Worried about 5 calfs and what to think

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Dec 14, 2008
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Upper Michigan
Question is wait and see, Call vet, or treat with something? What could this be?

Yesterday noticed----We have 5 calfs that are together and have been for about 2 months now, cleaned out the barn where they cam come in out of the weather, but eat out side this weekend and found a few piles of loose manure with blood stains in it, so we paniced, watched all five close and 3 had runny manure and messy rear ends, other 2 were fine. One has a slight cough on ocassion. They are on hay and 10 lbs of feed each split into 2 feedings, but were uped 1 scoop for the 5 a day or 2 eariler. Lighest one is 530 lbs. All still have a excellent appitite and all act normal and drink well. No bloody manure at all today from all five.

Today---- backed some feed off and put some crumbles in it and kept hay the same, noticed a few more with a slight cough about once an hour today. No noses running or eyes running. Manure is still loose, but not watery like yesterday. No bloody manure at all. 3 with a slight cough once an hour, 1 with a rougher cough 2 times an hour. It seems that the 3 that show the wost signs, all came from the same place and had the same vacinations in Oct and had the best health program. So am I just over worried, should we be treating the cough with something now (other than crumbles in the feed). I really dont think the amount of feed is the cause of the loose manure.

3 were treated
6-10 vision 7
9-26 cattlemaster gold 5fpl5
9-26 vision 7
10-19 cattlemaster gold 5fpl5
10-19 pasterrella pam-1
10-19 poured with ivomec
As long as everybody is eating good I would just continue on with the crumbles (at least double rate as whats on the bag) . If 1 stops eating or is slow to come to the bunk, pull him out and check with a reliable thermometer .Have some medicine on hand, something like Nuflor, Draxxin, Baytril, A180, not just La200 and Pen . If your vet don't want you to keep some medicine on hand, find a different vet .I live a good distance from my vet and he always says " don't call me and ask me what to do and then tell me you don't have any medicine " . He encourages us to have a supply of medicine .

To set your mind at ease or to nip a prospective poroblem in the bid, shove a fever stick up their butts and take a fecal to the vet.
That way at least you'll have a better idea of what you're dealing with.
BTW, calves cough, it's the way it is. Could be dust, could be chaff, could be cold air, could be they just cough I think to get owners stirred up.
Fecal to vet to check for coccidiosis or other parasites.

Don't sweat the coughing unless they get lethargic and go off feed. Then you'll need good antibiotic on hand so get that while your at the vet dropping off the poo.
as we get further into the hay feeding season, it seems like almost every bale has one spot, usually on the bottom, which has just a bit of spoiled or moldy hay. In pulling the netwrap off or even just setting the bale in the feeder, the wind blows some of that spot around - even makes me sneeze some time.

I'm not talking about major mold (which I would cut off and never feed) just a bit of dust in the bale almost.

Don't know if that's your problem here but I find hay bales make me sneeze sometimes. Seems like dus tin the hay can make the calves sneeze or cough also. Good luck.

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