need help with 2 week bottle calf

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Apr 10, 2007
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Ontario, Canada
It's that time of year again and I need your folks input again. You have all been very helpful the last few years. I have been cruising the board all night. Loved the "call your vet" thread that was so long. Two years ago we got a day old red angus heifer. Went through pneumonia with her. I called every vet around and they just told me what meds to give her and she was not worth the vet call and good luck! Two weeks later we got another charolais heifer (to keep Susie company) and she never got sick. I discovered this forum and love it. Susie and Friday are now turning two soon and have a boyfriend named Hank and are hoping for babies. I used this board last year when Molly got navel/joint ill. What a battle that was. At one point we thought it was gone and then her navel was bigger than a softball when she was around 4 months. I actually convinced a yet to come out. It cost me $100 bucks but he saw all my cows, gave some meds and now I have someone to call for advice or to come out. Molly is almost a year now and doing great. So thanks for all your help with those three.

Here is number 4. Blackie is a black angus that was with her mother in a feedlot for 3 days before we picked her up. This was the first calf who actually got colostrum and had a mother. She took to the bottle right away but had signs of pneumonia and within a couple of days navel ill. Talked to the vet. She is on day 8 of 3cc of Oxytetracycline. She was doing okay until 5 days ago she slipped on the ice and my girlfriend said she had to pick her up. The next day her LF was swollen and had a nasty cut. Her LH hock is huge now. Her navel has been dripping and I have been soaking it. Today she can hardly stand up to drink and when she does, she has to lie down shortly after. She has had one quarter cc of banamine for the last two days and tonight she got half a cc. I also need to mention that she is in a stall in my friends horse barn and probably does not walk around much. I don't know if this if from falling and cutting herself or if the navel ill is travelling around? Probably a bit of both. What else can I give her to help her with the pain so she will move around more? This afternoon I gave her the bottle while she was laying down although tonight she got up to drink but not for long. Any ideas? Cheers :tiphat:
Are the knee joints warm to the touch? Might not be alot of a difference but check it out. If navel ill has spread, that would be the first place.
When you soak the navel, are your hands clean, are you gloved up? Reinfection is a bummer.
If you are using the required dosage of banamine, great. If not, suck it up and use a proper dosage
If after eigth days the navil ill is showing no signs of improvement call your vet cause you will need something like nuflor to get to the matter
As for the cut on the leg, the banamine will help with the swelling. With 8 days of LA200 ( i presume) there should be enough in the system to fight the infection. Clean the cut with a weak tea like solution of iodine and water and maybe a topical antibiotic if you have some, again, the weak tea 2x a day.

Just cause this calf had colostrum does not necessarily mean passive transfer (PT) took place. Many things are required inorder for the IGg to pass the intestine lining. Failure of PT (FPT) happens.
Some reasons for FPT are:
-difficult or stressful birth which means the gut is less able to absorb it all
-enviromental stresses
-poor mothering
-poor quality colostrum
-and the big one, not timely matter
If any or all of these situations were present, good chance that FPT happened. Check out Jeanne Valley's thread on colostrum and Randi's thread as well. Both are informative

Did this calf come from the same farm as the others? I am curious cause you are again fighting pnemonia at an early age. Are these cattle, the cows and bulls, vaccinated for BVD and IBR and the rest of the story? If not i would get your cows and calves BVD checked. Are your cows that are about to calve vaccinated?
Nvael ill is caused by an untreated or improperly treated navel infection . All navel should be checked by feeling the cord where it goes into the belly, if bigger than a mans thumb, treat with 10 ml penicillin per day along with 10 ml oral amoxicillin twice a day, usually 3 or 4 days will get it, but recheck .

1/4 ml Banamine is not the right dose, 1 to 2 ml per100 lbs . I assume the leg will get better with time .

If she has pnuemonia she needs something better than Oxy-Tet, something like Draxin, A180, Nuflor, Baytril, Micotil one of those .

The last two days Blackie has gotten worse. She can hardly stand up and only for a few minutes. Soaked her LF last night then squirted Penicillin on it. She can only walk on the tip of her toe. Couldn't get to the navel soak but did it on Sat. I use gloves, hot water and salt and iodine scrub. It is not swollen just smelly and drippy. When she pees her navel seems to leak. The pressure of peeing? Her joints are warm especially her LH hock which she can't seem to put on the ground at all any more. Yesterday when I got her up she seemed to panic, in pain perhaps, as everything is on the left side she has a hell of a time standing. If I stand by her right side to keep her steady she can only take it for a few minutes then has to lay down. She is back to laboured breathing and coughing. Temp 102.2 Sure went downhill fast in the last two days since I posted. Thought I had the pnuemonia licked but it was very damp here on the weekend.
Talked to my vet this am. I gave her 4cc of Nuflor and will have to get another 3cc for Wed. He wants her to have 2 aspirins instead of Banamine as he is concerned with ulcers. He also suggested poking a 16 guage needle in her hock to relieve the fluid or pressure then bathing it in hot salt water. He keeps telling me good luck and seems to not have any intention of comming out. Waste of money he says. Guess my 4 cow account is not big enough so he seems happy to just tell me what to do. She looked awful this morning and only took 1 pint lying down. She also seems to have started to scour which I forgot to mention to the vet.
Will 2 aspirins do anything for the pain that 1cc of Banamine will do? I gave last years calf Banamine for weeks cause I get it for free and had nothing to lose but the calf anyway. I do not know if she got ulcers or not from it but she did make it finally. Will the Nuflor act quickly?
These cows/calves have all come from the same feedlot a friend works at. He sends us the ones that look like they would make it. Hate to think of all the ones that don't. The 3 heifers and the bull have been vaccinated for BVD and IBR but are probably do for this years vaccinations. They are at my farm and the sick calf is at a friends so they are not together.
Will go back in 4 hours to see if Blackie is hungry enough yet to drink and my friend will help me with the hock injection. Any suggestions? Guess I have nothing to lose but time or a calf. Cheers :tiphat:
As much as I don;t like to say it, I think it's time for the final lead injection.
I agree with the others, it's time to call it quits . You gave it the best you knew how .


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