Lost one today

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3waycross

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The last of my Registered Gelbvieh heifers calved last night about 5PM. She calved in a grove of Pinon trees where the dry crap is about a foot deep. The cows have made beds in there for years and some of them are 10 in deep.

We saw her wander in there when we were loading up to feed and by the time we finished 30min later we could see her licking a calf I walked up within 20yds and all looked well so I didn't bother her. Went back in 10 min with a bale of hay for bedding and for her to eat. Spread it out under one of the bigger trees for a windbreak and picked up the calf and carried it about 10 feet uphill to the bed.

Now here's where it gets weird. When I went to get the calf I noticed that is was laying in a pretty deep pool of amniotic fluid and it kinda gurgled when I picked it up. Laid it in the hay and left her alone. Left the ranch about 15 min later and when I drove by his head was up and he seemed alert. Never SAW him suck or stand up.

Went back out to the ranch about 10 last night and shined the spotlight over there and could see that he was dry and head up and alert. At 8am my partner calls and says your calf is pancaked out flat and not doing well at all. so I tubed him and poured a quart and 1/2 of colostrum down him and gave him a shot of Banimine and some B-complex. At 2pm tubed him with another qt of fresh colostrum and gave him some Dex. Pretty much a waste as his ears are cold and he is barely breathing.

I am at a loss to explain why he went south. My best theory is he aspirated some amniotic fluid and it made him too weak to nurse. She stayed right with him til we brought them both up to the house and she is kinda nuts about being penned so the no good SOB jumped the fence and left him this afternoon.

Hope someone can learn something from this.

EDIT
For those who need to lecture me about the eficacy of Colostrum 12-15 hours post partum ,I already know it was at best a stopgap measure. What troubles me is the underlying cause of his going south like he did.
 

msscamp

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3waycross":2bz37857 said:
I am at a loss to explain why he went south. My best theory is he aspirated some amniotic fluid and it made him too weak to nurse. She stayed right with him til we brought them both up to the house and she is kinda nuts about being penned so the no good SOB jumped the fence and left him this afternoon.

My first guess would be pneumonia due to aspirated amniotic fluid from the pool. At that age the colostrum would probably not have had time to 'kick in' - so to speak - and he was pretty much defenseless. Should this happen again, you might want to consider giving a dose of penicillin. I'm sorry the calf died, that really bites. :(
 

Susie David

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Feel bad about your loss, we know how it feels. Sounds like the calf asperated some of the fluid probably the only way to tell was to do a necrospy and see if there was any fluid in the lungs. We have had permature births this year and lost one (six weeks early) did save a three week early heifer the rest are due next month. DMc
 

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