joint ill/septicemia

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by kirsten, May 11, 2006.

  1. kirsten

    kirsten Well-Known Member

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    HI group. I am new to this cattle forum. I have my first calf.
    It has not gone well. We got the corriente from my FIL becuase the mother refused it and it was kicked. I examined the legs but they were not dangerously swollen or anything. I did mention that the calf switched which leg he favored but no one believed me, meaning my husband. We thought it was a deep bruise that needed a month or more to heal, a few days later, his hip had fused into the socket making him permanently crippled. I called the vet out after we had had the calf about 9 days. That is when we heard that he was forever crippled and that he had a navel infection/joint ill in the back other leg causing septicemia. He has been on penicillin 2 weeks now and is finally getting around but the swelling which eventually did pop up in a hock has not gone down. Will it ever go down? Or has it solidified in the joint at least that far and won't get any smaller?

    the calf has joined the flock. It is very unfortunate all of this, especially considering that a navel infection in a lamb is readily apparent and easily managed. I always thought that cattle were so much easier but the idea that a leg/hip could fuse up so quickly is astounding! They say sheep are difficult and maybe they are generally more worrisome but I am less impressed with cattle now. Do you have to monitor every kicked calf every minute?! It just blows my mind what happened to this calf that fast. He went from rodeo star to limping dinner in a matter of days. kirsten
     
  2. Paula

    Paula Well-Known Member

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    I hate to tell you this, but we've never had a calf survive navel ill. I do know that they do occaisionally survive though.
    Being the calf got navel ill, I assume it didn't get colostrum? It's always touch and go for the first few weeks with calves who don't get it. Without colostrum they have no immunity till they develop their own. BTW, that's how I know about navel ill - we used to raise bottle calves on our extra milk. Got them from dairies who in general just wanted to keep them alive long enough to sell. No more - I hate bottle calves now.
    Normal calves who are accepted by their mothers and get adequate colostrum are very hardy. Don't let this experience get you down about cows.
     

  3. needstoknowmore

    needstoknowmore Rattlin Rock Ranch

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    Unfortunatly I know a little about this. The swelling will not go down by it's self. Draining the joint is an option. But you could end up putting a whole lot of money into the calf and have a bad outcomb. The majority of cases do not survive, and suffer greatly.
    I don't know about sheep, or how to treat this problem with them. But I do know it is usually deadly. Quantity and quality of colostrum is the best preventative. Although it is actually possible to for a calf to get the condition before it is born.

    I am very sorry that you are having to go through this. Calves are wonderful to have around. I am raising my first calf and loving it. And she has multiple health problems, one of them being septic arthritis. It never progressed past some heat in a joint, so I was very lucky. But I was prepared to put her down if it progressed too far. I wasn't willing to let her suffer.

    It is a very painful condition. So please be willing to make the call and have the calf put down if the suffering gets too bad.
     
  4. john in la

    john in la Well-Known Member

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    Joint ill in cows is caused by bacteria entering the navel area just after birth.
    Clean birthing areas is a must. This is why a lot of dairy farmers dip the navel area just after birth. Most calves born on pasture are ok unless they just happen to hit the ground in the wrong spot.

    My vet always gives a shot to any calves I am unfortunate enough to buy that come down with joint ill. The shot puts them to sleep forever. Unless it is a pet it is most times best to put them down rather then to throw good money at a most likely losing case. It is cheaper to count your loses and spend your money on a new calf.
     
  5. kirsten

    kirsten Well-Known Member

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    Well, he is 8 weeks along or more and even gets some speed up. He is happy living with the lambs and butts them in the tummies when they go after his bottle. He tries to eat their lamb food and they butt him out. The swelling in his hock has not gone down and is just a fact of life now but he is energetic and so... I guess he made it. He just seems happy. He follows the lambs around all day, eats with them, sucks on their ears, runs from us when we come with his bottle... he is still crippled in the other leg but there are lots of pets with a leg missing so he'll live. miraculaously, I guess we caught it in time. Thank you guys though and nice to meet you! kirsten