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Feedlot Calf - sickly since we got her

Posted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 5:18 pm
by DATorrie
I am real sorry if the answer lies somewhere within all these replies... but I am running out of time.
Dolly (shorthorn cross, perhaps) was 5 days old when purchased from a feedlot. We purchased 5 altogether and the bull calf died within 2 days.
Dolly went off her milk - not drinking her bucket, really depressed looking. To the vets for help. Kept her over night and put on antibiotics and IV fluids. Tested for colostrum and she was borderline.
For the past 8 weeks she has been up and down with lethargy and off milk. Not a great eater of oats, grass or hay. She just lies down for the whole day.
NOW, we find out she has facial paralysis (left side), on medacam and trimoxidan. Off milk again!!
Obviously her immune is so compromised that nothing is working for her.

Is there anything I can do for this calf to boost energy and appetite.

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Re: Feedlot Calf - sickly since we got her

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:06 am
by boondocks
First, welcome! :welcome: Cute calf, hope she pulls through and hope others with more experience with bottle calves will weigh in

Re: Feedlot Calf - sickly since we got her

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 5:38 am
by Supa Dexta
From a feedlot? As in accident calf from feedlot heifer? Thats about the worst place you can buy a calf I would think, keep dumping money into it, paying for a lesson at this point - might as well make it a good one you remember.

Its already well medicated and has seen a vet. I'm curious what tested for colostrum is though?

Re: Feedlot Calf - sickly since we got her

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 6:19 am
by TCRanch
Poor baby! Glad she's been treated by a vet. I'll give a slow calf a shot of Vitamin B Complex for energy but not sure it will help in this case. Is she dehydrated? May need electrolytes. Good luck!

Re: Feedlot Calf - sickly since we got her

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 6:51 am
by cowgirl8
Not getting colostrum is not a death sentence. I've seen this in FB groups when people get a calf or have one get sick. Most suggestions are 'give colostrum'..(after 24 hours its just expensive milk replacer)...or if you sell a calf you get hit with the questions of if it got colostrum. Getting it is a good thing, but its not going to make a calf bullet proof. I'm going to guess this calf was dehydrated at some point and it suffered organ damage. #1 mistake most people do when they start off with bottle calves is they make the mistake of force feeding a sick calf milk after letting it not eat for a day or two..
Your calf has been to a vet, just do what they say to do....

Re: Feedlot Calf - sickly since we got her

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 6:58 am
by Craig Miller
At 8 weeks old you should be trying hard to her to eat something along with giving her the milk too. Maybe try just some plain sweet feed. How much milk is she taking? What about free choice water?

Re: Feedlot Calf - sickly since we got her

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:58 am
by MRRherefords
If she is really bad off, I would get electrolytes into her. Good luck with her.

Re: Feedlot Calf - sickly since we got her

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:25 am
by Stocker Steve
cowgirl8 wrote: #1 mistake most people do when they start off with bottle calves is they make the mistake of force feeding a sick calf milk after letting it not eat for a day or two


So what do you do with a "rescue calf" that has not eaten for a while?

Re: Feedlot Calf - sickly since we got her

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:30 am
by Stocker Steve
DATorrie wrote:Is there anything I can do for this calf to boost energy and appetite.


Many folks use vit B, or Karo syrup on nipple, for appetite. Syrup helps with energy also if you add it to replacer.

They sell paste in push tubes for an energy boost. Seems to work if calves are in decent health but in a tough environment.

Re: Feedlot Calf - sickly since we got her

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:51 am
by cowgirl8
Stocker Steve wrote:
cowgirl8 wrote: #1 mistake most people do when they start off with bottle calves is they make the mistake of force feeding a sick calf milk after letting it not eat for a day or two


So what do you do with a "rescue calf" that has not eaten for a while?

IV electrolytes...if not via IV you tube it in. Its not hard to tell if a calf is dehydrated. Pump milk into a dehydrated calf will kill it. It takes water to digest milk, water that a dehydrated calf cant spare. Its like someone stranded on a boat thirsting to death. The reason they cant drink salt water is because it takes more water to digest it, same principle with a dehydrated calf and milk....Get them hydrated first, then worry about starvation. 3 days irreversible damage to organs without water, 5 days dead.... you can go without food for longer before you die, treat dehydration first.

Re: Feedlot Calf - sickly since we got her

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:18 pm
by farmerjan
I would say the same as far as electrolytes and keeping her hydrated. The vet should be the best source of advice since you've already been there. If she is from a feedlot heifer, then she has alot going against her so it is not a good place to start. Unless they are basically free, I would be hesitant to get calves there. I spent a ton of time and money when I was first raising calves, by getting the ones that were less than healthy and in the long run it is seldom worth it.. I am a big believer in Vit B as an appetite stimulant also. I'd say quit the milk but if she is not eating much grain then I don't know. I usually always start them on a "sweet feed" also. Plain oats won't entice her like a molasses type feed. Good luck with her.

Re: Feedlot Calf - sickly since we got her

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:59 pm
by DATorrie
boondocks wrote:First, welcome! :welcome: Cute calf, hope she pulls through and hope others with more experience with bottle calves will weigh in


Thank you and I hope to find some helpful replies :)

It is going to take me a little time to answer everyone, but will try ... as soon as I get educated on using this forum :)

Re: Feedlot Calf - sickly since we got her

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:01 pm
by DATorrie
Supa Dexta wrote:From a feedlot? As in accident calf from feedlot heifer? Thats about the worst place you can buy a calf I would think, keep dumping money into it, paying for a lesson at this point - might as well make it a good one you remember.

Its already well medicated and has seen a vet. I'm curious what tested for colostrum is though?


I'll will take your advice and keep dumping MY money into helping her.
As for a 'colostrum test" you would have to ask my vet clinic how they do that test.

Re: Feedlot Calf - sickly since we got her

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:04 pm
by DATorrie
TCRanch wrote:Poor baby! Glad she's been treated by a vet. I'll give a slow calf a shot of Vitamin B Complex for energy but not sure it will help in this case. Is she dehydrated? May need electrolytes. Good luck!


Thank you! :)
She has been on electrolytes as soon as she goes off her bottle/bucket. I do not force or drench her .. I let her take her time getting it down.
Dolly sees a vet at least once a week... sometimes for a problem and sometimes the vet just 'pops' in to see how she is doing.

Re: Feedlot Calf - sickly since we got her

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:06 pm
by DATorrie
cowgirl8 wrote:Not getting colostrum is not a death sentence. I've seen this in FB groups when people get a calf or have one get sick. Most suggestions are 'give colostrum'..(after 24 hours its just expensive milk replacer)...or if you sell a calf you get hit with the questions of if it got colostrum. Getting it is a good thing, but its not going to make a calf bullet proof. I'm going to guess this calf was dehydrated at some point and it suffered organ damage. #1 mistake most people do when they start off with bottle calves is they make the mistake of force feeding a sick calf milk after letting it not eat for a day or two..
Your calf has been to a vet, just do what they say to do....


Thank you! The moment we seen that Dolly was in trouble (off milk), she was to the vets for rehydration (IV fluids for 24 hours)
We follow the vets advice to the letter. Dolly has dry eye as well and she gets her eye drops faithfully three times a day :) .. I have no problem following instructions :)