partially paralyzed calf?

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milkmaid

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So I'd posted this the other day and it evidently got lost along with the rest of the May posts. Ah well. Anyway, here's the story again.

I was given a free calf Friday morning, she was approximately 48 hours old and had been hiplocked for an extended period of time during birth, and afterwards could not stand. Front end worked fine, back end did not. She also had extensive swelling from spine to hock on her right hind leg. I gave her dexamethasone, banamine, antibiotic, vitamin B complex, multimin... she got everything I could think of.

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She was fine until Saturday afternoon; she was in the backyard under a tree and I'd been picking her up and making her stand everytime I walked past. Picked her up once, had her standing okay and putting a bit of weight on the left hind (remember the right hind was swollen and she wasn't using it), put her back down under the tree, went inside to check email and when I came back out ~30 minutes later she was dead as a doornail. :eek: :???:

So I cut her open and had a look. Small spots on the lower lobes of one lung, little bit of hemorrhage on the exterior of the pulmonary artery, otherwise fine. Cut open the leg, tons of subcutaneous fluid from spine to hock and extensive, extreme deep bruising (dark purple muscle tissue) around the hip joint and the bruising went down to the bone -- like what you'd see in a deer hit by a car. So I'm thinking perhaps there was a blood clot that came loose and caused a heart attack or stroke? Any other ideas?

The rest of my questions -- anyone ever seen a calf paralyzed following birth and did they recover (ie would this heifer have had a chance or was she a hopeless cause)? Anyone ever seen a calf with that much swelling and soft tissue damage from birth (and what part of birth could possibly cause that? and why just one leg and not the other?), or was it likely caused by something else (being stepped on)? Any other thoughts on the situation or possibilities for death?

Thanks-
 

KNERSIE

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or was it likely caused by something else (being stepped on)?

Given the amount of bruising being stepped on was most likely the cause. Was there any internal bleeding? Not sure you can read much in the spots on the lungs of such a young calf.
 

hillsdown

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That's too bad MM she sure was a nice looking heifer; my guess would be a blood clot as well. You said she was hip locked for a long period of time, but did they continue pulling her with extreme pressure before they corrected the problem ?

I posted about my twin before the board was shut down and she had extensive swelling in her left rear leg from being delivered with her black legs crossed. Good thing it was me who caught it, as when she was hanging down from the cow instead of pulling I reached in and immediately felt the back legs crossed and locked on moms hip I uncrossed them and out she slid. I took her to the bet the next day because of the swelling and she couldn't walk yet so the only way she could nurse from mom was if I held her or she leaned against mom.
We put her on antibiotics (jic) and an anti inflammatory every day for 3 days (AI not AB) and then every second day for about 2 weeks or so until the swelling was gone and there wasn't any fluid in the joint and she was running around at that time. She is 8 weeks old now and doing well, she is not as chunky as her sister but is taller and I it did stunt her a bit but she should catch up . She was running around with everyone else this morning in all the new fresh snow.

Here she is on the far left:
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jilleroo

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MM, we've had several calves over the years which haven't had use of their back legs following being pulled much harder than we would have liked. We put it down to nerves being stretched and, after a day or two of intensive care and some dex or whatever else, they recover. Caesarean is not an option out here so, if you can't pull them, the heifer has to be shot. That's only happened four times in thirty years though. Your calf however sounds to me like she has suffered bad damage to her hip while being dragged through the pelvis. One hip came through at the expense of the other.
It must have been a very hard pull. Out of interest, did the cow suffer any nerve damage during the process?
 
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milkmaid

milkmaid

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KNERSIE -- I'm not sure either, but I was looking for something unusual and that qualified. :p Internal bleeding... well, originally I would have said yes, but that was before I realized I'd cut the umbilical artery & vein on my way in. :oops: :lol2: So I really don't know. Maybe, maybe not.

Jilleroo - yes, the heifer was (is?) a downer following the birth. She looks like she'll recover though, I think.

HD - very interesting scenario! wonder if that's what happened to this heifer too. As to how the calf was pulled, I don't actually know. I'll have to ask. I wasn't there when it happened.

Thanks for the input!
 

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