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Sick calf

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Anonymous

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I have an 7 week old brangus bull calf that was the first born of twins (both bulls.) He received colostrum from mama before he was orphaned and has been very vigorous and healthy bottle feeder and grain nibbler. However, the last two weeks he has had problems defecating. I took him to the vet and he was diagnosed with a bacterial infection,given antibiotics and sent home. Now, when he nurses, he consumes approximately a 1.5 gallons of medicated milk replacer then exhibits signs of gastrointestinal distress (kicking/biting at stomach, extending back legs or just lying down curled up. Very similar to colic in a horse.) He refuses to eat for about a day and a half, then acts as if he is ok, wants to nurse seems to feel good. However, when he eats the cycle starts again. He is urinating, but I haven't seen any signs of fecal material. He is losing weight rapidly. Any suggestions?? Thanks in advance for any help out there!!! P.S. I have given him microbes in paste form and B vitamin injections.

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A

Anonymous

Guest
Milk of magnesia.... or mineral oil on some high protein grain.... not both at once, just try one or the other.... think about what I am suggesting BEFORE you decide to try these things, because if the calf isn't defecating, the blockage may be more of a problem than JUST constipation.... are you absolutely positive that there have been no stools from this calf? If he is running with others, keep him separate so that you can be absolutely sure what his urinating and defecating patterns are. If it is a blockage, I think the only solution is surgery... twisted gut?

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Anonymous

Guest
Talk to the vet ASAP, tell him/her/it all of this. If you don't get satisfactory answers, find another vet.

dunmovin farms

> I have an 7 week old brangus bull
> calf that was the first born of
> twins (both bulls.) He received
> colostrum from mama before he was
> orphaned and has been very
> vigorous and healthy bottle feeder
> and grain nibbler. However, the
> last two weeks he has had problems
> defecating. I took him to the vet
> and he was diagnosed with a
> bacterial infection,given
> antibiotics and sent home. Now,
> when he nurses, he consumes
> approximately a 1.5 gallons of
> medicated milk replacer then
> exhibits signs of gastrointestinal
> distress (kicking/biting at
> stomach, extending back legs or
> just lying down curled up. Very
> similar to colic in a horse.) He
> refuses to eat for about a day and
> a half, then acts as if he is ok,
> wants to nurse seems to feel good.
> However, when he eats the cycle
> starts again. He is urinating, but
> I haven't seen any signs of fecal
> material. He is losing weight
> rapidly. Any suggestions?? Thanks
> in advance for any help out
> there!!! P.S. I have given him
> microbes in paste form and B
> vitamin injections.
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Guest
> Talk to the vet ASAP, tell
> him/her/it all of this. If you
> don't get satisfactory answers,
> find another vet.

> dunmovin farms

Thanks for the reply!

I have a call in to the vet now. The calf is isolated. He was having normal bowel movements until about a week ago, when I took him to the vet. He passed some dark, tarry stool the night we brought him home, but nothing since. If it is a twisted gut, which it sure seems like, would it hurt to give him the mineral oil or milk of mag?

Thanks again.

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OP
A

Anonymous

Guest
I sure wouldn't give him anything until you talk to the vet. This little guy is obviously in bad shape and needs some serious attention, but the right attention. The wrong thing at this point may make a bad situation worse

dunmovin farms

> Thanks for the reply!

> I have a call in to the vet now.
> The calf is isolated. He was
> having normal bowel movements
> until about a week ago, when I
> took him to the vet. He passed
> some dark, tarry stool the night
> we brought him home, but nothing
> since. If it is a twisted gut,
> which it sure seems like, would it
> hurt to give him the mineral oil
> or milk of mag?

> Thanks again.
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Guest
One and a half GALLONS of milk replacer is 6 quarts, right?

Calves are normally fed only about 2 quarts PER FEEDING.

> I have an 7 week old brangus bull
> calf that was the first born of
> twins (both bulls.) He received
> colostrum from mama before he was
> orphaned and has been very
> vigorous and healthy bottle feeder
> and grain nibbler. However, the
> last two weeks he has had problems
> defecating. I took him to the vet
> and he was diagnosed with a
> bacterial infection,given
> antibiotics and sent home. Now,
> when he nurses, he consumes
> approximately a 1.5 gallons of
> medicated milk replacer then
> exhibits signs of gastrointestinal
> distress (kicking/biting at
> stomach, extending back legs or
> just lying down curled up. Very
> similar to colic in a horse.) He
> refuses to eat for about a day and
> a half, then acts as if he is ok,
> wants to nurse seems to feel good.
> However, when he eats the cycle
> starts again. He is urinating, but
> I haven't seen any signs of fecal
> material. He is losing weight
> rapidly. Any suggestions?? Thanks
> in advance for any help out
> there!!! P.S. I have given him
> microbes in paste form and B
> vitamin injections.
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Guest
> One and a half GALLONS of milk
> replacer is 6 quarts, right?

> Calves are normally fed only about
> 2 quarts PER FEEDING.

No, per day. When he was eating, He consumed about 2 to 2.5 quarts three times per day.

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A

Anonymous

Guest
Yes, it will hurt him to give him something that will make his gut try to work. I forgot to mention calling the vet in the case of the surgery, I apologize. The best thing to do is to wait until the vet has looked at him, but I thought the vet looked at him and sent him home... look for a different vet?

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OP
A

Anonymous

Guest
I don't get it! If he isn't defecating, but sure is exhibiting stomach distress... where is the food you are feeding him going???? Are you noticing that his belly is extremely distended? Did the vet listen to his stomach with a stethoscope while you had him there? I think they do that because they can tell by the abdominal sounds the digestion that is going on. How strange this all sounds......

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OP
A

Anonymous

Guest
> I don't get it! If he isn't
> defecating, but sure is exhibiting
> stomach distress... where is the
> food you are feeding him going????
> Are you noticing that his belly is
> extremely distended? Did the vet
> listen to his stomach with a
> stethoscope while you had him
> there? I think they do that
> because they can tell by the
> abdominal sounds the digestion
> that is going on. How strange this
> all sounds......

I know it is very strange, I am perplexed. All I can guess is most is being urinated out?? His belly is full after he eats, not abnormally distended though and there are very loud abdominal sounds.

He seems to be a bit better today, he defecated some last night, almost all a cloudy mucous, but it seemed to relieve him. He is also drinking water from the trough.

I called the vet last night and got the impression that he really didn't want to waste his time or my money on an orphaned calf. So, a new vet is coming out today, I'll waste my money how I choose. Will keep you posted! Thanks for your help.

[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thanks for the reply, Deb. A couple of ideas -

Try cutting back on the amount of milk replacer. Make ONE gallon per day your goal and divide that into the three feedings. You're feeding quite a bit more milk replacer than most people do.

If he's drinking water & has fresh feed in front of him to nibble on, he may do better with less milk.

Also, try feeding milk replacer that is NOT medicated. Antibiotics will kill off the friendly bacteria as well as unfriendly ones. If he's receiving medication on a regular basis, his gut can't develop the friendly flora needed for digestion.

You gave him probiotics & that's a good idea. Again, however, antibiotics kill the friendly bacteria, so he would need to have them replenished on a daily basis while he's taking the medicated feed. I would prefer to see the daily dost of antibiotics in his feed stopped unless the vet advises otherwise.

Good luck with your new vet. I think changing vets was probably a good idea in this case.

> No, per day. When he was eating,
> He consumed about 2 to 2.5 quarts
> three times per day.
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Guest
Just wanted to say thanks for the e-mails ya'll sent. The calf died last Friday night.

His intestinal tract was in fact twisted.

Thanks again for your help.

> I have an 7 week old brangus bull
> calf that was the first born of
> twins (both bulls.) He received
> colostrum from mama before he was
> orphaned and has been very
> vigorous and healthy bottle feeder
> and grain nibbler. However, the
> last two weeks he has had problems
> defecating. I took him to the vet
> and he was diagnosed with a
> bacterial infection,given
> antibiotics and sent home. Now,
> when he nurses, he consumes
> approximately a 1.5 gallons of
> medicated milk replacer then
> exhibits signs of gastrointestinal
> distress (kicking/biting at
> stomach, extending back legs or
> just lying down curled up. Very
> similar to colic in a horse.) He
> refuses to eat for about a day and
> a half, then acts as if he is ok,
> wants to nurse seems to feel good.
> However, when he eats the cycle
> starts again. He is urinating, but
> I haven't seen any signs of fecal
> material. He is losing weight
> rapidly. Any suggestions?? Thanks
> in advance for any help out
> there!!! P.S. I have given him
> microbes in paste form and B
> vitamin injections.

[email protected]
 

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