Maybe spoke too soon

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by dunroven, Apr 17, 2005.

  1. dunroven

    dunroven Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My bull is not doing well again tonight. It's so strange. He did so well this morning, drank 2 quarts of milk starter and just acted really fine. He was up walking and even came to get the bottle, but tonight, here he is weak and all shaky again. We tried very hard to get the electrolytes down him. We are not set up with tubes or the experience to use them, and there is no place on Sunday here where we could get such a thing,.... and as this is a $30 calf, husband says he won't spend a lot of money trying to do anything, cause if we do lose him, we still only have $45 in our other two and says that sometimes those are the facts of life. We don't have a lot of money and got these little bull gurnseys to raise off for butchering.

    Anyway, he is a little scoury and I'm afraid he has pneumonia. I have a BIG feeling, although I don't know, I think the lady sold us this calf without it ever having the benefit of more than maybe 1 day of colostrum, and I think that is part of the problem, I don't think he was more than 1 day old, although she said they were 2 days old. The other two calves are almost running already, even in their small pen.

    We did separate them, so that they won't step all over him and hurt him. He really doesn't appear dehydrated by the skin on the neck pull test, but I think he just maybe has the pneumonia.

    We took a squeeze ketchup bottle and filled it (1 quart) with the electrolyte solution and my husband held him and I put my fingers in his mouth and while he was sucking on my fingers, I squirted small amounts of the liquid into his mouth. My husband rubbed his throat so he would swallow. Took the better part of an hour, but we got that quart down, although he really seemed tired from the effort.

    Sorry to rant and rave so much here, but I really want this little guy to live, even though I know it's just for meat. I just hate the thought of a creature dying so needlessly. I guess my hubby is right though, it is part of life on the small farm.

    Any advice would be appreciated, at least for the future. Thanks!

    Valorie :waa:
     
  2. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    Well, nuflor is good for pnuemonia but the cost wouldn't be worth it for a bull calf. If it was a heifer, different story. It cost me 120 bucks or so to treat two herefords for pnuemonia the other day, it isn't cheap. It cost us 600.00 to "fix" our jerseys, they too had pnuemonia. It gets pricey. If he is still kicking, get a thermo, round tip (baby thermo), and take his temp. If it is above 103, towards 104 or 105. He might have pnuemonia, and without treatment he will succomb. Scours is also no good, but if he is still also kicking, pepto bismol will work. I would give him 30CC's oraly or so.. Pneumonia is an interesting beast, and its sneaky.


    Jeff
     

  3. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    You gave him too much milk replacer at one time. Doesn't the cup that came in the replacer have a mark below the top to give an additional measurement? The mark about 7/8ths of the way up is for small breed calves. A very young calf is better off receiving less milk than too much. Keep him hungry and he will not scour as badly. As he matures you can increase his groceries. Most calves are overfed since all of us want them to look good and to have full stomachs. It is hard to cut the feed back but he will benefit from the reduction. He has a belly ache from trying to digest those 2 quarts!
     
  4. myersfarm

    myersfarm Dariy Calf Raiser

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    a hungry calf is a health calf.......i just give 3 pints 2 a day and mix like agman said 7/8 a cup.....other brands i have used have a small cup and you give that by mixing 2 cups in 2 quarts if you have the small cup just cut it back a little...........my nuflor does cost as much as jeffny ....i give my own shots so call a vet to get a price on a shot of it or baytril both will make him better if he is sick from something else
     
  5. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Holy doodle Jeff, what is nuflor worth in your area? A calf only takes 2 or 3cc twice and the smaller bottle here is only worth $52 and the economy sized bottle $120. I have to disagree with your thoughts on a bull calf not being worth the money if we accept responsability for an animal we are obligated to do the best we can for their well being. I would think that the calf probably does have pneumonia and should be treated in some way. If the little guy had colostrum for 24 hours, he should be fine, the stomach lining starts to thicken after that and little more would be absorbed.
     
  6. Ksar

    Ksar Member

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    Hi Valorie
    Sounds like your lil bull has shipping fever, its a stress induced resp problem, that can very easily turn to pneumonia. LA 200 is an over the counter antibiotic injection that will help. I would suggest Terramycin tablets they are much easier to give, cost less and wont cause sore spot/reluctance to get up. It will also help the scours.
    I firmly agree a hungry calf is a healthy calf. He may not be able to take as much as the other 2. If you do give him either of the 2 anti's, I suggested, or Nuflor ( which is a heavy duty anti )
    do follow that with a Pro biotic, to help his gut, Since the anti's will kill all the good and bad bacteria.
    Feel free to email me if you need.
    Kathy
     
  7. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    wr has the right path on this one. When bring a critter home; we are taking responsiblity for it, and the profit/loss factor has little to due with it. I've seen big farmers turn their backs on a sick herd and just write them off on their taxes, but ethics says we ought to do all we can to keep an animal or herd healthy.

    This is especially true when we may have done something to cause an illness in the first place.
     
  8. dunroven

    dunroven Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I appreciate all the advice. My little calf today decided he was better. He comes to me when I call his name, and he wanted a second bottle today. He was really hungry. I did ask a dairy man here who raises gurnseys how much he feeds his calves that he has like these, and he said 2 quarts 2 times daily. He doesn't have scours now either. I do have one calf that acts constipated. He hunches up trying to have a BM. He didn't eat at all this morning and only about 1 1/2 pints tonight, which I figured I wouldn't force him to eat more than he wanted to. I did give him a little bit of white Karo syrup, which is what we give human babies to help with their constipation. I didn't give him very much as I don't want to cause the scours.

    As far as being the reason that the baby calf was so sick here, I don't agree that I caused his sickness by transporting. My husband and I talked about the way he was acting, which was all the way from the time we got him home until just last night, and then this morning when he acted a lot more lively and even mooed at me.

    When we bought these calves from the dairy we got them from, the lady would not let us go back into the barn where they were. She physically carried them out one by one. My husband was backing our van up to get them (we had them on blue tarps in the back of our van as our truck was broke down, wouldn't you know). Anyway, she brought out the first two and stood them up right in front of me and I watched them until he got the van in place and then he put them in the van. She was a little slower bringing this one out, she didn't stand it down on the ground, she "laid" it in the back of the van and wished us good luck.

    Now, I'm new to this whole thing, except I have watched calves be fed and cared for a little bit by my sisters and their family's, BUT, I think the lady sold us a calf that was already sick and she didn't expect to make it. I truly believe that.

    Okay, done with this rant. If someone can tell me if I did right for my little constipated calf, I'll appreciate that.

    Thanks!

    Valorie
     
  9. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    Could be!

    I wouldn't hold it against the woman that she didn't let you go back into the calf barn. Some diseases can be spread from nothing more than germs on your boots.

    However, if I were buying I'd want time to examine the calf and make sure I was satisfied with it first. That would include making sure it can stand up. Not being able to stand within a reasonable time after birth is generally a sign of problems.

    I hope the little guy continues to show improvement!
     
  10. Ksar

    Ksar Member

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    Glad to hear the lil guy perked up, The Karo will help, so will a little bit of mineral oil in his milk. Not much tho. tblsp or 2.

    You may be right that he was sick before you got him, strange she didn't let him stand first. The not letting you go back, is understandable. I wont let customers pull their trucks /trailers in, or walk in my pens. Due to diseases, since I strive for organic rearing. Young calves stress real easy, the slightest excitement can throw them into a bout of scours. Had one that every time it thundered or rained she had the scours the next day, she is now 3 yrs old and will get loose stools still, after a rain or fireworks. I wouldn't blame you or the lady you got them from, calves can be fine one minute and down the next.

    Hope you keep us posted on them.

    Kathy
     
  11. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    wr when you read someones post, then read the person's post whom I was responding to, you might understand (might...), why I said it might not be worth it. This is what dunroven said.

    ".....and as this is a $30 calf, husband says he won't spend a lot of money trying to do anything, cause if we do lose him, we still only have $45 in our other two and says that sometimes those are the facts of life."


    So, please refrain from the silly comments next time. If it was stated "we don't care what it costs", I would have not mentioned "it might not be worth it". Nuflor might work, but then again it might not (it isn't 100%), so there might be other medications used to cure the calf which can get expensive.

    But it is good to see it is doing better, bull calf or not...

    As far as the calf that "might have it". Some can carry it, and be silent carries. The pnuemonia we had here likely came from the heifer we introduced in March. She carried it, but did not come down with it. The veternarian is convinced that is what happened, considering anyone else who did not come in contact with the swiss, did not get pneumonia.


    Jeff
     
  12. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    What about White Muscle Disease? I know goats and sheep can have it, and am pretty sure calves can.

    Kathleen
     
  13. Jim in MO

    Jim in MO Well-Known Member

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    Hey Dunroven, How's the little bull doing? Hope he's still showing improvement. It seems that everytime I buy dairy calves they scour the first couple of days that I bring them home. I find that they are fragile critters but so far I've been lucky and haven't lost any (knock on wood). My vet is the best, he gives antibiotics at his cost so I can keep them on hand. (That's why I keep him supplied in eggs and cheese at all times.) Shoot the last small bottle of nuflor I bought from him was only $30.00.

    Hope the little guy pulls through for you.

    Jim in MO
     
  14. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Jeff, I think you are jumping to conclusions. I am simply asking YOU the worth of a drug. I can walk into my vet and buy 4 doses in syringes for $12 and I did add the worth of entire bottle costs, simply because it backed my point to it's value, therefore I was simply wondering what drug or treatment YOU had to use to use that would bring you up to the cost of treating your heifers. We occasionally treat pneumonia and I happen to be interested in what treatments may be comming available. Based on my statement of $12 for 4 doses of Nuflor, I do feel that a person is obligated to try and help an animal to live. I do not advocate selling the farm to pay for treatment but I do feel a certain amount of effort should be made to care for animals we are responsible for and you must too. You have put a lot of time and money into your own.

    White muscle disease was suggested and it could be a very real possability. It tends to be a regional thing. We are on the edge of a region so we make sure our cattle are on a supplement containing selenium but I know others that have it crop up consistently and they are able to give a series of injections to bring a calf around and it's not expensive and neither is a shot of A, D & E vitamins.
     
  15. dunroven

    dunroven Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hey everyone. Well, just checking in to say the little bull, we have named him "Tiny bull" is doing okay for now. He is a little bit scoury now, but he has varied from bound up to scours and really hasn't had a "well day" so far in his little life. We are trying to keep him going. We tried Karo on him... didn't work, although it did for another one. We used mineral oil (on advice of a cattle farmer friend in another state), worked too good, now as I say, we are fighting the scours, but he was standing up and waiting on me this morning and drank 2 quarts of milk replacer. Nothing much tonight, but I don't figure that's out of line. He probably doesn't need it right now.

    Thanks for the advice everyone!
     
  16. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    I wish you would consider reducing the bull calfs milk to where he is getting about a 3 pints twice per day. You will be pleasantly surprised how this will settle his gut. Put yourself in his place....this morning you had a disrupted gut and you over ate, then you had to digest too much rich food and suffered the consequences and now at evening you don't feel like eating. Tomorrow you do not know any different and you repeat the process. Try 3 pints of weak milk replaced to this calf in the morning? Let us know how he reacts to another 3 pints tomorrow evening at the second feeding and in a few days report on the scours.
     
  17. AnnB

    AnnB Member

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    Giving the little guy a probiotic should straighten him right out.
    The problem most of these little guys have is that they have not had the chance to populate their gut with the beneficial bacteria that they NEED to digest their food.
    And a good portion of them have picked up undesirable bacteria, which will interfere with proper digestion.

    I'm the person that buys the little weak/sick calves at the salebarn that nobody else wants. I also make an excellent profit by turning those calves around and reselling them at weaning.

    When I first bring a calf home, I dose him/her right away with Neomycin (Biosol) to kill off any bad bacteria that might be in the gut. Then, an hour later, I dose with a good gel probiotic (Probios) to populate the gut with beneficial bacteria that aid in digestion.

    I feed ALL calves 2 quarts of fresh Jersey milk twice daily, only calves over 100 lbs at birth are given more, and not even sick calves are given less (they need the nutrition even more when they're sick).
    I also introduce a good 18% Calf Starter within the first week of life.

    And I don't lose calves -- in all the years I've been raising calves, I have only had 1 that had to be put down. He bit the tip off of his nipple and aspirated milk into his lungs, he was put in the freezer that same day, before he could sicken.


    Good luck with the calf.
    The main thing to remember is that their digestion is nothing like ours. From the moment of birth their digestion is based on bacteria, not just when they start to ruminate.

    Ann B