Emaciated cow eats hay but eats one cube and stops

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mjnetex
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Emaciated cow eats hay but eats one cube and stops

Postby mjnetex » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:40 am

Long story, but we took in a severely emaciated cow in July (she became so shortly after calving) and for almost four months she has not gained any weight, in spite of offering her numerous feeds. Vet can find nothing wrong and says she is only 5 or 6. Fecal was clean. All other cows in her herd are very healthy.
Vet said she might have hay netting in stomach so stomach hurts when she eats. BUT I can put cubes in front of her that she did eat for awhile and she will eat ONE and just stand there as if in pain. But I can put hay in front of her right after offering the cubes and she eats hay with no problem. And she is with a roll of horse-quality hay all day. She also eats range meal normally. She's been thoroughly wormed and given antibiotics though vet said she had no temp. and no blood abnormalities at all. A few times a small swelling has come up behind her chin (midline, and about the size of a walnut) but only lasts a day or two. Also, there is virtually no metal in her pasture so it's not likely hardware, and vet ruled that out with a blood test.
Any idea as to why eating cubes causes her pain but eating hay and range meal does not?
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Re: Emaciated cow eats hay but eats one cube and stops

Postby M.Magis » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:46 am

Perhaps pain when she chews?
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Re: Emaciated cow eats hay but eats one cube and stops

Postby mjnetex » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:18 am

That's what I was wondering. Should I take her back to the vet for a thorough mouth exam? Or put her in the chute and try to look first?
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Re: Emaciated cow eats hay but eats one cube and stops

Postby Nesikep » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:32 am

I would guess you or the vet has taken her temperature and it's normal?

Perhaps it would help to give her a pain medication (Banamine) and see if that changes her behavior.
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Re: Emaciated cow eats hay but eats one cube and stops

Postby Craig Miller » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:35 am

Have you tried just a smaller pellets feed or sweet feed? Some cows just don't like cubes.
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Re: Emaciated cow eats hay but eats one cube and stops

Postby callmefence » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:41 am

I know it's not answering your question.
I apologize for that.


:2cents:
If she's in a pen eating her fill of horse quality hay but not gaining she's a poor doer. Could be lots of reasons. Quit pouring money on the ground and replace her.
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Re: Emaciated cow eats hay but eats one cube and stops

Postby mjnetex » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:16 pm

Temp. is normal. I will give her Banamine this evening, that thought just occurred to me too, if it is pain in mouth that might temporarily stop it. Will examine mouth too. And I know I probably should have put her down two or three months ago. Have tried several kinds of very tiny pellets and sweet feed, she won't eat at all though. And yes she does eat hay quite well but has not gained at all.
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Re: Emaciated cow eats hay but eats one cube and stops

Postby alisonb » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:35 pm

mjnetex wrote:A few times a small swelling has come up behind her chin (midline, and about the size of a walnut) but only lasts a day or two.

She may have some hardware(or something else) that has penetrated the inside of her mouth causing an abscess or have an infected tooth. Put her in the chute and exam her mouth and teeth thoroughly...if you are uncertain of your findings refer to your vet. Do her feces look normal or are they watery or on the solid side?

mjnetex wrote:Also, there is virtually no metal in her pasture so it's not likely hardware, and vet ruled that out with a blood test.
Did not realise a blood test was a dead cert, I certainly would not rule out the case of hardware especially seeings she seemed to have gone down hill after calving. If she was carrying some hardware before calving the contractions etc may just have made the object piece through the lining. It could also be netting as your vet suggested...whatever it is is causing her major pain.

Good luck with her.
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Re: Emaciated cow eats hay but eats one cube and stops

Postby Dave » Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:42 pm

If you have been fighting this since July with no improvement it is time to cut the losses and ship her. Other wise one day in the not that distant future you will have a dead cow to deal with.
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Re: Emaciated cow eats hay but eats one cube and stops

Postby dun » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:18 pm

Teeth or mouth issues
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Re: Emaciated cow eats hay but eats one cube and stops

Postby mjnetex » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:27 pm

Feces are normal. We will put her in the chute this evening and examine her mouth, give Banamine too. If that shows nothing I guess put a magnet in her. When she went to the vet when we first rescued her I don't recall him spending but a second looking at her teeth to age her. But at that point she would eat cubes, just not much. I'll keep y'all informed......thanks for what sounds like great advice.
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Re: Emaciated cow eats hay but eats one cube and stops

Postby dun » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:29 pm

Usually if the need a magnet they will "oof" when the stand up or lay down and be sort of humped up in the middle.
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Re: Emaciated cow eats hay but eats one cube and stops

Postby farmerjan » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:25 pm

First thing would be a magnet, just on general principles. Cheap insurance. Then a very thorough exam of mouth/teeth etc. Then the banamine like suggested. One other thing. Has she been tested for Johne's ??? Watery manure?? They will eat and not gain and go downhill and it usually is triggered by some "event" like calving. If possibly hay netting, why not a quick operation to see? You've put this much time into her.... don't know why that would specifically cause her pain though. I'm thinking that it is some kind of hardware, or an infection of some sort, from a small thorn or other type puncture, in the jaw area. But chewing hay should make her hurt also.
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Re: Emaciated cow eats hay but eats one cube and stops

Postby mjnetex » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:39 pm

Well, if you think about it, when she eats hay she just swallows it down......to be chewed later.... I actually videoed her chewing and swallowing one cube and it took 10 seconds....way too long...Should be getting her into the chute in about 3 hours.
No oofing sound, also, and not overly humped.
There is virtually no metal in the pasture she was in, I doubt hardware but we'll see.....mouth exam coming up!
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Re: Emaciated cow eats hay but eats one cube and stops

Postby TCRanch » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:06 pm

Keep in mind, "hardware" is a generic term; it can also be caused by sharp rocks, shards of glass, honey locust thorns, etc.

Is she drooling? I'm also thinking it's something with her mouth.
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