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Discussion Starter #1
This is really a continuation of my ' sick sale calf (I know, I know)...' thread. Elwood is a Holstein calf that came to me very ill. With the help of some very kind people on here we were able to pull him back from the brink of death by scours, but he still has some issues. As you can see from the pictures he's very skinny and still looks like he just feels bad. This is a huge improvement from him laying still and cold on the ground, and I know some of it just needs time and food. It's his eyes that I'm worried about. These pics were taken this morning and his eyes are a lot worse than last night. I've never seen this before and am not sure what to do. His eyes don't seem to be itchy (he's not rubbing them), and there is no redness. They are just tearing a lot, and getting goopy every now and then. His temp was slightly elevated this morning (102.7) but is normal now. He's taking his bottles of milk replacer well and drinking water from a bucket on his own.
Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Jayne
 

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The first thing that comes to mind is pink-eye, but it could also be from just being thin and sick. I would wash his eyes and face with warm water that has had a generous splash of raw apple cider vinegar added to it(an old sock over your hand works very well for this), then drop a couple of drops of penicillin in his eyes a couple of times a day for a few days. Be advised that pink-eye is contagious and is spread by flies, so try to keep his face as clean as possible.
 

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I responded on your other thread but I will add that he doesn't look that skinny to me. He looks like a typical dairy drop calf from the auction. I know that's not where you got him I'm just saying that's what he looks like. He'll bulk up as soon as he's well. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The friend who gave him to me got him from the auction, so maybe you're right.;). I'm still worried about his eyes.

Won't apple cider vinegar attract flies? :confused:
 

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Can you see any spots on the eye, in the center, or along the edge of the eye? Any discoloration of the white part?

That appears to be some sort of infection to me.
 

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Looks like an infection/conjunctivitis. If you have any saline solution around use it to wash his eyes out at least twice a day. Over the counter polysporin ointment would do in a pinch for treatment. He's on an oral antibiotic which is good. Poor little guy has to be uncomfortable with eyes like that.

Contact lens disinfection solution something like Optifree might help with the irrigation. Don't use ANY contact lens solution with a red cap directly in the eyes. Use copious amounts to wash out his eyes. It is an antiseptic that is ok to put in eyes. Try it on one eye first to see if it helps but you have to use it several times a day for several days to get results.

The little guy really needs to be seen by a vet. He has so much going on in that little body at the same time.

I've seen people with eyes like that. Yes, highly contagious so use rubber gloves and wash wash, wash your hands.
 

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Can't see his eyes well enough to tell if it's pinkeye but Bill is right the puffer helps ,when used with a shot of antibiotic usually clears them up. Look at his eyeballs for a speck or dot. And pinkeye cattle get is not the same as pinkeye humans get and cannot be transmitted to you. If it is pinkeye also consider patches over his eyes it will help clear it up much quicker. Used to just sew their eyelids shut but the patches are much easier. If it's just pinkeye and everything else is going okay I wouldn't call the vet. The truth is if you have a vet out very often you'll have more invested in him than he'll ever be worth and pinkeye is a fairly easy fix.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Missourifarmboy and Billinwv, thank you. I'll look into getting the puffer today. I did some reading on it because I had never heard of it before and it sounds worth trying. I'm considering patches on his eyes with a Vetricyn gel, but I've been hesitant because both eyes are affected. I don't want to totally blind him, but I realize that it will probably be for the best.

Thank you also for your comments about calling a vet. I don't want to sound cruel or neglectful, but a vet for this guy is really more money than I can afford. His other issues have cleared up. He is eating more and getting stronger. So, I think he's going to be ok. If I were going to call a vet, I probably would have done it when he was unresponsive and cold.

Yesterday I washed his eyes with saline solution several times, and put in a drop or two of penicillin. Haven't seen him yet today, the sun is barely up. Hoping for the best.
Jayne
 

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Sometimes calling a vet will save you more money than it costs you...especially if you have to keep running to the store to buy medications to try. More importantly, a good vet will teach you what you are doing right and doing wrong and what to do next time.
 

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Please Do Not patch his eyes. If it is a bacterial infection that will only cause the bacteria to flourish and the infection to worsen if there is one. The discharge is a breeding ground.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Patching the eye in conjunction with antibiotic treatment is widely recommended and accepted:

"Placing a patch over the eye following treatment is a recommended procedure. It protects the eye from sunlight and keeps flies away from the eye. This should have benefit in decreasing the spread of the disease in the herd."
http://mcdowell.ces.ncsu.edu/treatment-of-pinkeye-in-cattle/ and
http://www.thebeefsite.com/articles/1058/treatment-of-pinkeye-in-cattle

Also:
"Best results for antibiotic treatment will occur when infected
eyes are protected from additional irritation. A patch should be
cemented over the eye for protection, but never completely seal
the eye. Leave the bottom of the patch unsealed so moisture
can drain away. Use commercial products, or use pieces of old
cloth such as denim with skin-safe adhesives. Having your vet-
erinarian stitch the eye closed is a very acceptable alternative.
Regardless of which method is used, the eye should be pro-
tected from further irritation for one to two weeks"
http://www.uky.edu/Ag/AnimalSciences/pubs/id135.pdf

Seriously, I'm not crazy, cruel, or completely ignorant. I'm doing the best I can in a difficult situation. I'm gathering as much information as I can. One of the ways to do this is to ask you all. There is a wealth of knowledge in other people's experiences. But I'm also doing a lot of reading and talking to others. Ultimately, I have to make decisions based on the info I have gathered.
So, thanks for all the help. I really appreciate ya'll taking the time to share with me.
Jayne
 

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Are his eyes sunk in at all anymore?
I'm not convinced its pinkeye and trust me when I say I've seen a lot of it.
Any update on him other than his eyes?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
His eyes aren't sunken in so much as the front corners (tear ducts?) are swollen. Other than that he seems fine. He's eating between 1 1/2 to 2 quarts of MR 3x's a day. He's eager to eat and twines around me with his mouth open. Although his nose has healed, he still does not butt the bottle, which I find very strange, but it's probably not important. The wound in his ear where they put the metal tag is no longer suppurating, but still looks raw. Not really a big deal, either, but it bothers me. His stools are still looser than I would like, but nothing like the stinky, slimy, watery stuff that was coming out of him before. I have never smelled a living creature that had such a stink before this. I am really glad that he is not suffering from that any more. I'm sure he is, too. Since the stink is gone, so are the flies, which probably caused his eye problem to begin with. He spends a lot of time laying down. He drinks from a bucket when he's thirsty, moves to a more comfortable place when he needs to. He's alert to what's going on around him. I don't know whether his sight has been affected. There's still a lot of seepage, most of it clear, and swelling. His right eye has a grey film over part of it. That's the most worrisome thing right now. He's still getting probiotics once a day and I've given him 2 shots of B-complex.
I'm thinking of starting him back on LA200, rinsing his eyes, applying vetricyn, and covering the right one. I'll keep an eye on the left one and if it starts to look worse I'll cover that one as well. I know that LA200 may trash his digestive system again, but I need to treat this now, before it gets worse.
 

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Sounds like all good news for the most part! Great job!
My advice on his eyes. Take it or leave it. ;)
More than likely wherever he came from he wasn't feeling well and was in shavings or dusty straw. He laid his head down because he felt aweful and got some irritation and possibly a scratch (by the sound of the foggy/grey eye) and his body wasn't able to fend it off because he was so sick.
Take it easy on over antibiotic"ing". It's not just hard on his gut (which he can't afford to go backwards on right now) for one but the injection site and his body's defense of it. Especially LA200. Diseases are becoming resistant due to over medicating especially when it's not necessary or the wrong drug for the cause/issue. He was already on it and it didn't clear up his eyes at that time.
Twice to 3 times a days give a good squirt of Pen G or the vetricyn in his eyes. With eyes topical is a good thing. It flushes the eye and give it a treatment of antibiotics right at the source. They don't heal over night so be patient. Keep the weeping clean as it can cause his hair to sluff.
Take your hand and move it in a fast motion by each eye (towards his eye) careful not to touch the hairs and see if he blinks. This will tell you if he has some sight. The greyness in the eye can go away over time.
Take a deep breath! Look at all the improvement he's made because of you. Take another breath and don't panic. Sometimes over thinking and hovering causes more problems than it fixes. Patching is generally recommended for pinkeye and if he had that by now you'd know.
If patching is the only way you'll feel better go to the feed store and buy a foal fly mask. He'll still have the shade on his eyes (reducing irritation) less dusts etc will get to them and it will keep the fly's in check. You can still take it off to doctor and check his eyes. Plus he will have the ability to see a bit threw the mask. It reduces their site some but not to the point of patches.
Good luck and please keep us posted.
Don't forget to breathe! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
DoubleR, thanks for your patience and encouragement. Please bear with me a little longer.
"...if he had that by now you'd know."
How would I know? What do I look for?
There don't seem to be many alternatives. And the results of untreated pink eye are pretty scary. I've seen some come through the auctions that were painful to look at.
I'm still not sure about the patching, truthfully. But it's an option I'm considering. I guess my "panic" is caused by the thought of my inaction causing him to go blind.
 

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The watering of the eye is not bad enough for the problem to be a full blown case of pinkeye IMO.

I do patch and use an antibiotic when I am certain that an animal has a bad case of pinkeye.
 
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