managing naval ill
I probably went 15 years without ever seeing a case. Then about 3-4 years ago I see my first case - a bull calf that looked like he's swinging a baseball from his penis. Vet says naval ill. Get's a week of Nuflor and is just fine. The next year I get two cases - but I'm starting to "catch" it earlier. I check the navals pretty close the first week. If I start to see something that is "growing" instead of receding I pull them in for a check. Usually it's hard and I start treatment. Then it goes away in a week. If it's still soft, I leave it be. FF to this year. So far treating about every 3rd calf. In one calf it went straight to the joints. All calves born in pasture. No real "mud" - lots of space. Only open dirt is under the trees where the cows congregate. Doesn't seem to matter if I dip the navals or not. The ones I can catch and dip are just as susceptible.
Question: does the naval get "hard" at some point before healing on its own? I've seen the healthy ones just seem to stay soft and go away. The reason I ask is I've had two cases this year that were CLEAR naval ill - a baseball naval calf and the calf that couldn't walk by a week of age. Both completely healed with Nuflor in a week. The rest I'm trying to "catch early" - as I know that's key to beating it quick - and wonder if I would just leave them be if they'd be fine.
I can't calve in a barn and, it seems to me, that pasture calving would be just as clean.