• If you are having problems logging in please use the Contact Us in the lower right hand corner of the forum page for assistance.

New calf trouble walking

Help Support CattleToday:

Ghunt

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2009
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
The calf in question is about a week old. From the first time he stood he stands on his front ankles. (for lack of a better term) His front hoofs look fine but he walks with them folded back. Ive seen a calf do this with one foot and after a day or two they are fine. Any suggestions? The calf is nursing good and seems fine otherwise.

Thanks
 

Angus Cowman

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 12, 2008
Messages
7,157
Reaction score
0
Location
the Great State of Mental Distress ( Florida)
Ghunt":2icla3l2 said:
The calf in question is about a week old. From the first time he stood he stands on his front ankles. (for lack of a better term) His front hoofs look fine but he walks with them folded back. Ive seen a calf do this with one foot and after a day or two they are fine. Any suggestions? The calf is nursing good and seems fine otherwise.

Thanks
he has contracted tendons and they should have been splinted the day he was born it may be to late to correct them if he is a week old without surgery
 

hillsdown

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 31, 2006
Messages
9,925
Reaction score
0
Location
Alberta, Canada
http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index ... /90206.htm


Contracted flexor tendons are probably the most prevalent abnormality of the musculoskeletal system of newborn foals and calves. An autosomal recessive gene causes this condition. In utero positioning may also affect the degree of disability.
At birth, the pastern and fetlocks of the forelegs and sometimes the carpal joints are flexed to varying degrees due to shortening of the deep and superficial digital flexors and associated muscles. A cleft palate may accompany this condition in some breeds. Slightly affected animals bear weight on the soles of the feet and walk on their toes. More severely affected animals walk on the dorsal surface of the pastern and fetlock joint. If not treated, the dorsal surfaces of these joints become damaged, and suppurative arthritis develops. Rupture of the common digital extensor can occur as a sequela. This condition should be differentiated from arthrogryposis.
Mildly affected animals recover without treatment. In moderate cases, a splint can be applied to force the animal to bear weight on its toes. The pressure from the splint must not compromise the circulation, or the foot may undergo ischemic necrosis. Frequent manual extension of the joints, attempting to stretch the ligaments, tendons, and muscles, aids in treating these intermediate cases. Severe cases require tenotomy of one or both flexor tendons. A plaster-of-Paris cast may also be indicated in some cases. Extreme cases may not respond to any treatment. (See also flexion deformities, Flexion Deformities.)


If you are unsure of what to do call your vet. The calf is a week old and has not made any improvements so I would be looking at options to fix his tendons if at all possible.
 

redcowsrule33

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2008
Messages
922
Reaction score
2
Location
Wisconsin
Splinting might still help but I would get a vet to help you out the first time so you can see how to pad it properly, otherwise you'll get bad sores (you'll probably get some anyway but it can be minimized)

I would seriously consider not repeating the mating. There is one AI bull I will not use because of this (only calves I had with contracted tendons were both out of him) even though his numbers and looks are great.

Good luck.
 

Kate

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 21, 2008
Messages
79
Reaction score
0
Location
Franklin (Middle) Tennessee
We have had 2 or 3 like that over the years but they have all gotten over it within time without any help. Just takes a few weeks.
Kate
 

Bez+

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
Messages
1,011
Reaction score
0
Location
Still trying to get back to even.
Ghunt":2hvh02cq said:
The calf in question is about a week old. From the first time he stood he stands on his front ankles. (for lack of a better term) His front hoofs look fine but he walks with them folded back. Ive seen a calf do this with one foot and after a day or two they are fine. Any suggestions? The calf is nursing good and seems fine otherwise.

Thanks

Generally just leave them be - they will get better

Look it up here - probably more than a thousand posts on this topic here at CT

Life will be good - even seen them keep up with the herd as they graze through the day - in a couple weeks they are standing normally.

Bet you by the end of the first month - if calf is healthy now - it will be fine.

Bez+
 

hillsdown

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 31, 2006
Messages
9,925
Reaction score
0
Location
Alberta, Canada
We have left them alone as dairy calves but that is different as they are in hutches and I bring the food to them. I have never splinted a beefer but then again I have never had a calf that didn't straighten out after a couple of hours (touch wood).

If you do splint one you had better know what you are doing as I have seen them worse off than before,, they get sores from rubbing that get full of dirt and [email protected] and a very bad infection if done improperly.

Like has been said already call your vet and get their advice on the best course of action for you and your calf..
 

randiliana

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 24, 2005
Messages
4,807
Reaction score
0
Location
Saskatchewan, Canada
If he is walking on the hoof part of the time then I wouldn't do anything about it. By now (week old) he should be walking on the tippy toes at the very least if he is going to come out of it on his own.

But every now and then you come across one that only walks on the front of the fetlock. If that is the case, you will need to splint him. As said before, a piece of plastic tube will work wonders. Has to be long enough to go from the coronet band to the knee. You want it below the knee so he can still bend it. Pad it well, especially around the top and bottom and place it over the leg. Duct tape it together. You must check on it at least once a day, and after a couple days I would think about taking it off for a few hours, and forcing him to walk on the foot without the splint. The splint forces the tendons to stretch, it does not strengthen them.
 

larryshoat

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 23, 2007
Messages
3,475
Reaction score
0
Location
Ohio
Every once in a while a calf dealer will put one like that on a load . I always get them to not charge for it because I know they didn't pay anything for it . All that being said I can't think of one that didn't eventually straighten out .

Larry
 

Cowdirt

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 25, 2005
Messages
723
Reaction score
0
Location
Mid TN, USA
Over the years I've had several calves with contracted tendons. Never had one that did not correct itself. I don't mess with my calves unless I believe it's useful. Some call it "benign neglect". Dad called me something else. :)
 

Angus Cowman

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 12, 2008
Messages
7,157
Reaction score
0
Location
the Great State of Mental Distress ( Florida)
Cowdirt":373pgzph said:
Over the years I've had several calves with contracted tendons. Never had one that did not correct itself. I don't mess with my calves unless I believe it's useful. Some call it "benign neglect". Dad called me something else. :)
most of them I have seen if they go over a week they usually don't straighten correctly so it is easier to splint them for a couple days when they are a day old and get it over with and go on

Have seen them where they have wore sores on their legs and that is harder to treat than the tendons
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2004
Messages
11,863
Reaction score
452
Location
Central Upstate New York
I don't know where Hillsdown's quote came from - but, through my experiences (over 35 years), I have seen several cases of this. It is caused from the calf being too large inside the dam, and he/she kept their legs curled up & didn't straighten them out. Years ago, I got some fancy velcro splints. Used them maybe once. Didn't straighten out any faster or better.
As posted, leave him alone.
 

dun

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2003
Messages
47,334
Reaction score
1
Location
MO Ozarks
Conventional wisdom is that if you treat and splint them they'll straighten out in 6 weeks, if you don;t do anything it will take a month and half. Years ago I used to buy all the bumble foot calves I could, nobodyu wanted them so they sold for a couple of bucks. When I hauled them back to the salebarn at weaning (8 weeks or so) I did real well with them because they were typically really big growthy calves. Never tocuhed their legs, just let them grow out of it.
 

larryshoat

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 23, 2007
Messages
3,475
Reaction score
0
Location
Ohio
Angus Cowman":5rrhyzpd said:
with splinting thm I have never had one take over a week to straighten out
but to each his own

I can see how that would make things go better . I never had much luck coming up with a good splint :? . If you get a chance sometime post a pic of how you make your splint .

Larry
 

dyates

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 2, 2007
Messages
664
Reaction score
0
Location
Winchester, ky
Leave it be like others suggested. I will suggest keeping him and the cow in a lot where he can't bumble into trouble. Electric fences and ponds are the type of trouble I'm thinking of.
 

ChrisB

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 29, 2004
Messages
1,310
Reaction score
1
Location
MN
I had a holstein a few years ago that didn't straighten out yet after a month so I figured I would try a splint. After a couple weeks of messing around with a splint and still no improvement I gave up and figured he would just have to survive that way; 2 weeks later he was fine.
 

Latest posts

Top