calf down; can't get up

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Lissy, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. Lissy

    Lissy Member

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    There is a circa 3-month-old heifer calf, a hereford/charolais mix, who is down in the pasture. There is no visible sign as to why she can't get up. Her eyes are bright; none of her legs swollen, she can lie normally, but mostly lies on her side with legs sticking out. When we try to help her stand she attempts to, but lurches forward and falls without rising. Can anyone give me an idea of where to start? This is my father-in-law's herd, so I can't just take her to the vet. He's going to just wait and see, but I want to help. I can't see her just getting better on her own if we wait and see.
    Thanks in advance,

    Lissy
     
  2. myersfarm

    myersfarm Dariy Calf Raiser

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    whats her tempature..??.will she drink warm water ?
     

  3. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Has she been wormed or deloused recently? Is the pasture icy? Members should have their location next to their name. It is so important when answering questions like this.
     
  4. haypoint

    haypoint Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Some areas are selenium deficient. I’ve seen a shot of BoSe make a lot of difference. I give my mares a shot before the colt is born and the colts seem to be able to get to their feet quicker and stand straighter.

    Being down in the pasture in GA is a lot different than down in the pasture in MN. Where are you?
    Please keep us updated.
     
  5. Lissy

    Lissy Member

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    I'm in Northeast Texas. She has never been dewormed. I have some Ivermax, if worming her might help. She drinks water and is alert and interested. She is a stout, good looking, healthy looking heifer with nothing obviously wrong with her, and she doesn't appear to be sick or weak. She just won't get up.
    I gave her a B-complex shot an hour ago. I will take her temp if I can find a thermometer, and get back with the info. We used to have goats but don't have any other livestock than chickens at the moment, so I don't have much vet supplies left.
    I thought about selenium deficiency, but she is no newborn calf; I didn't know if it affected an older calf. I do have Bo-Se if that would help. My father-in-law just now told me she's about a year old, not just a few months as I estimated.
     
  6. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sigh,,, I'll ask again. Are you (or have you) experienced icy conditions there?
     
  7. Lissy

    Lissy Member

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    There has been ice on water buckets at night. It has been around 26-32F nights and 38-45F daytime temps for the past week. Frost on the ground. Some light rain in the daytime but not cold enough for sleet. What is the significance of icy conditions in this case?
     
  8. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Any chance of a pic?
     
  9. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sometimes a critter will slip and do the splits, resulting in torn ligaments or muscle, or a broken pelvis. Usually this is in older animals, but could happen to a younger one.
     
  10. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If this is the case, then the best thing to do is (assuming the weather is halfway decent) provide feed water and bedding and give the calf a little time. If it is still down in a few days the best course of action would be to get it in a barn or shed and sling it up.
     
  11. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Yes older animals can get selenium deficient. Not sure Texas is a place where the grass is sel deficient but you'd know your area for that from the goats. Have you checked her hooves? You can give asprin to cattle, works very well, your local feed store should have good big ASA tablets or you can use the human version. The Merk manual should have doseages, its going to be alot though not just by human weight/age doses. Since the calf's been down for a while already you might want to get her slung up sooner than later, and it can only help to get her inside where you can watch her and work in comfort. Get her temp ASAP
     
  12. Lissy

    Lissy Member

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    Her temp is 101F. She still seems fine this morning, other than not getting up that is. Her stools are normal looking and smelling. I am trying to find a place and a way to sling her.
    I will post pics in a minute.

    Thanks so much for the help so far. It's good to know someone is there.
     
  13. Lissy

    Lissy Member

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    sorry; having trouble with code
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  14. Lissy

    Lissy Member

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    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  15. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Lissy
    Get an image code for forums at Photobucket and copy and paste that image code to your post here

    What you have above will not open for us.
     
  16. Lissy

    Lissy Member

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    Sorry about that. I do it so seldom I can't remember how it's done from time to time.
     
  17. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    She looks small for a year old but otherwise fairly healthy. If you do not get her up and in a sling she will unlikely never get up. You are approaching the maximum time for her to stay down. do you have a bull or other mature cattle in the pasture with the heifer?
     
  18. Lissy

    Lissy Member

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    There are around 30 grown cows and a number of calves in the pasture with her. I haven't seen any aggression. There are 5 barbados/dorper sheep, whereof one is a young ram who keeps trying to breed anything in sight, including the cows. She could have been knocked over or slipped on wet hay and sprained something but there is nothing to indicate it.
    I will try to get my father-in-law to help get her up in a sling of some sort. Is that something I could make myself? I have strong canvas fabric and we have a carpenter shop and welding gear.
     
  19. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Make something that resembles this and use the canvas instead of the straps.

    http://www.enasco.com/product/Z09820N

    Your reply confirms what I thought may have happens. She got hurt by another animal. Probably the ram. If you have any expectancy of saving the heifer you do need to get her up ASAP. Good luck.
     
  20. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Her temp is a bit low probably from a lack of moving around. As Agman says get her up and if she was rammed then the asprin might help. It is awfully small for a year old, has she been wormed?