Rabies Symptoms?

Help Support CattleToday:

Katpau

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 28, 2009
Messages
671
Reaction score
143
Location
Roseburg, Oregon
Are cattle with rabies always uncoordinated?

I had a calf die last night and I have not been able to contact a Vet this AM with questions. None open until 9:00 and my direct cell phone numbers just roll to answering machine. It has been 100 degrees for several days and I am not sure if I should be trying to get the brain now.

The calf was a mile from the herd yesterday afternoon and obviously in distress. Breathing in little gasps and foaming from the mouth with tongue slightly protruding. We were able to easily herd it into the corrals. (Bad sign) He was moving OK but slow. In the corral he seemed to drink and pick at some hay. I drove back out of the Valley, contacted a Vet and got a prescription to pick up some Resflor Gold at the Coop just 4 mile away. When we got back down to the calf he peed and it looked clear and normal. At about 4:30PM we put him in the chute to give him the shot and check his temperature. He struggled and leaped up and down in the chute after I caught his head. There was a lot of foam by then, and his tongue was sticking way out. I stupidly stuck my hand in his mouth without a glove looking for any obstruction. We got a temp of 105 degrees on him and he went down. Managed to get him up and out of the chute and into the shade, but the temperature was still in the high 90's. He hung over the water making those gasps, foaming at the mouth and trying to drink. I could not tell if he was actually getting anything down. We made a mist with the hose and tried to cool him. Went back to the house about 5:30 to cool ourselves. This is a large ranch and the house is about 1 mile up out of the valley from the corrals. When we checked at 7:00 PM he seemed about the same. At 5:30 AM he was dead.

Could this be rabies? He had many symptoms but seemed to walk fine.
 
OP
K

Katpau

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 28, 2009
Messages
671
Reaction score
143
Location
Roseburg, Oregon
Urine was clear. We vaccinate cows for Lepto twice per year with Vira Shield 6 +VL5 HB. Calf was 5 months.

If it is relevant, I should mention that daytime highs have been in the high 90's low 100's while night time lows are high 50's to low 60's. Very hard on cows (and people working outside). I think the calves lungs were full of fluid judging by the sound he made trying to breath. Surprisingly, there was very little drainage from the nostrils when we brought him in. He seemed to gasp in through his mouth and then close the mouth and blow out the nose.
 

Caustic Burno

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 26, 2004
Messages
27,137
Reaction score
1,980
Location
Big Thicket East Texas
Katpau":1gksrfa6 said:
Urine was clear. We vaccinate cows for Lepto twice per year with Vira Shield 6 +VL5 HB. Calf was 5 months.

I am really beginning to wonder on some of these lepto vaccines effectiveness in some of the stuff I am reading.
I agree if you stated it before 5 months I missed tahat is a little old to be getting deathly ill from lepto. Blackleg is a different story.
Did you feel the back leg muscles?
If so did they feel like Fritos that blackleg.
 
OP
K

Katpau

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 28, 2009
Messages
671
Reaction score
143
Location
Roseburg, Oregon
Caustic Burno":cdkjlpz9 said:
Katpau":cdkjlpz9 said:
Urine was clear. We vaccinate cows for Lepto twice per year with Vira Shield 6 +VL5 HB. Calf was 5 months.

I am really beginning to wonder on some of these lepto vaccines effectiveness in some of the stuff I am reading.
I agree if you stated it before 5 months is a little old to be getting deathly ill fro lepto. Blackleg is a different story.
Did you feel the back leg muscles?
If so did they feel like Fritos that blackleg.
I will check when I go back down. I am waiting on a call from the Vet at the house. Cell phone does not work well in the valley. Landline sucks too. Lots of static, but hard to get anyone out to fix it, since there is more than a mile between us and another possible landline. I think it is too expensive for Century Link to deal with the few of us that still have out of the way Landlines.
 
OP
K

Katpau

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 28, 2009
Messages
671
Reaction score
143
Location
Roseburg, Oregon
I looked up symptoms of Blackleg. He was not lame. We do vaccinate the cows for the clostridial diseases, but the calves were not done yet. This was one of the oldest calves and The youngest are only 4 months. It is too hot to stress cattle with vaccinations this time of year, so calves will get first vaccinations when it cools off.
I think it was pneumonia, but I have had very little experience with that, so I am not sure. The foamy mouth scares me, and I don't know if that Is just because his lungs were so full of fluid? We have been very lucky on this Ranch. We have only lost a few calves in almost 25 years to respiratory issues. I guess my luck ran out.
 

76 Bar

Well-known member
Joined
May 15, 2012
Messages
1,612
Reaction score
217
Location
South Western Oregon
General overview...not mentioned but head pressing e.g. response to severe distress is often observed.
http://www.thecattlesite.com/diseaseinfo/261/rabies/
You need the carcass and especially the head. Hoping by now you've heard from your vet. You're understandably distressed...thinking positive thoughts for a good outcome.
FWIW my thought is also pneumonia & exacerbated by the prevailing environmental issues.
 

skyhightree1

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 9, 2009
Messages
20,338
Reaction score
593
Location
Free Rent ,VA
all i can tell you is this i went through a calf with rabies ordeal and had to get the shots had i not it could have been fatal had the cab autopsied at the state lab they called and told me go to nearest hospital asap and start the shots.
 
OP
K

Katpau

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 28, 2009
Messages
671
Reaction score
143
Location
Roseburg, Oregon
The Vet finally returned my call. With this heat there is plenty of business and an already dead calf took low priority. He said with rabies at that advanced state there would have definitely been neurological signs. He did not feel taking the head was necessary and said that the frothing was most likely from the fluid in the lungs. I don't have any injury's to my hand that was in the mouth, so I feel the risk was pretty low anyway, but I will think twice about not using gloves in the future. I do tend to be rather careless with my own safety when handling both sick animals and chemicals.

I actually had noticed that calf on Friday. I wish I had run him in and taken a temperature then. I was walking through the cows doing an inventory and did not find him among the 36 other calves in that field. His Mom then called softly and walked over to him hiding in the reeds maybe 30 feet away. I thought it odd he had not stood up when the others started to move. They always expect me to rotate pastures when I do inventory, so they gather their calves. I thought he was breathing shallow, but my husband said it wasn't any different than the others in that heat. He nursed and followed the cow to the water tank, so I told myself I was just being over cautious. He was calf 1813 and it was Friday the 13th. I am not superstitious but....
 

skyhightree1

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 9, 2009
Messages
20,338
Reaction score
593
Location
Free Rent ,VA
Katpau":1mfh6tye said:
The Vet finally returned my call. With this heat there is plenty of business and an already dead calf took low priority. He said with rabies at that advanced state there would have definitely been neurological signs. He did not feel taking the head was necessary and said that the frothing was most likely from the fluid in the lungs. I don't have any injury's to my hand that was in the mouth, so I feel the risk was pretty low anyway, but I will think twice about not using gloves in the future. I do tend to be rather careless with my own safety when handling both sick animals and chemicals.

I actually had noticed that calf on Friday. I wish I had run him in and taken a temperature then. I was walking through the cows doing an inventory and did not find him among the 36 other calves in that field. His Mom then called softly and walked over to him hiding in the reeds maybe 30 feet away. I thought it odd he had not stood up when the others started to move. They always expect me to rotate pastures when I do inventory, so they gather their calves. I thought he was breathing shallow, but my husband said it wasn't any different than the others in that heat. He nursed and followed the cow to the water tank, so I told myself I was just being over cautious. He was calf 1813 and it was Friday the 13th. I am not superstitious but....

I tell ya what my hand had no injuries but i still went through the shots cause if you get it you cant be treated for it.
 

JMJ Farms

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 1, 2015
Messages
4,812
Reaction score
24
Location
Middle Georgia
skyhightree1":isdc0cla said:
Katpau":isdc0cla said:
The Vet finally returned my call. With this heat there is plenty of business and an already dead calf took low priority. He said with rabies at that advanced state there would have definitely been neurological signs. He did not feel taking the head was necessary and said that the frothing was most likely from the fluid in the lungs. I don't have any injury's to my hand that was in the mouth, so I feel the risk was pretty low anyway, but I will think twice about not using gloves in the future. I do tend to be rather careless with my own safety when handling both sick animals and chemicals.

I actually had noticed that calf on Friday. I wish I had run him in and taken a temperature then. I was walking through the cows doing an inventory and did not find him among the 36 other calves in that field. His Mom then called softly and walked over to him hiding in the reeds maybe 30 feet away. I thought it odd he had not stood up when the others started to move. They always expect me to rotate pastures when I do inventory, so they gather their calves. I thought he was breathing shallow, but my husband said it wasn't any different than the others in that heat. He nursed and followed the cow to the water tank, so I told myself I was just being over cautious. He was calf 1813 and it was Friday the 13th. I am not superstitious but....

I tell ya what my hand had no injuries but i still went through the shots cause if you get it you cant be treated for it.

Correct. Went through the rabies ordeal with my two boys. Long story short they were in direct contact with a friend of mine’s yellow lab. Playing with her, hands in mouth, etc. 5 days later she was dead and when tested she tested positive for rabies. There’s a time window between exposure and infection. I believe it may have been 10 days? I can’t recall. Anyway we were on the next to last day to start treatment before it would be too late to do any good. We literally called doctors all over the world. Everyone of them said the chance for infection without an open wound or a bite was very slim. But NOT ONE said “don’t take the shots”. All recommended to be safe and not sorry. I took the chance without hesitation but I couldn’t do it with my kids. So they went through an initial dose of two shots and then a series of four more and $18k later, no more worries. They were very young, like maybe 6&4 but they haven’t forgotten it. They remember every trip we made.

My thoughts from the outside looking in is pneumonia. But if you have a serious concern that it may be rabies you might want to be sure. The chances you that you could have possibly contracted it are probably almost nonexistent. I’m not one to panic but like Sky said there ain’t no second chances once you have it.
 

elkwc

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2014
Messages
1,519
Reaction score
75
In my opinion it was pneumonia or a resporitory illness. I see the frothing around the mouth on some. If you find them soon enough Nuflor or Draxxin will work at least 90% of the time.
 

bird dog

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
2,366
Reaction score
501
Location
Navarro County, Texas
I think the calf has been sick somewhere in the past and you didn't notice it. Easy to do unless you are looking for it. In may have just started just last week as you noted. The big swings in temps might have brought it on. In the mean time the lungs were severely damaged.

Now throw in hotter than normal temps and the calf could not get air into lungs that were still developing an now damaged. With not enough air to the lungs, not enough air to the heart and the heart gave out. The calf would have probably been a lunger if you could have saved it.

It happens around our area in October. Thats why they call it the dead calf month. My calves stay pretty healthy through the hottest part of the year because the temp is consistent. Heck its 90 degrees at 10 PM these days.

All you can do is learn from your mistake. It pays to always keep a good antibiotic on the shelf so when you need it, you have it. I find checking the animals temperature very difficult when its very hot and don't trust it anyway. Not staying up with the herd is usually the first sign you will notice.
 

elkwc

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2014
Messages
1,519
Reaction score
75
What we see here we call quick pneumonia. They can be fine of the morning and real sick by night and dead by the following afternoon. So why some are checking their cattle at least once if not twice a day now. They don't last over 2 days from when it hits them.
 
OP
K

Katpau

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 28, 2009
Messages
671
Reaction score
143
Location
Roseburg, Oregon
I should have gone with my gut on the 13th, but hindsight is always 20/20. It has been unbearably hot the last week and we have been getting up really early to try and spray Starthistle before it gets too hot. Climbing steep hills with a full tank of spray on your back really takes the snot out of you and I have not checked cows like I probably should. We were also out of state for a week visiting my Dad who has Parkinson's, so I did not see them until we returned and did a quick inventory on the 11th. I had not noticed anything different about him then, but I was just checking off numbers as my husband called them out. I might not have even seen him myself. When I think about it, I had thought he had lost a little ground to some of the other bulls when we moved that group just before we left. He had looked pretty fancy at about 3-4 months, but was middle of the pack by then. He apparently wasn't eating for some time because the cow had left him yesterday and was with the main group a mile away. We located him where I had last saw them on the 13th. She never returned to look for him, although she did call out each time another calf would come out of the woods into the clearing they were grazing in.
 

TCRanch

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Messages
5,844
Reaction score
1,724
Location
Winfield, KS
Agree with pneumonia as the most likely scenario. Learned my lesson last year with a calf I saw every day and kept him on my radar but rarely made him actually get up. They're darn sneaky when they want to hide something and will look perfectly fine with no obvious symptoms except your gut tells you otherwise. Didn't follow my gut and ended up treating him after he was away from the herd, still no snotty nose/watery eyes but a little frothy and 105 temp. Draxxin, Resflor Gold, Sustain boluses, drenched, Banamine for 7 weeks and he still died. It sucks but it happens and I'm sorry for your loss.
 
OP
K

Katpau

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 28, 2009
Messages
671
Reaction score
143
Location
Roseburg, Oregon
Thank you. Well at least if he was going to die, he didn't hang on for seven weeks. I kind of think he might have hung on a few more days without the stress of running him through the chute to give him the shot and get a temperature. He came unglued and started rearing and crashing up and down. Used up the energy he had left. He had been through the chute several times before, including on the 3rd of July when we ran everyone through for some pour-on to control flys. He hadn't acted like that then, but he always had others going through with him and we didn't even catch heads for the pour on.

This one did not have a snotty nose or runny eyes either. Just lethargic, breathing with kind of a tick sound and slightly frothy mouth that was extreme after he exited the chute. Going in I thought our odds of saving him were decent, but when he came out I kind of knew he was unlikely to last the night.
 

cowgirl8

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 12, 2014
Messages
5,220
Reaction score
119
Location
NE Texas
I had a bottle calf get rabies. We had a blind dog that I locked up with the bottle calf to keep her from wandering in with the mule when we weren't around to keep an eye on her and at night. Mule kept attacking her when she wandered into the pasture. During one night, our other dogs(all vaccinated) chased a skunk into the pen with the calf and dog. The dog was a stray I picked up off the highway after seeing her sitting in one spot for days, she was blind, had only 2 good working legs bless her heart.. Had her only a few weeks till this time, wasn't sure what I was going to do with her, she appeared to be full of puppies. Anywho, the dog started acing funny a couple weeks after we found the dead skunk in their pen. She started howling and walking around in circles. Other than that, she did nothing until she got really hot and went comatose.. The skunk was still in our mind that it was dead in their pen and made us think that maybe it had rabies. Had her head sent off and it tested positive. Meanwhile, the calf quit eating. Before that time I was trying to get it to eat grain so my hand was in his mouth a lot...from what I remember, the calf just withered away over a couple of days until it could no longer stand. When the positive test came back, the calf was past saving and we though, could it also be rabies. Sent it off to and it was positive.. No one was going to get rabies from the dog, but our kids were young and I wasn't 100% sure that at some point they didn't let her lick them..she was very friendly, just in case they all got shots. I though, was exposed. I had a bunch of cuts on my hand from working cows, I remember the calfs milk soaked mouth stung my cuts when I tried getting him to eat grain after his bottle.... I always think back that if I had never picked up that dog, I would have never guessed rabies in the calf. If rabies wasn't diagnosed, I would have gone on with my life until I got rabies...lol...although I can seem like i'm rabid at times. Very scary period of our life. The shots made me so sick.
 

Allenw

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 12, 2017
Messages
623
Reaction score
125
Location
NW OK
I had a friend that had been exposed to rabid cattle in a feedlot. If I remember correct there weren't any out standing symptoms, they just weren't right and didn't respond to treatment. Finally one was checked for rabies and found to have it. Every one in contact with the cattle had to have shots.
 

Lucky

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 11, 2018
Messages
1,398
Reaction score
370
Location
TX
I’ve heard sometimes cattle get real nervous and fidgity with rabies. Also heard they will move the tail head like a pump jack when walking. Friend of mine had a horse get it earlier this year, it’s a long story put luckily he decided to send the head off. He said it’s just one shot based on your body weight now but it hurts like all get out.
 

Latest posts

Top