Bottle calf seizures

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ChelsiS
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Bottle calf seizures

Postby ChelsiS » Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:52 pm

Hey yall,

Hoping I can run this mess by you guys and get your thoughts. My grandparents have a very small herd of longhorn/Angus crosses and while they love their cows, they just really don't have much knowledge about herd management and this sort of thing. They had a young heifer, who they didn't know was pregnant, give birth to a bull calf 2 weeks ago. Only other bull with access to her is her fullblood brother. Heifer had to have assistance having the calf and then ultimately rejected the calf and wanted nothing to do with it. The calf did not receive any colostrum either from her or supplemented (I know...again they are elderly and mean well they just don't know what they are doing). They got some milk replacer and started bottle feeding the calf, however, they were making large batches of milk and leaving it out on the counter between feedings.

Father's day my mother went over there and the calf appear to be having some issues. He was not getting up on his own and was refusing his evening bottle and mom suspected it may have been scouring. She offered to take him for a little bit to see if we could perk him up since we have experience in bottle raising livestock. Monday is when I got ahold of him and I put him on water soluble electrolytes and vitamins, free choice alfalfa and creep and switched his milk replacer to a medicated brand wit a coccidiastat just in case. He ended up having totally normal stool.

Yesterday he was looking great. Ate wonderfully, 2 qt bottle am and pm. Seemed alert was up on his own and able to stand for a while. He was still not as rambunctious as I wound want him to be but things were looking good. This morning mom went out to give him his am bottle and he took down 2 qts and then had a full on 3 minute seizure. He snapped out of it and is back to just being a blah calf and has been laying down since. We've removed the electrolytes and vitamins after the seizure.

So...what are your thoughts? I am leaning towards a possible congenital problem given he really has no other signs of infectious disease other than the seizure and lack of gusto and hes inbred and tge cow rejected him. If there's anything else you guys think I should try I am all ears. My grandfather is already so attached to this calf and he has 2 elderly dogs that are all not doing well and I just fear if we lose the calf and both dogs....it's gonna kill him.

Thank you so much for and advice you guys have. I am at a loss.
Chelsi
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Jeanne - Simme Valley
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Re: Bottle calf seizures

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:09 pm

I'm not a good one to answer bottle calf problems, but when others check in I thought I would ask -
I am unclear about what you are feeding and when. Two bottles a day, am & pm. When are you feeding the electrolytes? You should NOT be mixing the good milk replacer with the electrolytes. Have you taken the calf's temperature. A high fever would make it lethargic & could cause a seizure.
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ChelsiS
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Re: Bottle calf seizures

Postby ChelsiS » Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:36 pm

Sorry about not being clear. We are feeding
dumour medicated milk replacer. He is taking 2 quarts of milk twice a day. The electrolytes and vitamins we had in his water trough free choice for 24 hours or so and have now dumped that and he's just got plain water now . I have not taken his temp with a thermometer but he doesn't feel febrile in his mouth or ears or anywhere.
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Jeanne - Simme Valley
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Re: Bottle calf seizures

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:39 pm

I never heard of delivering the electrolytes that way. I do know they are not supposed to be given in conjunction with the milk. Should be give a few hours apart.
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MRRherefords
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Re: Bottle calf seizures

Postby MRRherefords » Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:41 pm

Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:I'm not a good one to answer bottle calf problems, but when others check in I thought I would ask -
I am unclear about what you are feeding and when. Two bottles a day, am & pm. When are you feeding the electrolytes? You should NOT be mixing the good milk replacer with the electrolytes. Have you taken the calf's temperature. A high fever would make it lethargic & could cause a seizure.

Agree 100%. We are dealing with a bottle calf right now and she is taking the same amount of milk. I also want to reiterate just how important it is not to mix the electrolytes with the milk. (As was mentioned above.)
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