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Toxic plant poisoning

rockroadseminole

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I should never go out of town. Had to go to a conference in Atlanta this weekend. Get back, tornado has leveled towns down the road and I've got two dead calves.

One calf was dead when found. Seemed to be dead for less than a day. Good looking calf, no weight loss, etc. Whatever happened it had no symptoms three days prior.
Other calf was found off in no mans land. Had to be urged to get up. Acted blind. Was grinding its teeth like nobody's business. Little foaming at the mouth. No weight loss, no runs, no heavy breathing. Ran to get trailer to take him to vet, calf died in trailer before I left pasture.

I'm thinking it must have eaten something toxic that I have yet to identify. Going to look around and see what I can find.

My question: if I catch anyone else acting weird, is there anything I can do? I put them back on winter grazing, so that should flush them on out. Both calves went down FAST! They were vaccinated 12/30. Bad last couple days.
 

Nesikep

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I'd start by trying to figure out what they could have eaten... really hard to do anything without that knowledge

Sure sucks though.. hopefully now that they're back home they'll stay healthy
 

rockroadseminole

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Had another one die yesterday. Vet sent us to Auburn with them today. He was leaning towards lead or toxic plant. Hopefully the lab can tell us what's happening.

These are really good looking calves we're losing. Everyone else seems normal and have been moved back to grazing. Crazy that this is happening all of a sudden like this. These cows have been on and off of this pasture all year with no problems. I can't imagine that I've left something out there that's toxic.

I'll let you know what the lab says.
 

Lucky_P

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with no more than we know now, lead is also at the top of my list of rule-outs.
Old batteries - often in a junk pile, or in an old tractor, off in a fencerow, etc... with exposed plates that the calves will enjoy licking. Some older 'grease' products had significant amounts of lead - calves licking it off lubricated joints can result in lead toxicosis.
 

M-5

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Lucky_P":2lsnejbv said:
with no more than we know now, lead is also at the top of my list of rule-outs.
Old batteries - often in a junk pile, or in an old tractor, off in a fencerow, etc... with exposed plates that the calves will enjoy licking. Some older 'grease' products had significant amounts of lead - calves licking it off lubricated joints can result in lead toxicosis.

LP - I assume that any source of lead would be a culprit . Like a lead boot that is very common on roofs down here . with the tornados we had last weekend that is a real possibility.
 

TCRanch

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jerry27150":2rerr6ou said:
maybe overeating disease

That was my first thought because we lost a calf to overeating disease (clostridium perfringens type D) and she was alive when we loaded her on the trailer, dead by the time we got to the barn. But the symptoms in these calves are different (foaming at the mouth, grinding teeth come to mind). Our calf was only a month old, heifer, already 200 lbs, her mama is enormous & a milking machine, it was last Spring and they were grazing lush, green grass. BTW we typically don't vaccinate for clostridial diseases until around 3 months but that was a game changer for us last year & the other calves got worked immediately.
 

rockroadseminole

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Got a call from AU yesterday: nothing looked obvious (lungs were clean, etc), eyes did not look physically blind, they are doing pathology test on brain and couple other areas. Should hear something in the next day or two. This should make the toxicity argument more concrete. I'll let you know what they say. So far, no other problems.

Don't think I mentioned it before, but calves were born in October.
 

rockroadseminole

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Talked to Auburn Monday. Verdict is lead poisoning. Also, think I found our culprit. Found a battery in an old fence row, under a bush. Was buried 3/4 deep and looked like it had been there for 20 years. I'd have never found it if it wasn't so wet. Calf tracks led right to it. Glad I found it, but still can't believe it was out here.
 

TCRanch

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Wow! Lucky nailed it and I'm glad you found the source. Hopefully all the other calves are doing well and thanks for updating.
 

Lucky_P

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It ain't my first rodeo.
One of my old vet school profs(at Auburn) was forever saying, "Boys, the most common things happen most commonly."
Sorry you lost one, but glad you found it before you lost more.
 

farmerjan

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So sorry you had to lose the calves but glad that you found the probable source before any more got sick. Why did they have to go lick that???? Really feel bad for you.
 

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