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Unknown Illness

randiliana

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We have this heifer who has looked rough most of the summer, not real bad and not obviously sick, but just off. I had put it down to her being a 'poor doer'. When we went to pull bulls is when I noticed that there really was something wrong with her. I was in a hurry (it was darn near dark, which is another story), and trying to move them along at a higher rate of speed than normal, read trot, rather than amble here. She made it about 1/4 mile before she quit on me totally, and I had to leave her behind. Today I was finally able to go up, get her in, and bring her home.

So, her is a list of symptoms
First off, she is a March yearling, replacement heifer.

She's about a 4-5 BCS, the other heifers would be 6-7
Hair coat is rough, she has not shed out, and she is not at all shiny.
Very lethargic
Very loose limbed when she walks, everything sways
You can here her stomach contents sloshing around if you can get her out of a walk
Urine is very limited and a dark yellow color, not normal at all
Manure is dark brownish, runny and a bit smelly. Doesn't smell normal.
No apparent fever, nor any indication that she ever had one.
Ears are perky, eyes are bright and normal looking
She doesn't drag her feet, still picks them up enough to clear the ground.
She stays with the herd, inasmuch as you don't see her off by herself
She is eating and drinking (or she'd be dead or a lot thinner than she is)
Looks to me that she was in heat in the last few days, hair is all matted down on her hindquarters. Which means that she did not breed during the breeding season (8 weeks)
Took me about an hour to move her a bit over a mile, and she never tried to go back to the herd.


I'm thinking possibly a kidney or bladder infection, or something wrong with her stomach/s

Now, I'm going to have a look at Merck and see what I can come up with, then depending on what I do or do not find out I will call the vet and see what he says.
 

hillsdown

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That sounds a lot like one of mine a few years ago except she was 10 months old. she just went down hill. She was a great calf but then she got pot bellied and the only thing that grew was her belly not her frame; she also had runny, dark brown diarrhea. Vet looked at her during preg check and herd health. First thing he looked at was her mouth, but it was normal. He said possible BVD ,but the herd is vaccinated. One day she disappeared and I spent a week looking for her ,she had died in the bush. I still do not know what was wrong with her, but I guess I should have put her down when I first saw her going down hill fast and not knowing the cause, even though she looked perky and up beat with her eyes and ears.

Let me know what you find out.
 

randiliana

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hillsdown":89yhxck5 said:
That sounds a lot like one of mine a few years ago except she was 10 months old. she just went down hill. She was a great calf but then she got pot bellied and the only thing that grew was her belly not her frame; she also had runny, dark brown diarrhea. Vet looked at her during preg check and herd health. First thing he looked at was her mouth, but it was normal. He said possible BVD ,but the herd is vaccinated. One day she disappeared and I spent a week looking for her ,she had died in the bush. I still do not know what was wrong with her, but I guess I should have put her down when I first saw her going down hill fast and not knowing the cause, even though she looked perky and up beat with her eyes and ears.

Let me know what you find out.


I will let you know. Shouldn't be BVD here either, everything is vaccinated, and we have been for about 8 years now. Gotta wait til Monday to talk to the Vet.
 

Aaron

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Do you feed any protein blocks with urea in them?

If not, I would suspect a kidney infection. :cowboy:
 

randiliana

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Aaron":16790bls said:
Do you feed any protein blocks with urea in them?

If not, I would suspect a kidney infection. :cowboy:

Not recently, we rarely feed protien blocks, just in the winter, and I don't think that the replacements ever had access to one this past year.

That is kinda what I am thinking too. Gotta call the vet and see what he thinks, and what meds to give.
 

mnmtranching

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Could it be a bad case of parasites? I have a bottle calf that I hadn't paid attention to for a while. Was surprised one day to see it doing real poorly. Same exact symptoms you describe. I scratched my head?
This calf choose to run off with the herd instead of getting supplemental grain and being only 4 1/2 months old I wasn't expecting peak condition. But this guy appeared to be dying. I gave it terramycin, ivermectin, and electrolytes, a vitamin and nutritional supplement and a two quart per day treat on medicated milk replacer from the bottle. I don't know what did it but the calf is now doing fine.
 

randiliana

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mnmtranching":in63fk5b said:
Could it be a bad case of parasites? I have a bottle calf that I hadn't paid attention to for a while. Was surprised one day to see it doing real poorly. Same exact symptoms you describe. I scratched my head?
This calf choose to run off with the herd instead of getting supplemental grain and being only 4 1/2 months old I wasn't expecting peak condition. But this guy appeared to be dying. I gave it terramycin, ivermectin, and electrolytes, a vitamin and nutritional supplement and a two quart per day treat on medicated milk replacer from the bottle. I don't know what did it but the calf is now doing fine.

I suppose that could be the problem too. They do get pour on ivermectin, but I haven't given her any injectable. We'll have to do that. It did cross my mind earlier now that you mention it.......
 

dyates

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Coccidiosis? Usually in calves, but older animals get as well. I've seen a couple of chronic cases in the past that had been left untreated. They look and smell just as you've described. Sulfa bolus brought 'em around just fine.
 

KNERSIE

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randiliana":3k055fk3 said:
mnmtranching":3k055fk3 said:
Could it be a bad case of parasites? I have a bottle calf that I hadn't paid attention to for a while. Was surprised one day to see it doing real poorly. Same exact symptoms you describe. I scratched my head?
This calf choose to run off with the herd instead of getting supplemental grain and being only 4 1/2 months old I wasn't expecting peak condition. But this guy appeared to be dying. I gave it terramycin, ivermectin, and electrolytes, a vitamin and nutritional supplement and a two quart per day treat on medicated milk replacer from the bottle. I don't know what did it but the calf is now doing fine.

I suppose that could be the problem too. They do get pour on ivermectin, but I haven't given her any injectable. We'll have to do that. It did cross my mind earlier now that you mention it.......

Try a completely different chemistry for a change, make sure its a very broad spectrum that covers, hairworm, hookworm, nodular worm and tapeworm. Often tapeworm is the culprit and ivermectin won't do that.
 

KNERSIE

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randiliana":2ubs5k2f said:
Good point Knersie. I'll have to get ahold of something else.

I'd try Valbazen if its available or even better Flucazole C from Virbac, both are oral drenches unfortunately.
 

S&WSigma40VEShooter

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randiliana":1pjtyevm said:
We have this heifer who has looked rough most of the summer, not real bad and not obviously sick, but just off. I had put it down to her being a 'poor doer'. When we went to pull bulls is when I noticed that there really was something wrong with her. I was in a hurry (it was darn near dark, which is another story), and trying to move them along at a higher rate of speed than normal, read trot, rather than amble here. She made it about 1/4 mile before she quit on me totally, and I had to leave her behind. Today I was finally able to go up, get her in, and bring her home.

So, her is a list of symptoms
First off, she is a March yearling, replacement heifer.

She's about a 4-5 BCS, the other heifers would be 6-7
Hair coat is rough, she has not shed out, and she is not at all shiny.
Very lethargic
Very loose limbed when she walks, everything sways
You can here her stomach contents sloshing around if you can get her out of a walk
Urine is very limited and a dark yellow color, not normal at all
Manure is dark brownish, runny and a bit smelly. Doesn't smell normal.
No apparent fever, nor any indication that she ever had one.
Ears are perky, eyes are bright and normal looking
She doesn't drag her feet, still picks them up enough to clear the ground.
She stays with the herd, inasmuch as you don't see her off by herself
She is eating and drinking (or she'd be dead or a lot thinner than she is)
Looks to me that she was in heat in the last few days, hair is all matted down on her hindquarters. Which means that she did not breed during the breeding season (8 weeks)
Took me about an hour to move her a bit over a mile, and she never tried to go back to the herd.


I'm thinking possibly a kidney or bladder infection, or something wrong with her stomach/s

Now, I'm going to have a look at Merck and see what I can come up with, then depending on what I do or do not find out I will call the vet and see what he says.


I know it is early for her but some of the symptoms you listed sound alot like johnes. Have her blood tested and fecal sampled if you are not sure. Johnes cows are attributed to being "poor doers", have rough hair coats, smelly dark poop and urine may even be a different color. Of course johnes cows eat and eat and eat but never gain anymore weight.
 

alisonb

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I agree,have a blood test+faeces test done. That would cut out a lot of questions. Personally,it sounds like the animal has eaten plastic/twine or wire.
 

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