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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Re: Calf with weak hind end

Postby garnetann » Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:47 am

How is she doing now?
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Re: Calf with weak hind end

Postby OwnedByTheCow » Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:13 pm

We are taking it day by day. She is comfortable and growing fast. Somedays she improves other days not quite. Just hoping and praying but not getting my hopes too high. She can run and trot around just fine. It's just the walk where she can't quite get it right.
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Re: Calf with weak hind end

Postby farmerjan » Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:36 pm

What did the vet say that you planned to have look at her when they came out for the other cows? I honestly think that some extra vitamins would help and that she might very well "grow out of it" looking at her being able to jump like she did in the video. I do think there might have been some damage, but if she is up eating, getting around, give it some time. One other thing..... we have a vet that does acupuncture and also does like "chiropractic work" and it did wonders on a cow that one of my farmers had. Does you vet do anything like that? I still think that as long as she doesn't act like she is in pain, eating good, and basically getting around, leave well enough alone. Sometimes I think that we have bred our dairy animals too "close" and that they don't always have the body reserves when they are born, but will get what they need out of their feed and grow into their problems.
I had a beef calf born with her front legs too long and basically crossed in front like a scissor jack. She could not get up for weeks without falling over. The cow faithfully came to that calf and it managed to nurse, and over about 5 months she wound up with only a very slight out of alignment front leg. I would not have given you 5 cents for her and had seriously considered destroying her. But I would find her in different spots in the pasture that she would kinda crawl to, and as time went on she outgrew it. The cow was very faithful to her and she survived.
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Re: Calf with weak hind end

Postby OwnedByTheCow » Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:40 pm

Unfortunately it was a new vet that our office was trying out so she doesn't have the same amount of cow experience as our usual. We ended up giving her a BoSe and I will be sending a couple hair samples into the Holstein Association to look at genetic issues. I was always going to get their genomic testing done now I guess I'll have to do it.
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Re: Calf with weak hind end

Postby Boot Jack Bulls » Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:47 pm

I would give her vitamin B complex as well. When goats get goat polio from vitamin B/Thiamine deficiency, they often act like what your calf does....
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