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Rat tail - losing switch

Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 7:18 am
by angus9259
Always this time of year I lose some tail switches. I had the vet take a look - he's baffled. The skin at the end of the tail gets scales and scabs and the hair falls off - just the end of tail. Google suggests it might be a certain kind of lice. Any thoughts?

Tried posting a picture but, once again, my "add a picture" button at the bottom of my post is missing....

Re: Rat tail - losing switch

Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 7:23 am
by Bright Raven
Egotism from endophyte infected fescue???

Re: Rat tail - losing switch

Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 7:25 am
by angus9259
Bright Raven wrote:Egotism from endophyte infected fescue???


Well, I am egotistical I've been told, but I don't feed fescue.

Re: Rat tail - losing switch

Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 7:28 am
by Bright Raven
angus9259 wrote:
Bright Raven wrote:Egotism from endophyte infected fescue???


Well, I am egotistical I've been told, but I don't feed fescue.

:D

Re: Rat tail - losing switch

Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 7:55 am
by Bright Raven
Is it possible that some other feed you are using has a fungus that might be releasing a vasoconstrictor?

Re: Rat tail - losing switch

Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:26 am
by MRRherefords
It sounds like some sort of lice. IMO.

Re: Rat tail - losing switch

Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:49 am
by angus9259
MRRherefords wrote:It sounds like some sort of lice. IMO.


This is what things point to but the vet couldn't find any lice and the hair doesn't grow back.

Re: Rat tail - losing switch

Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:50 am
by angus9259
Bright Raven wrote:Is it possible that some other feed you are using has a fungus that might be releasing a vasoconstrictor?


They are just on pasture when it happens. Doesn't mean something in pasture isn't doing it.

Re: Rat tail - losing switch

Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:53 am
by Bright Raven
angus9259 wrote:
MRRherefords wrote:It sounds like some sort of lice. IMO.


This is what things point to but the vet couldn't find any lice and the hair doesn't grow back.


What about mites? He can see lice but would need magnification to see mites.

Re: Rat tail - losing switch

Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:18 pm
by Workinonit Farm
I was thinking Fescue toxicity as well, ergotism. But, if they are not eating any Fescue grasses, I'm stumped.

Has the vet taken any tissue samples and sent to a pathologist?

Re: Rat tail - losing switch

Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:52 pm
by Jeanne - Simme Valley
Are you sure you don't have native fescue in your fields?

Re: Rat tail - losing switch

Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:55 pm
by angus9259
Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:Are you sure you don't have native fescue in your fields?


Good question. Gonna look into that. Certainly don't have fields of it, but it may be out there.

Re: Rat tail - losing switch

Posted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:21 am
by Jeanne - Simme Valley
Seems like it must be something in your fields if it happens each year. It is possible to be mites, but, I would think the switch would grow back??? You might check with Michigan Univ Livestock Specialist. Sometimes there are things going on in the state that vets are not aware of.

Re: Rat tail - losing switch

Posted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:29 am
by cowgirl8
If its fescue they'd be losing part of their tail, not just the hair....right

Re: Rat tail - losing switch

Posted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:55 am
by dieselbeef
whipping it off to keep the flies in check?