Sick baby

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by ajabj, Oct 12, 2004.

  1. ajabj

    ajabj Member

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    Have a jersey mixed calf approximately two weeks old. The calf is eating the milk replacer a bottle in the am. and in the pm. He eats well after some coaxing with the bottle.

    He was weighed with a dairy weight measure and the calf doesn't register the closest the kids can read as far as weight is 27lbs.

    I tried to offer an electrolyte and he will not take it. When he drinks it it he started getting it coming through his nose so I stopped. He did have a bout with teh scours but have been treating him with Biosol Liquid according to the directions.

    He is very small, I am not sure what the first owner has done to the baby as to if it was given collostorum, any shots etc. I do know they managed to kills a goat by worming it which isn't an easy task.

    The little fella is excessively thin and bony no weight gain and his stomach makes noises when he does drink the bottle. I did pick up some probois today and started giving that any suggestions?
     
  2. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    27 lbs.?!?!?!?!?!?!?! :eek:

    Was he by any chance a twin?

    I know Jersey calves are supposed to be small ... but he's a Jersey mix (any idea what he is mixed with?).

    That is one tiny calf! Yikes!

    Anyway, as long as he's eating, and getting up, I'd say you're on the right track.

    Make sure his pen is bedded deeply and kept very dry and clean. Being so small, he will lose body heat quickly, and warmth is essential. Calf jacket or heat lamp should be used at any signs of shivering. If his pen has a cement floor, try insulating it with old carpeting or rugs ... cement just seems to wick the heat away from anything lying on it!

    Check his mouth frequently (should be warm and moist, not cold and tacky) also ears (warm, not cold).

    Around feeding time, take a bath towel in and rub him all over with it. If you watch a mom with a new calf, she licks it just about constantly. I suspect all the stimulation has some sort of beneficial effect on the calves that maybe we don't quite understand yet.

    Good luck and please keep us posted on how the little fella is doing. :)
     

  3. ajabj

    ajabj Member

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    to the best of my knowedge he is not a twin but anything is possible. I don't know what he is mixed with I know the other calf supposably from another cow is more of a red mixture and is somewhat red so it is unclear.

    We are debating as to giving him a shot of penecillin since we are expecting to have a frost by the weekend. NOt sure if this would be a good idea or a bad idea.

    He has other calves with him all about the same age that should help with the body heat. Their stall is a dirt floor covered in layers and layers of hay. He was asleep earlier today when I went to give him the electrolyte and he didn't want to get up for me but he got up and walked around a bit but went and laid back down. I know jersey's are small but on average a heifer should be between 83-108 lbs by one month and it doesn't look like he is going to make it there.

    I was asked at the local co-op if he was a minature. Not suppose to be there are none in this area unless it was just an accident of nature.
     
  4. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I would guess that he's a preemie and if he is, you are going to have to make sure he stays very warm form the next little while. I've only ever had one and it was a fair bit of work to keep him alive, even though he was born in the spring he was cold to the point where he was literally shivering most of the time and they don't suck that well. He was tubed for the first couple days, essentially till he got stronger. If he is, you have to watch them close for everything from pneumonia to scours and everything in between.
     
  5. JanO

    JanO Well-Known Member Supporter

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    What kind of replacer are you using? I will only use ALL MILK replacers that are at least 20/20. Calves under the age of 3 weeks cannot properly digest soy formulas. Milk replacer should be fed at the rate of 10% of body weight, with no calf receiving more than 1 gallon a day. Calves on milk replacer should be started on Calf Starter or other good grain mix within the first week of life.

    Also, I would try electrolyes, liquid Neomycin, and protiotics if he has scours. Reducing milk to a scouring calf causes him more problems by reducing the amount of nutrition he has available to fight off the infection. Neomycin does not leave the digestive tract and can be added to the milk or dosed straight into his mouth. Neomycin kills ALL the bacteria in the gut including the "bad" bacteria causing the scours, probiotics given an hour after Neomycin populates the gut with "good" bacteria. Treatment is continued until 24 hours after the calf shows normal droppings.

    Odds are he didnt' get any collostorum, or at least not enough to do any good. Perhaps adding that to his diet now might help, even if you have to use the powdered stuff.

    I hope this helps. Keep us up to date on his progress.
     
  6. ajabj

    ajabj Member

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    We are using a milkbase co-op medicated milk. He was given access to a full bottle in the a.m. and the p.m. This evening he drunk the electrolyts a pint and then half a bottle of milk. I haven't reduced the amount of milk only added the electrolyte inbetween feedings to give him something to space out the day.

    I don't think he got the collostrum and he has calf starter access he is licking it but not eating it. I have even placed some alfalpha pellets for access because alfalfa provides energy and the pellets are not real hard and can even be held in his mouth if he chooses to and it will disolve.

    I am giving him the Biosol liquid which Contains 200 mg neomycin sulfate so that would take care of what you suggested.

    I just found out some things on the calfs. They were obtained by a pin-hooker who used the animals for trade and they have been traded around and no one has taken any time or care with them. We have acquired three two from the same orginal place and there is a third actually 4 we are taking care of that has came from the same orginal place. The others seem to be doing well and gaining other than in the beginning they all had the scours that is now under control and the heifer seems to have some yellow discharge around her vaginal and rectum area. I am assuming this is caused from the scours. She is active, eating, friendly, and playful.

    We seem to have gotten some animals who are not healthy but that doesn't mean that they can't get healthy with some time and care.
     
  7. SHELBY

    SHELBY Well-Known Member

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    Just a few questions for you...
    Are you sure you're kids read the tape right? They could have been looking at the inches side and not the weight side. I am only asking cause my dairy tape doesn't go that low. I think the lowest weight it goes is 72 Lbs.
    Also If the calf is that small how much milk replacer are you giving at one time. If you are giving 2 quarts per feeding this could be causing the scours. A calf that small would probably do better if fed small amounts of milk replacer ( 1 - 2 pints 3 times a day maybe even more. I would think that being that small their stomach's can not hold that much replacer at a time...
    You might want to get some LA 200 to keep on hand and some Sulfer These I have fould have worked pretty well in combating diseases if you catch them early enough.
    I would also be concerned about him chilling during the cold evenings. A blanket or even a feedbag tied around him would help keep the body heat in. Pen bedding should be heavly beded at about 6 - 8 inches deep . The dirt floor will also draw the heat out of them.
    I wish you good luck with this little guy..
     
  8. herefordman

    herefordman Well-Known Member

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    Its pretty tough to get a two week old too interested in starter grain ,thats a bit early, and when you give them the replacer its better to keep it watered down, don't go too heavy on the powder at first, one of the biggest hurdles a newbie has is dehydration, mixing more water with the replacer will reduce the chances of scours greatly.
    Many people want to give more milk thinking it will help but too rich is an invitation for trouble, good luck, I have to admit I've never seen a 27 lb calf !!! WOW!!!!!!!
     
  9. ajabj

    ajabj Member

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    He done much better this morning he was anxious to see us he was in the barn until they heard the gate open and out he came bouncing. He couldn't wait to get his bottle and we are using a sheep nipple because he had a hard time nusing from the larger ones.

    Sorry when I say kids I should clarify my kids are not youngsters they are 19 and one is 16 taking livestock in school so he his learning to weigh, measure, etc. That was how we were able to get the markings to determine the weight was through school with his teacher. His teacher is baffled on this one too. I do have some dwarft pygmy goats and I have been taking some of the precautions with the calves as I do with the goats.

    Everyone is amazed at the size of this little fella they all keep asking if he is a minature because he isn't very tall either. He seems to be staying warm his ears are not cold and his body felt nice and warm this morning. I was just so glad to see him bouncing out wanting our attention when he was real standoffish and wouldn't come around us. He is even starting to suck on a finger. OH and I didn't mention he has a real bad overbite.
     
  10. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    Glad to hear he is doing better! :)

    Ya know, the overbite thing may clear up as he grows ... I remember thinking my heifer calf had an awful overbite when she was small, but her muzzle looks normal now. :confused:

    She is 1/2 Jersey, 1/2 ?????.
     
  11. ajabj

    ajabj Member

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    The other half of what the little calf is mixed with is the $$$ question. I have found out the little guy and the other one that came from the same orgianal place have had an orginal wonder (farmer) a pin-hooker got them and then they were traded to another guy who I know doesn't take care of animals and the person I got them from only got them because he knew the other person would not take care of them and we wanted to give them a fighting chance.

    I was told the little calf was wormed but from what the co-op says that was to early and they could have given him way to much wormer. It is one of those "who Knows" situations.

    The last two calves my sons raised done real well and are still doing well, we are thinking they end up being the oldest living steers because they don't want to sell them and they said they wasn't eating them. They are their pets.
     
  12. twstanley

    twstanley Well-Known Member

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    I haven't bottle fed any calves since I was a little kid, but I think they need more frequent feedings then just morning and night. You might try and add a noon and close to bedtime feeding as well.

    It almost sounds as if the calf was getting full on the electrolyte and didn't have much room left for formula. Electrolyte is good for hydration but won't have much in it that will help the calf grow and stay warm....
     
  13. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    How's the little guy doing?!
     
  14. Patt

    Patt Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if your calf isn't a dwarf? We had a dwarf calf born to a beefmaster cow 3 years ago. Is his head big for his body? Ours had a serious underbite and his head was too big although it didn't get really noticable until he was a couple of months old.
    Our recent Dexter calf was 40lbs at birth so yours is one super small calf! I hope he's still doing better. :)
    Patt