Numerous limping cows

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JMJ Farms
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Numerous limping cows

Postby JMJ Farms » Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:59 pm

I have a neighbor who has about 30 momma cows. He usually takes real good care of them and at the first sign of being old he replaces with young bred cows. Anyway he called me this morning and said he had several cows that were limping. Asked my opinion. So I rode over. Here’s what I saw.

Cow#1- Limping really bad. Probably a BCS of 3. Has lost a lot of weight partially due to the fact she’s nursing a calf who is stunted badly. Been limping for several months.

Cow#2- Limping but not terribly. BCS of probably 4. Looks like she may be on the mend. Been limping for a couple months.

Cow#3- Limping pretty good but BCS is still probably 5-6. Bottle tits on front two quarters. Been limping about 2 weeks.

Cow#4- Limping pretty good but otherwise looks really good. BCS 6. Been limping a few days.

All of these cows are supposed to be relatively young. But I haven’t mouthed them myself. Neighbor is a very honest fellow whom I’ve known forever. He wants to load them up and sell them bc he says they make the rest look bad. I’m trying to diagnose them. The limps are all on the back end. Any chance this is foot rot? I’ve never diagnosed foot rot without getting them in a chute. I can buy them for slaughter price, which is nothing here, but I’m not sure what my odds are of getting them straightened out are. I usually have a good idea what’s wrong when it’s my cows, but in this case I’m not sure. Interested to find out what the consensus is among the board?
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Re: Numerous limping cows

Postby Bright Raven » Sat Sep 29, 2018 4:18 pm

Interesting. Does the terrain there have a lot of sharp rocks? Could it be a foot abscess due to bruising? The other thought is hoof rot. I have not had a single case of foot rot since I started using vitaferm mineral.

If he is using a good mineral. I would suspect the terrain is causing some bruising and maybe abscesses.
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Re: Numerous limping cows

Postby Nesikep » Sat Sep 29, 2018 4:27 pm

does he have a bull that's are arsehole to them? I had one who'd always put his head between their legs and push them around.. he went byebye.

Is there something they can get cut on somewhere?.. without getting them in a chute and determining if it's a hip/joint issue or a hoof/foot issue it's pretty much all speculation
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Re: Numerous limping cows

Postby TCRanch » Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:08 pm

Are the legs or feet swollen? Any obvious signs of trauma (cuts, debris between the toes, etc)? Warts between the toes? Swollen hocks/hips (stifle)?

That's an awful lot of foot rot unless the pastures/terrain is unusually muddy or unusually dry with a lot of sharp rocks, thorns, etc. Are the cows docile at all? I can generally either pull debris (grass, small twigs) or stick a flat head screwdriver between the toes and take a whiff - there's no mistaking the vile smell of foot rot. But agree, the only way to know is to get them in a chute.
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Re: Numerous limping cows

Postby Lucky_P » Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:07 pm

Google up Mycoplasma wenyonii

Not saying that's the problem, but it's on my list, based on your description
Last edited by Lucky_P on Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Numerous limping cows

Postby JMJ Farms » Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:14 pm

Bright Raven wrote:Interesting. Does the terrain there have a lot of sharp rocks? Could it be a foot abscess due to bruising? The other thought is hoof rot. I have not had a single case of foot rot since I started using vitaferm mineral.

If he is using a good mineral. I would suspect the terrain is causing some bruising and maybe abscesses.


I don’t THINK the terrain is the issue as the cows have all been on the same farm for several years. We don’t have many rocks here. I don’t know if he even feeds minerals. I’ve never specifically asked. But he is anal about everything else so I would assume that he does. But one never knows. I will ask him. One detail I forgot. Cows have clean well water to drink. But they have access to a water hole that is green with dirty water and algae. Idk?
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Re: Numerous limping cows

Postby JMJ Farms » Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:18 pm

Nesikep wrote:does he have a bull that's are arsehole to them? I had one who'd always put his head between their legs and push them around.. he went byebye.

Is there something they can get cut on somewhere?.. without getting them in a chute and determining if it's a hip/joint issue or a hoof/foot issue it's pretty much all speculation


I don’t know about the bull Nesikep. But I did see another cow knock down one of the limping cows while I was there. I mean just nailed her like a linebacker. I agree it’s all speculation without a closer inspection. Just seems odd to have so many at relatively the same time. I’m thinking it’s an infection of some kind but idk.
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Re: Numerous limping cows

Postby JMJ Farms » Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:21 pm

TCRanch wrote:Are the legs or feet swollen? Any obvious signs of trauma (cuts, debris between the toes, etc)? Warts between the toes? Swollen hocks/hips (stifle)?

That's an awful lot of foot rot unless the pastures/terrain is unusually muddy or unusually dry with a lot of sharp rocks, thorns, etc. Are the cows docile at all? I can generally either pull debris (grass, small twigs) or stick a flat head screwdriver between the toes and take a whiff - there's no mistaking the vile smell of foot rot. But agree, the only way to know is to get them in a chute.


No trauma or warts that I can observe in a pasture setting. Maybe some minor swelling above the hood on one cow but nothing that would jump out at me.

The cows are very docile but not as much so towards me as they are to him. They just don’t know me. And he’s not physically able to get too up close and personal with them outside of a chute. As I replied to Raven, they have clean well water for drinking, but also have access to a nasty water hole that they have been wading in. Could be suspect.
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Re: Numerous limping cows

Postby JMJ Farms » Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:22 pm

Lucky_P wrote:Google up Mycoplasma wenyonii

Not saying that's the problem, but it's on my list, based on your description


I will do that LuckyP. Thank you.
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Re: Numerous limping cows

Postby Fire Sweep Ranch » Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:22 pm

We are having abnormally high lameness also. The cows become lame on one of the rear legs, and hobble around for a few weeks. It later erupts from the hairline, and a big sore opens. I am waiting to hear back from my hoof trimmer, to get it opened and cleaned out. I think it is from the dry ground (drought) and sharp rocks we have. Too many of them are getting sore, and blowing out the top of the heal. I have never had this happen, but we have never had such a dry year either. I had my vet look at two of the worst ones, he suggested LA300.
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Re: Numerous limping cows

Postby True Grit Farms » Sun Sep 30, 2018 6:04 am

It has to be the water, mineral or feed or lack thereof. Our cows live in the same environment and aren't limping. Have you figured it out yet JMJ?
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Re: Numerous limping cows

Postby JMJ Farms » Sun Sep 30, 2018 6:33 am

True Grit Farms wrote:It has to be the water, mineral or feed or lack thereof. Our cows live in the same environment and aren't limping. Have you figured it out yet JMJ?


Still just a guess at this point. I offered to help him get them up and try to treat them and see if we could get them well but he said he just wanted to sell them bc they made the others look bad. He was gonna take them to the stockyard but I asked if he would be interested in selling them to me. I think I’m gonna take a chance on them.
At current slaughter pricesI think they’re only worth $1500 for all 4. What’s the worst that could happen?
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Re: Numerous limping cows

Postby callmefence » Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:13 am

Bright Raven wrote:Interesting. Does the terrain there have a lot of sharp rocks? Could it be a foot abscess due to bruising? The other thought is hoof rot. I have not had a single case of foot rot since I started using vitaferm mineral.

If he is using a good mineral. I would suspect the terrain is causing some bruising and maybe abscesses.


This was my first thought.
We see a fair amount of cows walking odd to sometimes limping during wet spells. It's not foot rot though. The sticky heavy clay will pick up rocks. It almost always fixes itself though.
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Re: Numerous limping cows

Postby True Grit Farms » Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:22 am

JMJ Farms wrote:
True Grit Farms wrote:It has to be the water, mineral or feed or lack thereof. Our cows live in the same environment and aren't limping. Have you figured it out yet JMJ?


Still just a guess at this point. I offered to help him get them up and try to treat them and see if we could get them well but he said he just wanted to sell them bc they made the others look bad. He was gonna take them to the stockyard but I asked if he would be interested in selling them to me. I think I’m gonna take a chance on them.
At current slaughter pricesI think they’re only worth $1500 for all 4. What’s the worst that could happen?

Clean good with bleach and turpentine and apply Koppertox, a big dose of la200 and a some MultiMin they'll be fine in a week.
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Re: Numerous limping cows

Postby AKE » Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:57 am

Digital Dermatitis in cattle maybe. Beef cattle don't get it near as often as dairy cattle. It is contagious I know if one gets it the whole herd can get it. No vaccine for it either. A few of the neighbor's cows got it and he had to run whole herd through a foot bath solution once a week for 3 weeks. He had been buying cows so most likely one he bought had it and it spread through the herd at his watering hole. Had to lock them out of it because it stays on the ground. Think he kept them out of that water source all winter
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