Sick Calf; day old, won't eat, slobbers

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Box Kite Farms, Mar 19, 2005.

  1. Box Kite Farms

    Box Kite Farms Member

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    Hi All:

    We really need some help with a two day old (DOB18 Mar 05) Longhorn Calf. We found her in the field, she hadn't gotten up from the spot where she was born. We think she was in the field for about 5 hours before we brought her into the house and put her under a blanket with a heating pad. She began sucking on a bottle of replacement colostrum but though she tried pretty hard and enthusiatically, we could see that she wasn't getting very much. I enlarged the hole in the nipple a little so that it wouldn't be so much of a fight for her. This morning we took her into the Vet who showed us how to tube her. Later we did so and go about a quart of colustrum into her tum. Thereafter, she began either slobbering or lightly vomiting. We have been evacuating some the mucous out of her mouth/throat. Her temperature has varied somewhat and as of this writing is about 99 degrees. I should have mentioned that she can't get her self up but can stand somewhat. She seems to be getting weaker from yesterday. We have read some posts that suggest different supplements or shots B1, B12, etc.

    Any suggestions, thoughts, musings etc. would be appreciated.

    Brent
     
  2. allenslabs

    allenslabs Saanen & Boer Breeder

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    Are you sure that she didn't get some of the milk in her lungs? Maybe that's what it was. How are her stools? Has she had any? Urinating? What kind of bottle do you have? If she was going at the bottle maybe the hole just needed to be a bit bigger. She might just be weak from the stress of it all and that's why she won't stand on her own.
     

  3. Box Kite Farms

    Box Kite Farms Member

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  4. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    Colostrum does zero good for a two day old calf. I would go to a quality milk replacer, not the soy based stuff.

    If the problems started right after the tube, then that is the problem. It wasn't done exactly right (which is easy to do). There is not much you can do about that now, except watch for signs of pnuemonia developing. Vitamins or whatnot aren't going to change that, but they have been known to give a calf a boost.

    Since it was seen by the vet, I would check with them. They've seen it and are much more able to tell what is needed rather than computer people.

    Jena
     
  5. Box Kite Farms

    Box Kite Farms Member

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    Thanks to all who responded and to those to hoped for the best for our Longhorn baby.

    Unfortunately, she didn't make it but went peacefully on to someplace better.

    Brent
     
  6. Patty0315

    Patty0315 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear that. But for furture reference here is what I do to a weak calve that has worked well.

    At first sign of them not taking a whole bottle I will tube them. In that feeding is medicated milk , electrolyes, and red cell and vit b,

    Next feeding if they dont take the bottle basically the same thing. If it still looks poorly I will feed milk 2 x a day and electrolytes 2x a day 1-2 quarts at a time.

    Feed milk and electrolyes warm like a babys bottles.

    I have been using bounce electrolytes and avanced calf medic scour treatment. I have had 2 of 12 calves go down and have brought them around doing this within 2 feedings. I have raised calves for about 8 years and this seems to work the best so far.
     
  7. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I'm sorry that your baby lost the battle. In all the years I've raised longhorns I've found that they are very tricky to treat and they tend to be more like deer than cattle, if things are going downhill, they will get pneumonia quicker than you could ever imagine and it has to be treated fast with a hard hitting drug. Standard drugs just don't seem to take hold quick enough to save them.
     
  8. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Just a note on tubing a calf. If the tube is in the right place the calf will chew on the tube. If the tube is in the lungs it will not chew on it.
     
  9. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    Another note...you said you had a tube and "squeeze" bag. Don't squeeze the bag, just hang it so gravity allows it to empty.

    Jena
     
  10. longshadowfarms

    longshadowfarms Well-Known Member

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    On tubing... They make tubes that are supposed to be pretty much risk-free as far as going into the lungs. The nob on the end of the tube is SUPPOSEDLY too big to go into the lungs. Right, wrong? That is what the one we have claims (still has it's packaging). Our pastor was a former herdsman and he seemed to think it was legit. He came and helped us tube when we needed to do it this time. In case we ever have to do it on our own, what do ya'll think???
     
  11. SilverVista

    SilverVista Well-Known Member

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    None of our calves have ever needed tubing, but I have done plenty of lambs. Same process, just smaller patient! If you can hold the calf so that its neck is extended and it's head is tilted up, it's almost impossible to get into the lungs because in that position, the epiglotis closes over the airway. That extended position will also help get the milk to where it belongs in the abomasum, not just dropped into the rumen. The neck extension helps to close the esophogeal groove past the rumen. Calves can have rumens full of milk and still starve to death because the rumen isn't intended to digest milk. They need the milk to go to the abomasum where it forms a curd, and is digested in the intestinal tract. It's also extremely important to make sure the tube is empty before removing it, and remove it very quickly so that milk isn't dribbled down the airway as the tube is being withdrawn. You don't have to flood their lungs to give them pneumonia or kill them, just a little bit can cause mechanical pneumonia.