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  #1  
Old 08/23/10, 10:33 AM
was"farmwannabe"-no more!
 
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Teat question

Thanks for all of your help with our new 6 mos old Jersey heifer!
Her name is Gurty (derived from "yorgurt" haha)


The end of two of her teats are blackish and almost crusty/scabby looking. I tried to get pictures (it's a good thing no one could see me!) :

back view:


side view:


Has anyone seen this before?

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  #2  
Old 08/23/10, 10:39 AM
 
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Looks like frostbite to me.

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Last edited by agmantoo; 08/23/10 at 11:11 AM.
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  #3  
Old 08/23/10, 10:46 AM
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Either frostbite, or damage caused by cross sucking.

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  #4  
Old 08/23/10, 11:41 AM
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If it's frostbite, are those quarters destroyed?

There wasn't much info out there, but one article I read said the "teat must be opened." What does that mean? Most of the information was for prevention. Others said that mastitis incidence will increase...
One source said the awful "c" word

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  #5  
Old 08/23/10, 01:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PKBoo View Post
If it's frostbite, are those quarters destroyed?

There wasn't much info out there, but one article I read said the "teat must be opened." What does that mean? Most of the information was for prevention. Others said that mastitis incidence will increase...
One source said the awful "c" word
I would sure ask a vet 1st but I think frost bite too. Hard to say for sure how bad the damage is, but I am sorry but it doesn't look good to me from the pics.
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Old 08/23/10, 01:43 PM
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If this heifer is 6 months old, she was born in February.
It seems unlikely that a newborn calf would receive frostbite to their udder, w/o also having some on her ears.
I mean, HOW could she have gotten frostbite at that age
when her teats would have been tiny and buried in her fur?
I just dont see how.

More likely, and just as bad, she got sucked by another calf.
They will suck on tiny udders, navel region, ears, even tails.

Either way, gosh it is too bad, PKBoo.
In the very end of each teat is a little sphincter that opens and closes,
to let milk out, and keep it in. It appears that the front teats on this heifer
have received damage to that area. When she freshens,
either they will not allow milk to come out, or they will not close all the way.
Increased risks for mastitis in either event.

I am so sorry.

From now on I am going to make it a mission to remind everyone to
LOOK at the prospective udder on any heifer calf, before purchase.
You cant tell 'much', but you can count the teats, and see things like this OP.

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Last edited by gone-a-milkin; 08/23/10 at 01:47 PM.
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  #7  
Old 08/23/10, 02:22 PM
was"farmwannabe"-no more!
 
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GAM - the people that we got her from had her tied outside, so I don't know if they kept her there during the winter (we had several very bad snowstorms in Feb). They also had gotten two of them at the same time, so both scenarios are possible...

We checked to see how many teats she had when we went to see her, and handled her to see how she would react, but didn't really look closely at them. Definitely a learning experience.

Oh boo hoo! Does this mean we should just raise her for the freezer? Or can we milk the two that are not affected? I'm not sure I understand the whole mastitis thing - I thought it affected a quarter or two, not all, and you just milk those quarters out.

We were planning on only milking her in the evening for our own milk, and keeping her calf on her for the morning milk. There's only two of us at home now, so we didn't want a huge supply of milk.

I think we need to get a book - I saw Amazon has two Keeping A Family Cow by Joann S. Grohman and The Family Cow by Dirk Van Loon. Any recommendations?

Lots of questions here... thanks for all of your help! I have a lot to learn!

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  #8  
Old 08/23/10, 02:28 PM
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I`m so sorry, I wish you could have taken these pics before. This guy sold you a pig in a poke, He knew it and you got took. I am sorry I said buy her, who would have ever thought that this would have happened. This calf has been sucked on by another calf or calves, and has damaged her teats. I do not think this is from frostbite, I have had cattle all my life and have never had a young heifer have frostbite on her udder. They lay down and that area is protected from the cold, so I think frostbite is not likely. You go back and tell this guy you want your money back, and if he says go fly a kite, say your going to take him to court. Tell him your brothers a lawyer and he won`t be charging you to sue him. May not hurt to have your vet look at him to back you up if thats what you want to do. Or tell him you will take half back and keep the calf, but I would butcher the heifer, otherwise I think she will be a two teater. What a shame people have to do things like this, makes us good guys a rare and dying breed. Once again I am sorry this has happened. >Marc

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Last edited by springvalley; 08/23/10 at 02:34 PM.
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  #9  
Old 08/23/10, 02:37 PM
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You could keep her and just milk the two, but then you may as well have a goat then. As long as you don`t mess with the two effected quarters , they should not bother her. >Thanks Marc

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  #10  
Old 08/23/10, 03:55 PM
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I have Joann's book "keeping a family cow" and love it. I highly recommend it, but haven't read the other one.

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  #11  
Old 08/23/10, 09:22 PM
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No worries Marc - we've definitely learned a LOT already! The people we bought her from are moving to Colorado (I think this weekend), and he has not returned my call (and they are an hour away). Lesson learned...
And goat milk... blech! I really do not care for the taste! I've gotten it a few times because I love the idea of a few milk goats, but oooh boy

The good thing about this is that I was able to get the name of the farmer he got her from, and now have a Jersey source, so we'll probably try to get another heifer from him in a few months.

And I really appreciate the time all of you take to answer questions - I have learned so much from you! THANKS!!!

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  #12  
Old 08/23/10, 11:19 PM
 
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It's hard to see well in the pictures, but scabs on the teat ends can sometimes be due to a viral infection. Both Herpes and pseudocowpox can cause pustules or scabs. If its viral, they could heal in time. Some cows are carriers, but others recover completely. It's worth waiting awhile to see.

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Old 08/23/10, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by MARYDVM View Post
It's hard to see well in the pictures, but scabs on the teat ends can sometimes be due to a viral infection. Both Herpes and pseudocowpox can cause pustules or scabs. If its viral, they could heal in time. Some cows are carriers, but others recover completely. It's worth waiting awhile to see.
I suppose that is possible. I have never seen the scabs be that even looking though. My experience with with those viruses has been that there is still a lot of scarring and the teat is never quite right. Of course, since she has never lactated, maybe the outcome would be different? Not sure.
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Old 08/23/10, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PKBoo View Post
And goat milk... blech! I really do not care for the taste! I've gotten it a few times because I love the idea of a few milk goats, but oooh boy
I don't know if you got it from individuals, or the store, but goat milk properly handled tastes like cows milk.
Badly handled goats milk is nasty. It is easy to get good milk though, just many people do not bother to do so.
And yes, I didn't believe it either for a long time. My first experiences with goats milk were like yours, it was nasty. I got my own goats, followed the simple procedures of milking into a SS pail, straining into a glass jar and chilling *immediately*. Delicious. Timely straining and chilling is essential.
And all goat milk from the store is horrible. My dogs wouldn't drink it.
If you are ever in the area, I invite you over for a cold glass of delicious raw goats milk.
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  #15  
Old 08/24/10, 01:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ozark_jewels View Post
I don't know if you got it from individuals, or the store, but goat milk properly handled tastes like cows milk.
Badly handled goats milk is nasty. It is easy to get good milk though, just many people do not bother to do so.
And yes, I didn't believe it either for a long time. My first experiences with goats milk were like yours, it was nasty. I got my own goats, followed the simple procedures of milking into a SS pail, straining into a glass jar and chilling *immediately*. Delicious. Timely straining and chilling is essential.
And all goat milk from the store is horrible. My dogs wouldn't drink it.
If you are ever in the area, I invite you over for a cold glass of delicious raw goats milk.
Poor handling may make goat's milk worse, but handling doesn't seem to matter as much with cow's milk. My handling didn't change after I went from goats to cows, and never had another problem. I spent a few years trying to overcome goaty flavor. Somehow with the cow, just wasn't a problem. Got tired of being blamed for my goat's problems. Maybe it was my fault the bucks stunk, too. Maybe I didn't wash them enough.

The ends of the teats are one of the most critical parts of a milk cow. Without a good seal provided by a tight teat end sphincter, keeping bugs out is hard and mastitis more likely.
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  #16  
Old 08/24/10, 07:22 AM
 
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Let the buyer beware but having said that, I was also one that said go for it.

Before deciding her fate, I would have her looked at by a vet with the idea of looking for Black Pox - not to be confused with Pseudocowpox although Pseusocowpox can lead to Black Pox. Black Pox is usually found in milking cows and is caused by excessive vacuum, overmilking, short teat cups or dirt but can also be found in cross sucking calves particularly if they have been confined to areas where a damaged teat will get dirty. Black Pox looks exactly like the photos of your calf.

The success of treatment is varied but since I last saw it there are far better treatments available and the chances are that the condition can be cleared up. And frankly, I'm as close to positive as I can be without having actually seen the animal.

Cheers,
Ronnie

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  #17  
Old 08/24/10, 07:55 AM
 
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Why not just have a vet come out and take a look at her? Maybe it's not as serious as it looks...

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  #18  
Old 08/24/10, 08:05 AM
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I have both books you mentioned. Keeping a Family Cow is my favorite. It's packed with information and is fun to read. The Family Cow ( VanLoorn) is very informative and has lots of information in it, but seemed more like a technical manual than a book to learn about cows. If you only get one book, I'd go with Joanns "Keeping a Family Cow".

Too bad about your heifer. Keeping my fingers crossed everything turns out for the best.

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Old 08/24/10, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
It's hard to see well in the pictures, but scabs on the teat ends can sometimes be due to a viral infection. Both Herpes and pseudocowpox can cause pustules or scabs. If its viral, they could heal in time. Some cows are carriers, but others recover completely. It's worth waiting awhile to see.
When I was a tester, I had a herd with some herpes cows ... very often the teat ends were badly damaged and they ended up culled, although some turned out OK or were kept as 3-teat cows.

Poor li'l girl!
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  #20  
Old 08/24/10, 05:33 PM
was"farmwannabe"-no more!
 
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Ronnie - how soon does Blackpox need to be looked at to be treated? We were going to have the vet check her when he comes out for other things - we weren't going to schedule him just for her (kill many birds with one visit so to speak!) But if sooner is better than later, I'll get him out here now...

Carla I think I will try both books - DH likes the technical aspects and I like a good read. We definitely need some reference books - herpes, pseudocowpox, black pox, yikes

Thanks again everyone - every day is a learning experience!

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