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Rat tail - losing switch

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angus9259

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Always this time of year I lose some tail switches. I had the vet take a look - he's baffled. The skin at the end of the tail gets scales and scabs and the hair falls off - just the end of tail. Google suggests it might be a certain kind of lice. Any thoughts?

Tried posting a picture but, once again, my "add a picture" button at the bottom of my post is missing....
 

Bright Raven

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Is it possible that some other feed you are using has a fungus that might be releasing a vasoconstrictor?
 
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angus9259

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MRRherefords":2pf5bhi0 said:
It sounds like some sort of lice. IMO.

This is what things point to but the vet couldn't find any lice and the hair doesn't grow back.
 
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angus9259

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Bright Raven":hks0nahn said:
Is it possible that some other feed you are using has a fungus that might be releasing a vasoconstrictor?

They are just on pasture when it happens. Doesn't mean something in pasture isn't doing it.
 

Bright Raven

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angus9259":3us29tmt said:
MRRherefords":3us29tmt said:
It sounds like some sort of lice. IMO.

This is what things point to but the vet couldn't find any lice and the hair doesn't grow back.

What about mites? He can see lice but would need magnification to see mites.
 

Workinonit Farm

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I was thinking Fescue toxicity as well, ergotism. But, if they are not eating any Fescue grasses, I'm stumped.

Has the vet taken any tissue samples and sent to a pathologist?
 
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angus9259

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Jeanne - Simme Valley":33kpyvsm said:
Are you sure you don't have native fescue in your fields?

Good question. Gonna look into that. Certainly don't have fields of it, but it may be out there.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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Seems like it must be something in your fields if it happens each year. It is possible to be mites, but, I would think the switch would grow back??? You might check with Michigan Univ Livestock Specialist. Sometimes there are things going on in the state that vets are not aware of.
 

cowgirl8

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If its fescue they'd be losing part of their tail, not just the hair....right
 

talltimber

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Check loafing areas for the switch. My guess is that another cow is standing on the switch when she gets up. Also might check forks in sprouts/trees. They can hang them in there while swatting flies. I've lost them both ways.
 

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