Recovering from Respiratory Illness, Possible Brain Damage

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by wchris2298, May 14, 2006.

  1. wchris2298

    wchris2298 Member

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    We have been taking care of a calf sick (about 2 months old) with a respiratory illness. She was healthy before she became ill with the respiratory illness. She was taken from her mother because she couldn't nurse and was getting hurt in the corral where she was put after she became sick. She had 4 doses of Nuflor 4 days apart. She seems to be recovering from the respiratory illness but seems as if she may have suffered some type of brain damage. We are feeding her by tube with 2 quarts of Purina Nursepro twice a day. She occasionally will eat fresh grass or cut alfalfa. She grinds her teeth alot. She will not take a bottle. Her eyesight seems to be okay and is alert to sound also. She walks around in circles for about 10 minutes. Then she finds someplace to lodge her head, like in a corner, or between the bars in the gate. She does not play or seem interested in our other calf. She stands up as much as she can. Do you think she suffered brain damage as the result of the respiratory infection? If so, any advice for raising a brain damaged calf?
    Thanks you.
    Wchris2298
     
  2. Patt

    Patt Well-Known Member

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    Sounds to me like she has a fever. Have you checked her temp? We had 2 cows get pneumonia last winter asnd that's what they did when they were running a temperature. One would bang her head on the fence and then lean into it to hold herself up. I would ask your Vet about it.
     

  3. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

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    At two months, she should be showing a lot of interest in calf starter.
     
  4. Christina R.

    Christina R. Well-Known Member

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    Grinding teeth is a sign of pain. It could be a sign of something else but one thing it is a sign of is pain.
     
  5. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    These situations are always hard ones and after spending the day thinking about it came to the same conclusion as Patt - time for another talk to the vet and maybe doing whatever is necessary to find out what is causing this behaviour so that you can make decisions as to whether it's worth carrying on, from both your point of view and the welfare of the calf.

    At two months old it should be well advanced with it's eating of grass and calf starter and the circling would worry me.

    Good on you for careing and perservering. I know from experience how much time these animals can take. I also know that it's been worthwhile when they make it and if they don't, at least I tried. Good luck with her and keep us posted.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  6. wchris2298

    wchris2298 Member

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    Thank you all for your help, concern and encouragement. The calf, Ali (because she's a fighter) is making progress that is very encouraging. She has quit walking around in circles and has stopped sticking her nose in a corner. She is eating alot of grass, alfalfa, and hay. She is also drinking water. She has starter grain but I have not seen her eat any. Later, I will show her where it is and see if I can get her to eat some. I tried to hand feed it to her a couple of days ago but it just sort of drooled out of her mouth. She still doesn't seem completely well but maybe her strange behavior was still a result of her respiratory illness. Thank you for your support, I will keep you updated with her progress.
    Thanks
    Wchris2298
     
  7. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    That is excellent news and I hope that she continues with the progress :)
    Keep on trying with the calf starter but if she doesn't want it, don't worry about it - I've reared several calves that won't eat it, prefering to eat grass and as your Ali is doing that and drinking, she's getting most of what she needs. If she is drinking water now, is there a chance you could get her to drink her milk from a bucket?

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  8. Christina R.

    Christina R. Well-Known Member

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    Try making a gruel out of the starter by mixing it with water. You could try smearing some of it on her tongue. Glad to hear things are going better.
     
  9. wchris2298

    wchris2298 Member

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    Ali, the sick calf, is recovering well. She has become an eating/drinking machine! She is eating grass, hay, alfalfa and also started eating her starter grain. She is drinking lots of water, also. I looked out last night about midnight and she was still eating. I'm very happy with her progress. Thank you for your help and support.
    Chris
     
  10. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Wonderful news Chris. Isn't it a huge relief when they turn the corner :)
    Good luck to you both and may it all be onwards and upwards from here.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  11. Valmai

    Valmai Well-Known Member

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    How neat!!!! I didnt post before because I couldn't help with advice. Congratulations, here's hoping it's all good from here on. :) :baby04: