Dead calf, Don't know why

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MRRherefords
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Dead calf, Don't know why

Postby MRRherefords » Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:09 am

Was out checking calves today and found a 5 month old heifer dead in the pasture. She was perfectly healthy and yesterday was running around and nursing. I checked her out and she had not been attacked. She had also been wormed. Having a vet come out to check her out, but any thoughts?
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Re: Dead calf, Don't know why

Postby A.J. » Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:28 am

Sorry to hear that. That's always terrible to find, especially from one that had shown no signs of anything wrong before. Had she been vaccinated for black leg? Black leg would be my first thought, or possibly something toxic she could have eaten like wilted cherry leaves if there are any around.
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Re: Dead calf, Don't know why

Postby MRRherefords » Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:37 am

Not vaccinated for black leg yet. She is in an open pasture with out any trees too. We really want to find out what it is, as there were other calves with her. We are going to take her to the Vet hospital in Harrisburg PA and get an autopsy report to find out exactly what it is as we can't afford to lose any others.
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Re: Dead calf, Don't know why

Postby Bright Raven » Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:44 am

Not good. My sympathy.
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Re: Dead calf, Don't know why

Postby MRRherefords » Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:51 am

Bright Raven wrote:Not good. My sympathy.

Thanks Ron.
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Re: Dead calf, Don't know why

Postby MRRherefords » Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:14 am

If it is blackleg, what steps need to be taken for the others. Thankfully she was not with our main herd. She was in a smaller pasture with her mom, and three other cow/calf pairs all three calves under 5 months. (We usually give the shots at weaning).
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Re: Dead calf, Don't know why

Postby cowgirl8 » Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:21 am

Blackleg. when you find a dead one you can fill the folds of skin and if you feel bubbles, blackleg..... We had a young one get it and the only reason we saved it was because they were in front of our house. First and only one we saved from it, you usually just find them dead. Was at vet 30 min after we noticed him straggling around....Quick IV at vet in trailer and he also gave antibiotics by mouth(I don't remember everything exactly), because calf was almost comatose by then.... Calf was just at the age for vaccination and was going to be done within days.. cant give it to them too young, but when they are old enough they need it....
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Re: Dead calf, Don't know why

Postby ALACOWMAN » Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:03 am

Just the right age for it, when their foraging heavier ..vaccination is the only way to handle it..I would go on the assumption that it is anyway.. And hit em all...cheap assurance...
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Re: Dead calf, Don't know why

Postby TCRanch » Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:28 am

Sorry to hear that! Also going with blackleg; the first sign is usually a dead calf. Mine are vaccinated at appx 3 months with Covexin 8 unless it's a bull calf getting banded day 1 or 2 and gets a shot then, and again when we work them. The other exception is if the dam has a history of being a heavy milker & a lot of lush forage, thus the possibility of perfringens Type C (overeating disease) and those calves get Covexin 8 day 1 or 2 when I tag.

Any chance you had storms last night? If so I wouldn't rule out lightning.
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Re: Dead calf, Don't know why

Postby ga.prime » Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:15 pm

Respiratory infection is my guess.
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Re: Dead calf, Don't know why

Postby MRRherefords » Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:30 pm

TCRanch wrote:Sorry to hear that! Also going with blackleg; the first sign is usually a dead calf. Mine are vaccinated at appx 3 months with Covexin 8 unless it's a bull calf getting banded day 1 or 2 and gets a shot then, and again when we work them. The other exception is if the dam has a history of being a heavy milker & a lot of lush forage, thus the possibility of perfringens Type C (overeating disease) and those calves get Covexin 8 day 1 or 2 when I tag.

Any chance you had storms last night? If so I wouldn't rule out lightning.

Thanks. Did not have any storms recently. Will be treating for black leg anyway. Not worth losing any more.
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Re: Dead calf, Don't know why

Postby JMJ Farms » Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:48 pm

I personally don’t think blackleg from the way you described the series of events. But it’s possible. Easy to diagnose though with a dead calf. Cut her leg open and see if it’s black. That’s where the name comes from.

Lightning, gunshot, snake bite, bloat, poison, so many possibilities.

I really don’t have an educated guess. But I will say this. Animals die from the same causes that affect humans. Stroke, heart attack, aneurysm etc. Not trying to be a smart azz either. Always tough when you lose one. Even tougher when you don’t know why.
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Re: Dead calf, Don't know why

Postby Nesikep » Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:24 pm

Just one more thing it COULD be is a heart defect.. they seem to present in similar ways.. doing fine then dead. Sucks to lose them.. I'm just going through that myself now.. calf got stuck and now I've got him physically OK, but he's brain dead, can't eat or drink on his own so it's a matter of time before he goes down hill.
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Re: Dead calf, Don't know why

Postby cowgirl8 » Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:31 pm

Nesikep wrote:Just one more thing it COULD be is a heart defect.. they seem to present in similar ways.. doing fine then dead. Sucks to lose them.. I'm just going through that myself now.. calf got stuck and now I've got him physically OK, but he's brain dead, can't eat or drink on his own so it's a matter of time before he goes down hill.

What did he get stuck in... so sad....
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Re: Dead calf, Don't know why

Postby JMJ Farms » Fri Aug 24, 2018 2:34 pm

cowgirl8 wrote:
Nesikep wrote:Just one more thing it COULD be is a heart defect.. they seem to present in similar ways.. doing fine then dead. Sucks to lose them.. I'm just going through that myself now.. calf got stuck and now I've got him physically OK, but he's brain dead, can't eat or drink on his own so it's a matter of time before he goes down hill.

What did he get stuck in... so sad....


Dang I figured he might overcome his ordeal. Cowgirl8 here is Nesikeps story.
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=116279
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