Sick Calf

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New member
Aug 9, 2004
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Adair, Oklahoma
I have a bull calf that was born 6 months ago...and he was premature. His hooves were not fully formed yet..very soft..he could not stand up at all. We took him from his mother the same day. He has done good being bottle feed. But he is not growing. With the exception of a pot belly he is now about the size of a 3 1/2 to 4 month old calf. Is this normal..or is there a disease I do not know about yet? And a new problem within this week. His eye started to run...very wet. It is not pink...not swollen. I have tried rinsing it out two or three times a day..Recently started using a puffer to try and help it. Any advise...His eye is now blue..does this mean blindness? Hope you can help me understand this calf.

Adair Cattle Girl
Adair, Oklahoma
It sounds like your calf is doing fine. Premies and Bottle babies are usually smaller until they are about a year old then they grow like weeds. It sounds like your calf has pink eye and should get treatment soon. The blue spot could eventually turn into an Ulcer and cause partial or total blindness in that eye. Your vet should be able to recommend an antibiotic and patch brand for your calf's eye. With treatment they do quite well.

Good luck.

I would have him tested for PI BVD. Calves that are PI never grow or do well, have a compromised immune system, and continually get ill.
I dont think it is that..He has a pretty healthy appetite and is very active..Has only had one bout with scours. I did some research on the BVD and it says they stay constantly sick with a low immune system. He hasnt been sick until now..and it is only with his eye. I am a little concerned as to weather or not he will grow taller though. But, sickness wise we haven't seen alot of it in him.
One manifestation of IBR (Infectious Bovine Rhinitis) is a white spot on the eye and a milky look. If there is a white spot, If it is centered in the eye it's pinkeye, if it is offset from the middle it's IBR. Not foolproof, but it's a pretty good indication. If it's IBR, an injection into the skin of the eyeball will clear it up within a day, usually less. This is definitly a job for a vet unless you're really very highly skilled at giving injections in very sensitive places. And if you have enough stomach to do it.


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