Homesteading Forum banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a lowline angus cow (6yrs old) who aborted. Vet said she probably had pneumonia (viral) that healed on its own which, combined with the onset of the hot season here (aka stress), probably caused her to abort. (P.S. I had previously called a vet prior to check her out. He listened to her lungs and said they were clean and the next day she was doing better so I opted not to do the antibiotic. 20/20 hindsight as they say. I wish I would have done the antibiotic then.) Vet said the current infection is most likely a bacterial infection she got because of her weakened state from the first infection and because she had an infection from the aborted fetus. She was given a shot of Draxxin last Wed (7/12) as well as Banamine to reduce the fever. Well its been 8 days since the vet visit. She stopped eating much alfalfa Monday Morning. She devours the kelp meal each day and has eaten some comfrey leaves. I put fresh straw in the pen which she started eating yesterday??? Its rice straw - why would she eat that? Any recommendations on TLC / food? B12, Selenium? She barely drank water yesterday (7/18), but drank a ton today and ate a little alfalfa. She is about 50lbs underweight according to vet. She doesn't really seem to be getting better. When do I make the call to cull? New to this and don't want her to suffer. If she can get better that would be ideal for 2 reasons...end her suffering and 2, I would eat her. Vet said if she does recover, she will probably be sterile. However, if she's just going to suffer, I can put her down. Her breathing still seems labored at times; it has been 100 degrees here non-stop so its hard to tell if her breathing is labored from the heat or the illness. I assume the latter. Thanks for the help - still a newbie.
 

·
Unpaid, Volunteer Devil's Advocate
Joined
·
18,299 Posts
This is a tough one. She's a cow that you may not have much history on. She could have had a previous problem.

I'm not there and only have what you told me to go on. A tiny cow should never get 50 pounds under weight. Why is she so badly under weight? Are you starving her, is your hay so awful that she can't survive on it? Is she eating rice straw because it is better than the alfalfa?

Kelp and Comfrey are "kook food", stuff that newbies get conned into feeding instead of established cattle feed, but that is just my opinion.

Brucellosis is a concern in some areas. Leptospirosis is a concern in other areas. BVD is a problem for some, as is Jhones. Malnutrition can take down cows in all areas.

If you can't correctly judge hay, get someone that can look at it. Dusty, moldy, late cut, chemically treated or full of dock isn't cattle feed.

A starving animal will abort.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hi Haypoint. We've been feeding alfalfa and grass hay from a well known distributor in our area and they are very careful about mold, etc since they have horse customers. We also feed it to our sheep and goats and other cattle with no ill effect. Kelp is offered to all of our animals as a supplement, not a food. Comfrey was to see if she would eat something since I have it in my garden. I would never feed an animal these things exclusively. I have no idea why she started eating the rice straw; I thought it was strange. I decided to have bloodwork done to ensure that we catch anything that might be going on with the herd as well as fecals, worm check, etc. We gave her Ivermectin last week, but the vet seems to think there's something else going on - possibly that the Ivermectin didn't work or there is another worm that could still be there. All other animals (including her 9 month old bull calf) are doing well with no symptoms...no weight loss, etc. Also, according to the previous owner, she has not had any heath problems although she said the cow seemed to be a bit skinnier than she would normally like to see her when the cow came to us. But the cow had just had a healthy calf as well. The previous owner would like to purchase future stock from this cow so I believe her with regards to her health history. As of now she is doing a bit better physically and she is eating, but the vet is monitoring her protein levels and worried that they might not come back up. I'll keep you posted if we find out it was any of those diseases you mentioned.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top