Calf Problem

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Mullers Lane Farm, May 21, 2004.

  1. Mullers Lane Farm

    Mullers Lane Farm Well-Known Member

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    We got a couple week old angus cross bull calves in a trade from a reputable farm - they were on Mom for a week and got their colostrum. One calf is thriving and doing well, the other started scouring badly, doesn't want to eat and is getting weak. We gave him 3cc of LA200 per vet instruction and started pumping electrolytes into him via a bottle. Will we have to tube him if he doesn't improve??

    Any suggestions anyone can give?

    Thanks so much!
     
  2. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    If he is taking a bottle, you don't need to tube him. You only need to tube when they must be rehydrated, but you can't get them to take it.

    LA 200 is a great antibiotic, but not my choice for scours. I would get some scour bolus' that have the sulpha something in them. Make sure you give the calf the bolus right before a bottle. If they sit on an empty stomach, they don't work very well. Follow the label directions for how many to give and how often. I get mine either from the vet or the feed store.

    Jena
     

  3. Mullers Lane Farm

    Mullers Lane Farm Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Jena,
    He's not taking the bottle too well. He sucks some, but mostly we're squirting the electrolyte in. It's my lunch hour here so I'll run up to Farm & Fleet and see if they have a calf scour bolus.
     
  4. Mullers Lane Farm

    Mullers Lane Farm Well-Known Member

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    Okay, just got back from the farm supply store. Paul was there too (lucky coincidence!)

    They had the calf bolus with the sulpha something in it but it said not to use on calves less than a month old. This calf is about a week old. Picked up more bags of electrolyte specifically for calves (so I don't have to measure from the concentrated stuff I have). Also picked up stuff in case we have to tube.

    Thanks for your advice!
     
  5. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    I have used those bolus' on calves younger than a month many times, with my vet's blessing.

    If he is only a week old, you may have viral scours going, in which case, antibiotics aren't going to help anyways, except to prevent secondary infection.

    Here's a site about all the different kinds of scours:

    http://www.umaine.edu/livestock/Publications/scours.htm

    Jena
     
  6. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Are you feeding him milk replacer or cow's milk? I discovered that the change in diet from Mom's milk to calf replacer can be a devastating one to a calf unless it is done slowly, just like any other diet change. Are you feeding him ONLY electrolytes and the antibiotics right now? I was told to do that for two whole feedings - nothing but the electrolytes and the antibiotics. If he starts to actually suck again, try whole cow's milk from the store, not the milk replacer. Then, if he starts to improve again, you can slowly mix the two, until he is just drinking replacer.

    I lost one calf to the abrupt change. The other one recovered, but the vet said it was all diet. LoL replacer, but the change was too much for them. And as he talked it made sense - we do the same things with people...go visit another country and change your diet and drinking water habits and your body rebels until it can adjust...and with a calf, they may not have *time* to adjust before they shut down.

    -Sarah
     
  7. Mullers Lane Farm

    Mullers Lane Farm Well-Known Member

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    We lost one of the calves tonight. The other is starting to act puny and we've taken him off milk and milk replacement and on to straight electrolytes for the next 24 hours. Instead of the bolus Jena recommended (these calves are less than 50#) we got Terramycin brand oxytetracycline HCI and will give 1/2 every 12 hours. These are a week old, brought in Wednesday afternoon. Could be from stress or change of diet. We have a Jersey cow that is a great adoptive mom. She's due to calve in September and we've started milking her just once a day in the morning. She took right to these two calves and we let them in with her to nurse be mothered and nurse if want for the afternoon/evening.

    It's so hard to lose animals when you don't expect it. We raise a few (9-12) hogs a year for butcher and raised a bucket calf for beef. It's not so hard to lose them when you know they're destined for the freezer, but when one day they're bouncing around and 48 hours later they're dead - that's a blow.

    Thanks for all your help.
    clm
     
  8. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    When I find it's that serious, I give them a shot of NuFlor. Some folks aren't that fond of the drug but it's never failed me and I find that the penicillin family takes longer to work than they have to live.
     
  9. SHELBY

    SHELBY Well-Known Member

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    Something I've done with a weak calf...Is give him 2 people aspirin (adult ) and a shot of vitamin b...usually is they're temp is not going subnormal from the dehydration then they will be up and wanting to eat within an hour....
    The best sulfa to use is the Sustain 3 with the La 200 they work together
    If that little one starts to go subnormal then you will have to heat him up..2 blankets and a heating pad work great...

    Good luck