"Lunger"

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Logan52

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I recently sold a older weigh cow that had lost her calf for over $1500. Sitting at the yards with money and a trailer made me eager to buy something to replace her.
Bought a thin 1st calf heifer with a bull calf for well under what the old cow had brought. Well, to start off she kicked back as she jumped on the trailer and hit her calf in the jaw and a huge knot ensued. I unloaded them in a barn where I could isolate them a few days and treat the calf. I gave the calf some antibiotics and he looked a little thin but OK.
Well, the weather turned hot and the calf stayed in the shade. It now looks to me the calf was a "lunger" when I bought him and survives but does not thrive.
In changeable weather he has discharge from his nose. How much of a threat is he to the other calves?
 

alacowman1

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I recently sold a older weigh cow that had lost her calf for over $1500. Sitting at the yards with money and a trailer made me eager to buy something to replace her.
Bought a thin 1st calf heifer with a bull calf for well under what the old cow had brought. Well, to start off she kicked back as she jumped on the trailer and hit her calf in the jaw and a huge knot ensued. I unloaded them in a barn where I could isolate them a few days and treat the calf. I gave the calf some antibiotics and he looked a little thin but OK.
Well, the weather turned hot and the calf stayed in the shade. It now looks to me the calf was a "lunger" when I bought him and survives but does not thrive.
In changeable weather he has discharge from his nose. How much of a threat is he to the other calves?
If he picked up shipping fever "viral pneumonia "while at the stockyard then its contagious..you need to quarantine him from the rest and hit him with resflor gold or something simular..
 
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Logan52

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I gave him Resflor when I had them in the barn (two doses) and kept them isolated about a week.
I now think the calf was already a chronic "lunger" when i bought him. Just wondering how much a threat to the others he is now.
 

alacowman1

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I gave him Resflor when I had them in the barn (two doses) and kept them isolated about a week.
I now think the calf was already a chronic "lunger" when i bought him. Just wondering how much a threat to the others he is now.
thats a question for the Vet........but if he just has chronic lung damage I'd think him being of contagious to others wouldn't be an problem. ..the damage is already done ..and this heat sure ain't helping him..imagine having COPD and trying to grab some air when there ain't any
 
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Logan52

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Yeah, this heat does not help. He seems to get better but a cold front comes through and he gets a nasal discharge again and isolates himself from the other cattle. Still grazes and nurses. He is growing but thin.
A bad purchase by me. I had had good luck buying 3in 1s the last few springs but this has been frustrating. His mom is a 1st calf black heifer, a little thin but putting on weight while nursing this calf.
 

bird dog

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I got one too but its from my group so know one to blame but myself. My problem is what to do with the darn thing. I am not one to try and sneak it through the sale barn and dragging it up there to sell for $50 isn't much of an option either. I wouldn't worry much about it spreading its sickness. That's long since past.
 

Katpau

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Since you don't know where it came from or any health history on that herd, I would at least take an ear notch and have it tested. You don't want to put a PI calf in with your cattle and infect the whole herd with BVD. Many PI calves fail to thrive and are more susceptible to sickness. That would be my first concern.
 
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Logan52

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Thanks for the replies. It helps even if it confirms your suspicions. What to do with him is a question. A friend said sell him with a group after cooler weather gets here. I would hate to do that for the dishonesty but also, buyers here know my calves and I have a good reputation.
 

wbvs58

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Since you don't know where it came from or any health history on that herd, I would at least take an ear notch and have it tested. You don't want to put a PI calf in with your cattle and infect the whole herd with BVD. Many PI calves fail to thrive and are more susceptible to sickness. That would be my first concern.
Yes when you buy cattle in all the time you are certainly incurring biosecurity risks no matter how carefull you are. An obviously sick one like this is probably no greater risk than an apparently healthy one. PI's can be poor doers like this or can be top show cattle.
The following is not addressed to you Katpau as you seem aware of the situation. Young cattle such as steers and heifers before joining out on grazing are a very low risk with a PI amongst them. Most will get BVD and get over it completely with immunity without you even being aware. It is when things are intensified as in a feedlot when things get nasty, a transient infection of BVD doesn't make them sick but lowers their immunity so the causative agents of BRD get a free reign and that is the problem.
Also back on the farm a PI amongst breeding females especially heifers with no immunity is when you get abortions and those that do hang onto the calf at the right gestation period will produce a PI calf. The heifer/cow will be completely back to normal for the following year though.

Ken
 

Son of Butch

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I now think the calf was already a chronic "lunger" when i bought him. Just wondering how much a threat to the others he is now.
Biggest threat is to profitability.
Lung Lesions
24% higher morbidity than cattle with no lesions, in addition to higher treatment costs and lower feed efficiency.
Feedlot study, 1 in 14 had lung lesions, 1 in 23 had trimmable lesions signifying long term with deeper scarring.
hanging weights averaged 60 lbs less
Cattle with lung lesions graded Standard at nearly double the rate of cattle without lesions and 23% higher rate of grading Select.

The old saying of once a 'lunger' always a 'lunger' is true.
They will always be worth less than a non-lunger.
Most profitable solution is to cut your losses early rather than later.
 

Katpau

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Thank you Wbvs58 for expanding on the BVD risk. I personally think it is a good idea to test every new cow you introduce into your herd, because you usually can't tell one is PI. It only costs a few dollars and could avoid the heartache of cows aborting, or creating more PI calves. Even a vaccinated cow has some potential of contracting BVD. She just won't get as sick and is very unlikely to die, but she could still abort or produce a PI calf. An animal that contracts BVD will normally recover and have no long term problems, but a calf exposed at a certain time in utero can appear healthy and yet carry and pass on the virus throughout their life. That is what we call a PI (persistently affected) animal. In addition, if you have a PI cow she will always have a PI calf. Here is some more information from a University paper:

"If pregnant animals recover, they may abort about 2 to 4 weeks after exposure, especially if they are in the second trimester of pregnancy. Those exposed in the first trimester may experience early embryonic death, while open cattle may fail to conceive and return to heat. Some cows, if exposed between approximately 60 and 120 days of pregnancy, may not lose their fetus, but rather may go on to deliver a persistently infected (PI) carrier calf. For the rest of its life this PI carrier calf will shed lots of BVD virus that can then infect other animals.
If a PI calf is in the herd, you may see signs indicative of BVD, including:"

Increased number of open cows
Delayed or strung-out calving periods
Abortions
Weak or dead calves at birth
Birth defects
Increased percentage of calves with sickness including scours, pneumonia and lameness
Runty calves or those doing poorly
Calves dying post weaning.
 

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