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my show steer is sick, 30 days before fair!!!!

Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:52 am
by fernandez0924
Hi guys, I'm new here but need some help. My son has a red shorthorn steer,Lincoln, born 4/3/16. We have had him since September 2016 in a 1/2 acre pasture at our house with 2 female sheep. Until last week he had never left our property and was looking great. Last Monday we walked him across the street to our school farm to practice showmanship with the other 2 ffa steers. He did great being around them, but had diarrhea the next day which we figured was stress induced. On Tuesday he was trailered and taken to a different school farm with 10 steers for a show class. He again did great, but the diarrhea was getting worse and he appeared bloated. We gave him some baking soda in his grain to help with the bloat. Wednesday he didn't appear as bloated and his stool was starting to harden up again. But Wednesday night was our fair pre weigh in, so again he was trailered. Thursday he was eating fine, but didn't seem to feel well, which we again figured was the stress from traveling this week. On Friday we noticed he wasn't drinking as much water as normal, which could have also been from the heat. It's been over 100 degrees here for the last week. Saturday it was really hot and he spent most of the day laying under a shade tree eating hay. Sunday we brought him into the front yard, washed him and let him eat some green grass. He seemed to be doing ok, but not his normal energetic self. Monday we took his temp and it was 103.0 in the morning, 103.2 at 5, and 103.7 at 9pm. I have taken a stool sample to a vet for testing and the mobile vet will be here around 11am this morning. Has anyone had a steer get this sick from stress??? We have also looked into BVD, which I dont think he has based on symptoms. Coccidia(sp) is another possibility. Any info, feedback, or help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Re: my show steer is sick, 30 days before fair!!!!

Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:11 pm
by Son of Butch
fernandez0924 wrote:My son has a red shorthorn steer, Lincoln, born 4/3/16. Until last week he had never left our property.
Last Monday we walked him across the street to our school farm to practice showmanship....diarrhea the next day.

On Tuesday he was trailered and taken to a different school farm with 10 steers for a show class....
the diarrhea was getting worse and he appeared bloated.
Wednesday his stool was starting to harden up. Wednesday night was our fair pre weigh in, so again he was trailered.
Thursday he was eating fine, but didn't seem to feel well.... not his normal energetic self.

It's been over 100 degrees here for the last week.
Monday we took his temp and it was 103.0 in the morning, 103.2 at 5, and 103.7 at 9 pm.
I have taken a stool sample to a vet for testing and the mobile vet will be here around 11am this morning.

Has anyone had a steer get this sick from stress???

Sure...death is much worse than the reported symptoms.
Stress doesn't cause death, but weakens the immune system allowing bacteria/virus to overwhelm and cause death.

Shipping fever would be my first guess...
but no increase in respiratory observed/reported and much less common after 15 months of age.
103.7 isn't extreme, continuing to eat in 100 degree temps is a good sign, so maybe he's fighting it off.
I would give NuFlor to aid in whatever battle he's going through.
What did the Vet say?

Re: my show steer is sick, 30 days before fair!!!!

Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:51 pm
by fernandez0924
Update, the vet just left. He said to take Lincoln off grain completely for the next 4 days. Metabolic acidosis is his opinion. He said sometimes the steers rumen is just unable to process anymore grain. Still waiting on the stool sample results, but the vet looked at our feed labels and said he would be surprised to see coccidia or parasites since his feed is semi medicated for those 2 things. Surprisingly he is not dehydrated either. I am to continued monitoring his fever over the next few days because acidosis doesn't usually present a fever. I will keep you updated.

Re: my show steer is sick, 30 days before fair!!!!

Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:19 pm
by Workinonit Farm
Thank you for the follow-up. :)

Please, continue to update.

Good luck with him.

Re: my show steer is sick, 30 days before fair!!!!

Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:14 pm
by Son of Butch
Digestive disorders are 2nd only to respiratory diseases in depressing feedlot cattle performance.
Ruminal Acidosis - grain overload in cattle

https://hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/702572/

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Appropriate feeding strategy is to increase neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and larger particle size and length.
To put it plainly, old timers would say give them a few pounds of hay daily to keep the rumen moving.
Sodium Bicarbonate will help in returning rumen back to over 5.5 ph.
Probiotics or yeasts may help establish beneficial microflora.
Smaller feedings of grain rather than one large daily feeding also helps to prevent acidosis.

Re: my show steer is sick, 30 days before fair!!!!

Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:36 am
by Son of Butch
Son of Butch wrote:Digestive disorders are 2nd only to respiratory diseases in depressing performance in feedlot cattle.
Ruminal Acidosis - grain overload in cattle

https://hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/702572/

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Appropriate feeding strategy is to increase neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and larger particle size and length.
To put it plainly, old timers would say give them a few pounds of hay daily to keep the rumen moving.
Sodium Bicarbonate will help in returning rumen back to over 5.5 ph.
Probiotics or yeasts may help establish beneficial microflora.
Smaller feedings of grain rather than one large daily feeding also helps to prevent acidosis.

Re: my show steer is sick, 30 days before fair!!!!

Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:47 am
by fernandez0924
So last night when I got home we checked his temp again, 103.2, but it was 108 outside so I'm not concerned. But he did have sweat beads on his nose, which I haven't seen before. Should this be concerning? He is drinking water every time we go out to check now, which is a great sign. Still waiting for stool sample results. Will update when I get them.

Re: my show steer is sick, 30 days before fair!!!!

Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:44 pm
by Workinonit Farm
Sweat beads, on the nose, are perfectly normal (and expected) when it is very hot.

Re: my show steer is sick, 30 days before fair!!!!

Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:39 pm
by Son of Butch
Workinonit Farm wrote:Sweat beads, on the nose, are perfectly normal (and expected) when it is very hot.

Actually sweat beads on the nose are a symptom of stress. Heat stress is totally expected in hot weather.
But be very cautious if buying cattle with sweat beads on the nose at the sale barn as they might be running a fever
or have other problems.

Re: my show steer is sick, 30 days before fair!!!!

Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:58 pm
by fernandez0924
Stool sample just came back, showing eimerie oocysts present few (3-10), free-living mite (nonpathogenic) present few (3-10), strongyle ova present many (>30). The vet who did the stool sample is recommending treating the strongyle with 1% moxidectin injection, which has a 21 day withdrawal. Our mobile vet who examined Lincoln yesterday wanted to know the results before we treated him. But the the lab results dont give a measurement to quantify the strongyle. It just says more than 30. Now our mobile vet wants to run his own stool sample tomorrow. He says treating Lincoln won't hurt him either way, but with his current condition and all the stress he has had this last week, he doesn't want to treat him for something he doesn't need treated. I will update again tomorrow. Thanks for all the information!

Re: my show steer is sick, 30 days before fair!!!!

Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:20 pm
by Son of Butch
fernandez0924 wrote:My son has a red shorthorn steer Lincoln, born 4/3/16.
We have had him since September 2016 in a 1/2 acre pasture at our house with 2 female sheep.

IF you are going to worm Lincoln, I would also deworm his 2 pasture pals, the sheep, that same day.

I know little of egg counts, but thought many meant over 50 eggs/sample in a steer nearing butcher age
and >30 would be many and worth treating in weaned calves

Re: my show steer is sick, 30 days before fair!!!!

Posted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:28 am
by fernandez0924
Mobile vet came yesterday and did his own stool sample testing. No treatment necessary, and Lincoln is back to his normal self. He acts like he's starving!!! Woke up to multiple moos this morning looking for food, that was a great sound. Thanks for all the advice, much appreciated!!