Post Partum Illin'

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Farmer Z

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I have a mystery illness and would apreciate any input. Here's the deal: I have a first calf heifer that apparently starting wasting away some time prior to calving. She's in a very healthy herd (vacs,wormed, etc). She had a calf and it became very apparent that she was going down physically. We penned her and the calf and tried to feed her but there was no appetite. On advice of a vet, we hit her with anti-biotics and cortisone. She began to drink water and eat a little. I had the vet come on out and look at her. He found no obstructions on either end, no mastitis, etc. She still has her baby teeth. There was no fever. He thought it could be kidney failure but blood tests proved otherwise. It's been a couple of weeks...she will eat about 4-5 gallons of feed daily but very little hay - is drinking plenty of water now. Tends to slobber a lot. I actually think she's recovering but would like to know what the board thinks happened?
 

LoveMoo11

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Did the vet check for ketosis? Milk fever would be another guess but you said it wasn't that. Glad to hear she is recovering anyways. Could be she was just a little off.
 
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Farmer Z

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I don't know for sure if he checked for Ketosis but I'm assuming that was part of the blood analysis. I didn't actually talk to the vet. My cattleman neighbor handled the visit.
 
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Farmer Z

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Hardware was my first thought but he ruled that out. I think ketosis is some sort of "fatty liver" issue.
 
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Farmer Z

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Woody Tongue? That's an interesting possibility. I would think that the vet would have thoroughly checked for mouth related issues but that sounds plausible. I'm gonna do a little research around that.
 

dun

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The term wasting away makes me curious. How far had this gone? What it just losing some condition or did she slip more towards the skinny side? At 2 with her still having her calf teeth I tend to think that could have had some impact. By the time ours calve they've pretty well lost all of their calf teeth. Starting around 18 months they will start to lose some condition because they're in the process of shedding those baby teeth. Within a ocuple of months they're back up to their old condition and eating well again.
 

rockridgecattle

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We have has some cows that lost some of the molars when they were raising their first calf. That would put them between 24 and 30 months. I know this cause this is when lumpy jaw would infect most of the cows that had that. And that is when we discovered woody tongue in the heifer. Doc figures the bacteria gets into an open sore, like a tooth falling out, not enough iodine in the herd to combat the problem.

If it is woody tongue and i stress if cause there are 100 and one reasons for a cow to loose condition, the vet might have missed it due to the cow already being on antibiotics and steriods for inflamation. Especially if it was really just starting. However if it is woody tongue, anti biotics will not be enough, she will need an iodine IV once maybe 2x. If this is not cleared up and reinfection sets in, it will be harder to clear and might set into the bone, causeing lumpy jaw, if the cow lives long enough for it to set into the bone.
 
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Farmer Z

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I'm gonna watch her closely...especially around her mouth. Woody tongue could well be the problem. Thanks for the insightful input!
 

msscamp

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fitz":2x6ewdia said:
I thought Ketosis was milk fever. Did your vet rule out Hardware?

fitz


No, ketosis is not milk fever - they are 2 different conditions caused by different factors. You might want to do a little homework.
 

fitz

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msscamp":3l1we7i4 said:
fitz":3l1we7i4 said:
I thought Ketosis was milk fever. Did your vet rule out Hardware?

fitz


No, ketosis is not milk fever - they are 2 different conditions caused by different factors. You might want to do a little homework.

Tried to complete the assigned homework. This is all I could find. Ketosis (acetonemia /chronic milk fever) is not milk fever. You're right. I'll take my spanking.
fitz
 

milkmaid

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Fitz - milk fever is a loss of calcium in the blood stream around the time of calving with a high mortality rate if it's not treated. Ketosis is a lack of glucose (sugar) in the blood; basically where feed input is lower than milk output + maintanance. Fatty liver usually goes along with ketosis as both are common in overconditioned cows and excess fat around the liver prevents the cow from correctly dealing with low glucose levels. All common in older dairy cattle, less common in heifers and beef cattle.

Msscamp, you could try being nicer; we'd all appreciate it.
 

fitz

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milkmaid":3ucy8uqi said:
Fitz - milk fever is a loss of calcium in the blood stream around the time of calving with a high mortality rate if it's not treated. Ketosis is a lack of glucose (sugar) in the blood; basically where feed input is lower than milk output + maintanance. Fatty liver usually goes along with ketosis as both are common in overconditioned cows and excess fat around the liver prevents the cow from correctly dealing with low glucose levels. All common in older dairy cattle, less common in heifers and beef cattle.

That's what I was reading in an old book I had lying around. I do appreciate the info and your politeness MilkMaid.

fitz
 

3waycross

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msscamp":31rtdigu said:
fitz":31rtdigu said:
I thought Ketosis was milk fever. Did your vet rule out Hardware?

fitz


No, ketosis is not milk fever - they are 2 different conditions caused by different factors. You might want to do a little homework.

There's a difference between getting to the point and being rude. The point was innacurate information.
All she did was point it out.

Msscamp doesn't sugarcoat things. That doesn't mean she is rude or wrong!
 

msscamp

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fitz":3fejyuiw said:
msscamp":3fejyuiw said:
fitz":3fejyuiw said:
I thought Ketosis was milk fever. Did your vet rule out Hardware?

fitz


No, ketosis is not milk fever - they are 2 different conditions caused by different factors. You might want to do a little homework.

Tried to complete the assigned homework. This is all I could find. Ketosis (acetonemia /chronic milk fever) is not milk fever. You're right. I'll take my spanking.
fitz

I didn't intend for it sound that way. There are just so many illnesses that can come up, it is impossible for anyone to have 'first hand' experience with all of them. If we do our 'homework', so to speak, we all have a much better chance of identifying a particular illness if it does present. I obviously came across as sounding harsh, and I apologize.
 

Keren

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wasting away and going downhill could be ...

hardware disease (as mentioned)
Johnes disease (often becomes clinical around calving, the stress brings it from subclinical to clinical)
ruptured uterus and/or bowel (we had a cow do this, turns out she'd ruptured uterus and bowel and all the waste was pooling inside her ... not pretty)
wooden tongue (slobbering and losing weight)
feeding extra calves (you might not be seeing them steal from her)
metritis

plus a dozen other things (btw those arent in any particular order)

I cant be any more help than that, that is just my brainstorm and if I was in this situation I'd start trying to eliminate some of those ideas.

metritis - would have a temp and respond to A/B
wooden tongue - easy enough to see by examining the mouth
feeding extra calves - watch her like a hawk
Johnes disease - in my herd I could rule this out by knowing history etc
hardware - I've never had it but I guess you could try the magnet thing

Good luck with her
 

smallrancher

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forgive the late post, but this sounds an aweful lot like displaced abomasum to me,(d.a., twisted stomach). Right after calving, plus being fed WAY to much grain(fines) 4 to 5 gallons, and not enough roughage. Although the slobber wouldn't fit in with that. How is she doing now?
Good Luck.
 
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Farmer Z

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Smallrancher - After all is said and done I believe that she did experience some sort of internal trauma during calving. She is doing much better now and has been turned back into some greening pasture - still getting a little extra feed. She's gaining weight, giving plenty of milk. There was one important event that seemed to get her over the hump. A few days after my original post she passed a fair amount of heavy mucous-like material (after a day of humping and pushing - this was two weeks after birthing). It was a thick, long string of stuff. She's been getting better (slowly) ever since (note: the vet had said earlier that she had cleaned up well after calving so I'm don't know if that was afterbirth or what). Anyway, the weather's warming up down here - grass is beggining to grow. That will probably do her more good than anything else I can do. Thanks for your inquiry!
 

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