Calf with weak hind end

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OwnedByTheCow
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Calf with weak hind end

Postby OwnedByTheCow » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:48 pm

I had a heifer calf born exactly last month 9/11 with some issues with her back leg. It took her a while to stand and she seemed to be just a lot less active than the other calves. She always has been. Recently I've been noticing that the leg issue is not just confined to the leg but it looks like it is involving her whole hind end. Hips, back all of it. The thing is, she gets around alright despite the issues but every couple steps she will take an off step and fall or start side stepping. She'll walk like 5 good steps then her legs will go all funny and she'll fall.
My biggest question is, when do I stop thinking of this as a thing she'll grow out of and what could be causing this?

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Re: Calf with weak hind end

Postby Bright Raven » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:20 pm

She has a neurospinal issue. One can only speculate that it is congenital or suffered trauma at partum.

She is not going to "grow out of it". The video reveals how bad it is more than your description. She is struggling to walk. If I had a calf that bad, I would consider an end game as the plan.
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Re: Calf with weak hind end

Postby OwnedByTheCow » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:06 pm

Here is a second video of her other side
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Re: Calf with weak hind end

Postby Bright Raven » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:16 pm

That simply is not something she is likely to grow out of to the point that she will be a stout, rugged, productive cow. No one would want to retain such a defective prospect. Even as a feeder, she is going to get hammered on value. Might consider how to play an end game - perhaps butchering at some point.
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Re: Calf with weak hind end

Postby Nesikep » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:47 pm

Has she had a selenium/vit E injection? I wouldn't put a lot of hope on it but worth a try
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Re: Calf with weak hind end

Postby sstterry » Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:51 pm

I have a calf with the exact same problem. He has grown, but always eats after the others and gets very little grain. will be really cut on any sale. My plan is to keep him and feed him out for butchering.
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Re: Calf with weak hind end

Postby wbvs58 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:53 pm

Ron is spot on with his diagnosis and prognosis. The high stepping and hind legs not tracking with the front suggests lack of cerebral fine control due to some stenosis of the spinal cord either from trauma or congenital. It would not be wise to continue with her other than to put on some condition to make salvaging some meat from her and even that would be of doubt economically.

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Re: Calf with weak hind end

Postby holm25 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:38 pm

It’s no fun but I’d put that one down. Won’t bring a darn thing in the sales barn and I’d worry about putting weight on it. I wouldn’t put anymore money into it as you don’t know what’ll happen as it gains weight
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Re: Calf with weak hind end

Postby bird dog » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:02 pm

I see no reason to put it down. Let her mom raise it, put it in a small pasture with some good feed and harvest it .

I had one that I worried would fall going into the pit at the butcher and they wouldn't harvest her. She weighed about 700 lbs or so. Made good burger.
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Re: Calf with weak hind end

Postby OwnedByTheCow » Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:48 am

I am going to have the vet out Saturday for a couple other cows, so I'll have him look at her too. I'd like to try keeping her around as long as she is comfortable and until weaning. She cost me too much money to not try a bit. What's the worse that can happen? She doesn't appear to be in pain, was actually quite playful yesterday.
We'll see how it goes.
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