6 day old calf can’t walk

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Krcole02
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6 day old calf can’t walk

Postby Krcole02 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:58 pm

I have a 5 day old angus bull. I was unable to locate him for the first 2 days. On the third day after finding him he was unable to stand and not feeding from his mother. On able to walk or the strength to bottle feed add tube fed him the next two days. This morning was the first day that he has taken to a bottle drinking 2 quarts. Although he seems more alert he is still on able to walk. He doesn’t seem to have good control over his back legs and seems very weak still . His back legs seem to give out after two or three steps and he just falls over. At times he seems on able to focus his eyes and has what seems like a jerk about him. He also has what looks like An umbilical hernia. He has had several rounds of anabiotic‘s as well as vitamin B complex. seems to be more alert but not much physical improvement any ideas as to or suggestions would be greatly appreciate it . I have spent a lot of time and energy into saving this sweet baby so please Refrain from negative comments.
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Re: 6 day old calf can’t walk

Postby JMJ Farms » Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:09 pm

Give him a shot of selenium and vitamin E. Sold as BoSe or MuSe. Have to get it from a vet. I would also give him a shot of Vitamin A&D. As well as one of Dexemethasone. Probably needs some electrolytes as well.
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Re: 6 day old calf can’t walk

Postby Krcole02 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:15 pm

Thanks so much.
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Re: 6 day old calf can’t walk

Postby Bright Raven » Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:17 pm

You can try the vitamins but sounds to me like there may be a spinal deformity.

I had a calf born 2 years ago with those symptoms. I tube fed him for a week. He actually was gaining weight and was very alert. I took him to a clinic and after xray, we discovered he had a spinal deformity. The vet euthanized him.

I sympathize with your feelings. This calf was very sweet and would crawl to his dam and try to nurse. It is all part of life.
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Re: 6 day old calf can’t walk

Postby farmerjan » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:58 pm

Since you have some time and money in him, it won't hurt him to try the vitamins, and the rest. If you can afford it, taking him to the vet for an X-Ray would tell you if there is any spinal problems as Bright Raven has mentioned. The vit E and selenium will help if that is a problem, and there are some areas of the country where it is a big problem. We are selenium deficient here but not extreme. Have given my share of BoSe. If he can even walk a step or two, then he has some motor control. It might just be a time thing. Basically it depends on how much money you are willing to put into him, like x-rays, and the amount of time. If there is a physical reason, then you are wasting time. If not, then hopefully he will come around with time. He may have actually had the spinal cord pinched or compromised in the womb or during birth, and that could be part of the problem. Saying he also seems to sometimes not focus his eyes, and a little jerk, it might be some damage from the birth process. I would get a vet to give an opinion.
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Re: 6 day old calf can’t walk

Postby Bright Raven » Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:01 pm

farmerjan wrote:Since you have some time and money in him, it won't hurt him to try the vitamins, and the rest. If you can afford it, taking him to the vet for an X-Ray would tell you if there is any spinal problems as Bright Raven has mentioned. The vit E and selenium will help if that is a problem, and there are some areas of the country where it is a big problem. We are selenium deficient here but not extreme. Have given my share of BoSe. If he can even walk a step or two, then he has some motor control. It might just be a time thing. Basically it depends on how much money you are willing to put into him, like x-rays, and the amount of time. If there is a physical reason, then you are wasting time. If not, then hopefully he will come around with time. He may have actually had the spinal cord pinched or compromised in the womb or during birth, and that could be part of the problem. Saying he also seems to sometimes not focus his eyes, and a little jerk, it might be some damage from the birth process. I would get a vet to give an opinion.


Good suggestion.
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Re: 6 day old calf can’t walk

Postby Kjfred » Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:54 am

2 years ago we had a breech calf out of a heifer that was pretty close to what you're describing. It took a full week in the bathroom in the house tube feeding electrolytes and mother's milk and standing him up every few hours before he was able to go back to the barn. Honestly we were very surprised he pulled thru. He was always smaller and seemed a touch on the stupid side but he sure was friendly after that.
Get the vet to give his opinion. Then if there's any hope for him you will have to teach him how to stand then how to walk. All while making sure dehydration, malnutrition and sickness don't get him
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Re: 6 day old calf can’t walk

Postby Krcole02 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:43 am

He actually stood while drinking his bottle this morning. Although he did fall over a few times he was more alert and determined this morning than he has been.
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Re: 6 day old calf can’t walk

Postby farmerjan » Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:23 am

I think that he may have had some issues during the birth, and may have some developemental problems due to possibly being O2 deprived; but it sounds like with your care he is coming around. Are you keeping the cow with/near him so she can mother him and milking her? Or is it just not practical? Sometimes they will come around faster if the cow is "encouraging" them... sometimes it just isn't possible. He may never be normal, but may do good enough that he can be a beef in your freezer down the road.
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Re: 6 day old calf can’t walk

Postby Krcole02 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:25 pm

It is not going to work with him being with the cow at this time. I hope to get him strong enough to return with her though.
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Re: 6 day old calf can’t walk

Postby M-5 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:38 pm

that's a good sign if he stood , I have brought a few back from severe dehydration and malnutrition but I've lost more than survived . If he is taking a bottle the biggest hurdle is over , FWIW let the cow in with him after he has eat to continue the bond or you might have issues getting her to take him if he gets strong enough .
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Re: 6 day old calf can’t walk

Postby farmerjan » Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:45 pm

M-5 is right about the bonding issue; but what I am also concerned about is the cow starting to dry up. After 48 hours, the hormones that cause the cow to start making milk, will "sense" the udder is still full, and the body is no longer calling for it to make more milk. In other words, use it or lose it.
Seriously, some dairy farmers will stop milking a high producing cow for a day or 2, then milk her out, then let her go for several more days then milk her out and dry treat her.... everyone has a different protocol...but the idea is to stop milking her out, so the fullness triggers that the milk is not needed and the hormones will not be engaged to make more milk.
The whole idea is the more demand you put on the milk system, the more it will make up to the cows genetic capacity to produce. If you are not stimulating the milk production, it will cease... or be severely diminished to where she will not have enough milk for the calf. I deal with both dairy and beef and have seen a cows production capacity greatly reduced because she was not "challenged" to make alot of milk in the beginning.
Not even considering the possibility of mastitis, and her being unable to feed the calf if she should get it and it causes her to lose a quarter or more.
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Re: 6 day old calf can’t walk

Postby farmerjan » Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:54 am

How's the calf doing?
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