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Weak Calf - One closed eye

ploughman

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an old cow had a calf 5 to 8 days ago and the calf is real sluggish. I first noticed the right eye shut with drainage... the calf was real weak and barely following up with momma, I watched him in his 4th or 5th day for 30 to 40 minuites a couple times a day and never saw him latch and suck. He keeps looking and trying to suck around momma's front half and then up high on the utter but never saw him latch once. I am wondering if he is getting anything? @ what point do i move to Milk replacer?
 

mnmtranching

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The eye problem is an injury or something in there. open it up and take a look. The calf has not been getting much. If you want to save it get it on milk replacer. I would give it electrolytes with a nutritional supplement for young calves. Get the packs at the farm supply. You may have to force feed it, if your lucky it will take the bottle.
 

ploughman

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Thanks a ton... I fished around in the eye a little and sure enough it opened not long after... I got some milk replacer in him through a bottle with a hose, the nipple style bottle didn't work. I am hoping to get the calf going on a nipple style bottle though. Any suggestions for getting the calf used to the regular bottle? I was also wondering if feeding the calf the bottle and then turning it out into the same pastrue with its mom is the best? Should I seperate them?
 

ploughman

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The calf is doing a little better on milk replacer, i was also able to get some electrolytes down him this a.m... thanks for the tip. I gather that momma has mastitis and that is why the calf's eye was shut. Didn't see her trying to kick but her teats are in bad shape and her bag is real veiny (not over full though?). It looks like one teat may be nurseable and that was barely keeping the calf alive. I am planning to keep them on the same pasture til the sale barn opens and then put the calf in the pen and continue bottle feeding. If anyone has advise on this, I would appreciate it. This is my first bottle fed calf.
 

mnmtranching

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That's a good observation, the bag has gone bad and the calf is getting maybe 1/4 milk supply. I think it would be better to take the calf off the cow. It could likely be getting some bad milk. Those infected udders can have some raunchy stuff in them.
I would get it on full milk replacer. 2 quarts 3 times a day after a while, then you could go to twice a day 4 quarts per feeding. A little grain and hay should be supplied, it will start nibbling at 2 weeks or so. A top quality medicated milk replacer would be my choice in this case. The calf was probably shorted on colostrum.
 

grubbie

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mnmtranching":3gpbfzzj said:
That's a good observation, the bag has gone bad and the calf is getting maybe 1/4 milk supply. I think it would be better to take the calf off the cow. It could likely be getting some bad milk. Those infected udders can have some raunchy stuff in them.
I would get it on full milk replacer. 2 quarts 3 times a day after a while, then you could go to twice a day 4 quarts per feeding. A little grain and hay should be supplied, it will start nibbling at 2 weeks or so. A top quality medicated milk replacer would be my choice in this case. The calf was probably shorted on colostrum.
Exactly how I would advise doing it, but I will add; don't forget to watch for scours, it will most likely happen. Just have some sulfa boluses on hand. Good luck with your calf!
 

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