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Rectal Bleeding on a calf

Posted: Mon May 14, 2018 1:47 pm
by artesianspringsfarm
New one for me. I've got a month old calf who has some rectal bleeding. You can see him strain and an ounce or two of pretty much straight blood will come out. You can see past his sphinctre and the rectum looks irritated right up close. Its been at least 36 hours that this is going on but he is drinking, peeing, and has normal energy. Any ideas on a diagnosis and if so, should I be treating or investigating further?

One further thought, I do have a 9 month old bull in there who is now awful frisky. He is gonna get the burdizzo tomorrow because he isnt making the cut, but could he have actually penetrated the calf? I have only seen him trying to ride cows in heat.

Re: Rectal Bleeding on a calf

Posted: Mon May 14, 2018 2:22 pm
by Bright Raven
I have seen limited rectal bleeding in calves. I assume it is caused by the normal process of the intestines adapting to solid foods. There is generally some mucus mixed with the blood.

Regarding the observed "irritation". That is normal for there to be a highly vascularized appearance.

Re: Rectal Bleeding on a calf

Posted: Mon May 14, 2018 10:05 pm
by skeeter swatter
Without looking I'd guess coccidiosis.

Re: Rectal Bleeding on a calf

Posted: Tue May 15, 2018 12:06 am
by gcreekrch
skeeter swatter wrote:Without looking I'd guess coccidiosis.


I would concur, the age is right.

Re: Rectal Bleeding on a calf

Posted: Tue May 15, 2018 2:04 am
by Nesikep
Yep, if I have calves that get it, it's like clockwork around 6 weeks here.. Is there any chance worms could cause something similar?

Re: Rectal Bleeding on a calf

Posted: Tue May 15, 2018 2:05 am
by Nesikep
I'd also add that if they have a bad case of it, on a heifer I'd avoid keeping them as replacements..(I know you said "him") I did on one, she looked great while she was on milk but fell apart the following winter..

Re: Rectal Bleeding on a calf

Posted: Tue May 15, 2018 5:46 am
by MRRherefords
I agree with the guys up top. We had a case of coccidiosis here last year and that fits the description quite well.

Re: Rectal Bleeding on a calf

Posted: Tue May 15, 2018 7:48 am
by artesianspringsfarm
Thanks all. Ron, I know what you are talking about and this definitely isnt that. He now does look a little loagy and low energy also. I'm thinking the armchair vet diagnosis here is probably right. It's been a miserable spring here so we have kept everyone on a pretty small sacrifice area with plenty of crap around. They are finally getting onto grass today. Crossing my fingers that this doesnt become a major issue since there isnt much else I can do.

Re: Rectal Bleeding on a calf

Posted: Tue May 15, 2018 8:12 am
by M-5
artesianspringsfarm wrote:Thanks all. Ron, I know what you are talking about and this definitely isnt that. He now does look a little loagy and low energy also. I'm thinking the armchair vet diagnosis here is probably right. It's been a miserable spring here so we have kept everyone on a pretty small sacrifice area with plenty of crap around. They are finally getting onto grass today. Crossing my fingers that this doesnt become a major issue since there isnt much else I can do.


I lost one last week . Exact symptoms blood and straining . He seemed chronic from a month old till he died just shy of 3 mths . I treated him for respiratory issues a month ago but he never fully recovered. All other calves are doing fine but I run a 5 day cycle of corid in the water trough.

Re: Rectal Bleeding on a calf

Posted: Tue May 15, 2018 8:47 am
by gcreekrch
Cocci responds to sulfa drugs quite well. We also use Amprol (usually mixed with a herds water supply) squirted directly down a calf's throat with a drench gun. It won't go away by moving.

Re: Rectal Bleeding on a calf

Posted: Tue May 15, 2018 8:47 am
by Bright Raven
There is definitely blood in the bowel movement with coccidiosis. I treat with corid by oral drench. In my case, the calves are haltered daily from about 6 weeks old so oral drench is easy and sure. It usually affects the whole calf crop.

Re: Rectal Bleeding on a calf

Posted: Tue May 15, 2018 9:53 am
by Jeanne - Simme Valley
Sulfa boluses work super great or cocci

Re: Rectal Bleeding on a calf

Posted: Tue May 15, 2018 9:54 am
by Jeanne - Simme Valley
Also - agree - it won't go away - treat!

Re: Rectal Bleeding on a calf

Posted: Tue May 15, 2018 7:53 pm
by artesianspringsfarm
Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:Also - agree - it won't go away - treat!


Thank you to all again. I had had a few old-time farmers advocate for just ignoring it but you guys did make me re-think that and calf has been treated with Albon (sulfadimexothone) and I will keep on top of it.

Re: Rectal Bleeding on a calf

Posted: Wed May 16, 2018 1:17 pm
by gcreekrch
artesianspringsfarm wrote:
Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:Also - agree - it won't go away - treat!


Thank you to all again. I had had a few old-time farmers advocate for just ignoring it but you guys did make me re-think that and calf has been treated with Albon (sulfadimexothone) and I will keep on top of it.


How is your calf today?

There is a capsule available up here called Toltrazuril. One treatment lasts 30 days for cocci.