Premature calf

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Ed Norman, Feb 22, 2005.

  1. Ed Norman

    Ed Norman Well-Known Member

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    A rancher had a three weak old bull angus calf born premature. He was tired of feeding it and gave it away. He said the gut is underdeveloped. It is cold, laying on it's side, breathing heavy and somewhat raspy.. We brought it home and gave it a belly full of warm milk, we had to pour it in and rub the neck to get it to swallow. We have a heat lamp on it and it is laying in straw in a greenhouse. He was going to kill it, we figured it was worth a try. Any tips to keep it running?
     
  2. jerzeygurl

    jerzeygurl woolgathering

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    i would call a vet if you want to save it, if it is cold put blankets and heat lamp,hypothermia kills them quick. heavy raspy breathing is a good indication of pnemonia. HOw long has it been down like this, usually this point is close to death.
     

  3. herefordman

    herefordman Well-Known Member

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    Check to see if his legs are cold, make sure he is well hydrated, if he is three weeks old he's probably a pretty good fighter, although the farmer may be right, if he has an underdeveloped rumen he may never convert food properly and if he doesn't die he will certainly grow small.
    Its worth it to try and save him though.
    Problem calves we've had, I put them inside the large grain Super Sacks packed with hay and its amazing how warm they get, and they stay warm in there even on cold nights, your local feed mill should be able to supply you with one of those.
    If it questionable if he got colostrum, he should be given a boost with an electrolyte mix, its sold in packets at the feed store, sometimes called "Rescue".
    He may well have pneumonia go call a vet, as it maybe already too late.
    Good luck.
     
  4. Ed Norman

    Ed Norman Well-Known Member

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    Well, he died in the night. Thanks for the tips, though. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
     
  5. herefordman

    herefordman Well-Known Member

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    Sorry Ed, better luck next time.
     
  6. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I'm sorry you lost the battle but I feel that the pneumonia was the key problem and if it would have been caught quick enough, you probably stood a chance of winning. I really don't think the rancher was fair about this, he should know that advanced pneumonia is always a serious issue and in a preemie a disaster.
     
  7. Ed Norman

    Ed Norman Well-Known Member

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    The rancher was plenty fair. He was planning to knock it in the head. I took it for free and knew chances were it wouldn't live. And I was right. But we tried.