Lame Calf ?

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Stocker Steve

Well-known member
May 2, 2005
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Central Minnesota
I have a 300# calf that is lame in the rear. It is very heavy muscled and post legged. Hind quarters look a lot like a modern-day butcher hog. Any ideas other than culling the mother and moving on?
Sounds like a spastic paresis case. They go down hill fairly fast once it appears. Usually associated with some Maine Anjou and clubby lines. Eat him soon. Cow probably will never throw another one if breed her to Angus or Herf bull. What was the sire of the calf? What breed is the cow?
If this turns out to be the problem, there is a surgical procedure that could allow you to get him sound enough to finish for slaughter. I doubt it makes financial sense though. My Vet would probably do it pretty cheap, but I expect most Vets would need to charge more than what the animal is worth.

I saw this in the Merck Veterinary Manual:
There is no successful medical treatment. Because spastic paresis is heritable, affected animals (especially breeding bulls) should be eliminated from the herd. Palliative surgical treatment may be attempted, although ethical issues should be considered when breeding stock is involved. The procedures, usually performed on calves, include complete tenotomy of the gastrocnemius tendon, which results in a dropped hock; complete tibial neurectomy, which results in sufficient relief to permit a steer to be finished for slaughter; and partial tenectomy of the two insertions of the gastrocnemius muscle and the calcanean tendon sheath, which overcomes the problem of the dropped hock.
Cow is a Sim angus cross. Bull is grade angus. Had a calf like this several years ago. He got by till winter hit. Sounds like veal is in order.

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