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Anonymous

Noticed a yearling heifer thursday that had a large swelling under her jaw on the right side. Assumed insect stings. Next day, a little more swollen, over into left side, and standing around not eating, some drool.Next day got her crazy butt in the pen and gave a shot of LA200, no signs of any bites, stings, no punctures, etc. The next day the swelling has moved from under her jaw down into her brisket!! and its big (like almost the size of a basketball)-- whats up with that? so i've ruled out insects, its definitely not worms. i'm thinking she got kicked, infection/edema. A similar thing happened to a horse at work but it got a staph infection and it was really gross. Also it could be brisket disease. Any ideas? will this have to be drained? its definitely good that it has moved down into her brisket b/c now she can swallow and breathe ok.
 
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Anonymous

the swelling under her jaw has gone down a lot but is still obviously swollen. this one is about the size of a softball. its not like an absess from a puncture wound, its larger and broader in range. the vet, who hasnt seen her yet, thinks its an absess (i'm skeptical) and sent home some dex-meth. could an absessed tooth cause this? What about all the drainage that went down into the brisket area? is there anyway to get rid of it besides lancing it. she was scheduled for the next train out of here (crazy limousin) so if it requires any flushing we'll have to "romp'em" to get her still long enough. it sounds more like lumpy jaw or wooden tongue to me. our vet stopped doing large animals this year so the "new" one will be out tomorrow.
 
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Anonymous

Without seeing her, I'm guessing into the wind--not much liklihood of hitting the target! You could have anything from infection (although very unlikely either wooden tongue or lumpy jaw if the swelling moved) to heart failure to lepto causing kidney disease to toxins...

Let me know what the new vet thought! And why'd you keep a crazy animal anyway--there are too many good ones around to keep the nutbars!
 
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Anonymous

We retained all heifers last year to grow them out (and it was a good call considering prices now!). Anyway, shes one of those that is ok with other cows but singled out in a pen shes not so nice. you know how that goes. regardless, she is gone with about 80 of the retained NICE heifers in about 2 weeks if shes saleable by then.

I was kind of leaning toward heart failure myself, with the draining or whatever into the brisket. i thought it sounded like brisket disease and definitely looks like it but this is a yearling heifer and we are not at a high altitude where it is more common. BUT, if you remember back in the summer we had a mysterious bull death that you said sounded like heart failure. that was her sire..
 
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Anonymous

Thanks for your response and i also wanted to add that not all of the swelling moved into the brisket. It was like one day it was swollen, the next day it was a LOT bigger, then after the LA200 a lot of the swelling went down and apparently drained into the brisket (basketball size) and the jaw went back down to the size of the original swelling (softball size). go figure. whats weird to me is how it seemed to drain down into the brisket, as if something had popped. Anyway, i also wanted to add that these heifers are eating peanut hay, millet haylage (some heads), and wheat haylage if that helps any.
 
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Anonymous

Taking a stab in the dark, but the initial lump sounds like an abscess. If you were able to feel the lump and palpate it fully, I would be interested to know if there was a soft spot somewhere on the mass, this would indicate an abscess, and they can get abscesses from a sticker or other foreign body that works its way into the tissue. The heart failure is new to me but have heard of it and have lots one due to heart failure (heart attack, that one was only discovered through necropsy, on what had apeared to be a perfectly healthy 300# calf of only 60 days old

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Anonymous

well that rules out my theory about 'this heifer is too young to have a heart attack'. good to know.

i'm 90% sure its not an absess, at least not one from the outside. ive seen tons of those, mostly due to prickly pear cactus, but those absesses are usually more baseball-softball size, easily drainable, and typically more concentrated in one area than this. this is spread out all up and down the jaw and on the other side too. and MUCH more swollen.

the "new" vet came out today. i wasnt there but my dad gave me the report. he said he would bet money that it was a snake bite. (last time i checked snake bites made puncture wounds, but oh well.) ive only seen two or three snake bites and they were all on the leg. Dad did say that the vet ruled out lumpy jaw saying that it usually effects older cattle. said to give the LA200 again on thursday and he gave her some kind of steroid. Any thoughts on that V?
 
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Anonymous

> well that rules out my theory
> about 'this heifer is too young to
> have a heart attack'. good to
> know.

> i'm 90% sure its not an absess, at
> least not one from the outside.
> ive seen tons of those, mostly due
> to prickly pear cactus, but those
> absesses are usually more
> baseball-softball size, easily
> drainable, and typically more
> concentrated in one area than
> this. this is spread out all up
> and down the jaw and on the other
> side too. and MUCH more swollen.

> the "new" vet came out
> today. i wasnt there but my dad
> gave me the report. he said he
> would bet money that it was a
> snake bite. (last time i checked
> snake bites made puncture wounds,
> but oh well.) ive only seen two or
> three snake bites and they were
> all on the leg. Dad did say that
> the vet ruled out lumpy jaw saying
> that it usually effects older
> cattle. said to give the LA200
> again on thursday and he gave her
> some kind of steroid. Any thoughts
> on that V?

We had almost the same thing with a 3 year old Holstein cow. She had swelling in the area under the neck and between the front legs.

The Vet could not figure out what it was and said he would watch it. (Comes out for weekly herd checks). She seemed to be doing alright and then one day I noticed she was having trouble breathing , I called him out and she died as soon as he got here. The result: congestive heart failure. Our vet did not even think that a 3 year old cow could get it.

kat



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Anonymous

ok thats what i think is wrong with this heifer. you gals have helped a lot. thanks.

i dont guess the swelling will go down then? that sucks, since i was going to sell her anyway and she looked fine a week ago.
 
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Anonymous

Back in the early 60's when we ran cattle along the border we would loose a couple of animals (usually younger ones) every spring and fall to snake bite. It was hard to find the wounds in the longish hair unless they had been dead a couple of days and had started to blow up. The wounds were alwasy in the throat and neck area. We figured that the snakes would curl up with them in the chill and when they would start shifting around the snakes woud bite. We were never there to see it, but it was the only thing we could figure from the location of the wounds.

dun

> ok thats what i think is wrong
> with this heifer. you gals have
> helped a lot. thanks.

> i dont guess the swelling will go
> down then? that sucks, since i was
> going to sell her anyway and she
> looked fine a week ago.



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Anonymous

Well, to be honest, I've never seen a bovine with a snakebite--guess I live in God's country (cause it's too durn cold to be hell...) so I can't comment on those. Heart failure can occur at any age. Selenium deficiency, hardware disease or cardiomyopathy are probably the three most common causes I've seen, but vegetative endocarditis from infection can certainly occur at any age as well. Were any tests done on the heifer? ie CBC, basic bloodwork etc? Could you take a pic and post it so I can get a better idea?

I'm running out of ideas. LA is likely useless for whatever it is, but that's my HO, not gospel.

V
 
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Anonymous

that makes sense since snakes are attracted to heat at night. the snake bites i have seen have been on the front legs, but neck wounds make sense too since the head would be down grazing. good to know about not always being able to see the wound.
 
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Anonymous

Hey V, thanks for the replies. sorry i cant post a pic, but i'm getting a digital camera for christmas and i know that will come in handy! Anyway, the swelling has gone down, there is still some in the brisket area. selling cows and calves on the 17th so hopefully she will look sellable by then! hope you have a good trip and i hope its warmer in florida than in georgia (27 this morning-brrrr..)
 
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Anonymous

Dont want to get in the middle of your discussion but Ive always thaught that even it be a prickly pear, or snake bite you can generally tell do to the thining of hair around tne infected area. So I whould say that you could tell if it was a snake bite for sure. It happens quite often in AZ.
 
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Anonymous

Well, a month and a half later the heifer with the mystery ailment (swollen jaw and fluid accumulation the size of a basketball in her dewlap area)has almost returned to normal. she still has a knot about the size of a golfball on the side of her face in her jaw area where her top set of teeth run. she will make her first trip to the salebarn the first week in february.
 
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