal (ususally horses) that has been hyper-immunized to tetanus. It is used to give immediate protection to an animal that is un- or under-immunized to tetanus in the face of the potential to contract it (castration,cuts, etc.). Usually only lasts about 7-10 days. Doesn't work very well once the animal has symptoms of tetanus. Cattle tend to be far more resistant to tetanus than horses but it does happen especially with banding which is why the bander manufacturers recommend immunization.
Red Bull Breeder":22kwhsu8 said:
Cut the sack off.

I don't cut, I band for the reasons you mentioned. Wondering if cutting the sack off at this point could also lead to bleeding to death? Just asking because I don't know. Or will the band that's in place keep it from bleeding?
I wonder too if the band is holding the infectious crap outta his system. Maybe by holding & cutting him I'll disturb the band enough to allow some crap into his bloodstream. On the other hand I can see that getting the crap drained out would be beneficial.
Get a vet out and let the vet decide what to do, pronto or you may lose him soon.

Continuing to give him shots without solving the source of the infection sounds like it is prolonging things unnecessarily.
The band is simply not tight enough . If he is swollen below the band , that means that there is still fluid flowing, it needs to be stopped . I don't like the XL bander (as you say 20/20 hindsight) . Invest in the Calicrate bander, it gets the right tension to stop blood flow . I don't think now is a good time to cut the sac off, I would put a couple more bands on in hopes of cutting off the flow of fluids, maybe 2 or 3 together will stop it, then slit the bottom of the sac to let it drain . Continue with the pen .

I aggree with Larry , put another band on top of that one and do it right so it is very tight and doesn't slip. Continue with antibiotics and as usually I am going to say if you are using otc drugs add at least 20 percent to suggested amount and then remember withdrawl times increase as well.

I have only used the Callicrate bander at that age and if done right they will never slip (you can rent them also as they are pricey to buy), the sac turns black in a few days and falls off in a moth or so, the fellas are a little tender and walk carefully for a few days but are back to normal right away. I prefer to band at 1 day old but there is always one that you are not sure of and want to see how they grow out , if I decide last minute I now have the vet cut them when we do herd health.

Keep the antibiotics up and keep pulling his temp, is his appetite still good ? If you are really worried get your vet out, he will probably cut the band and remove the testicles and then administer antibiotics.
I would do as previously stated. Have had the same happen put another band on and cut him as normal.Making sure the sack will drain. Do it soon before it gets to stinking. Give penicillin. This is what the vet will do. You will not have the bill or hauling time.
If it were my steer(ish), (we usually do a lot smaller) i would clean the wound if open, spray some disinfectant/bug spray (if you have any bugs this time of year) and most definitly put another band on. Give anti-biotics, and if there is a ton of swelling from infection you might want to give an anti-inflamitory.(like the banamine you gave) Keep track of your withdrawl periods though!
If this happens again I would re-evaluate the bander or the operator. Sometimes what works well for one doesn't work well for another. Keep in mind also that if you use the kind of banders that you personally tighten, and he has a ton of swelling, once the swelling from the infection goes away your band may be to loose again. I would watch him closely until all is well and back to normal.
Hope this helps.
Double R

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