Gangrene banding

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rain dance
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Gangrene banding

Postby rain dance » Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:19 pm

I have a 800 lb Bull I banded 10 days ago that I bought at auction. He swelled up and started walking stiff on the 3rd day. The testicles have stopped swelling and are now shrinking and dying off from gangrene. He was double banded with a California bander, I used two bands to make sure it was (hopefully) tight enough. I normally prefer knife cutting but only do it on small calves on pasture and was afraid of bleeding and infection since he was so large and in a barn.

I treated him with antibiotics and banamine one week after banding also gave him another round of tetanus antitoxin. He is walking better know but still kind of slow. Im afraid it looks like the infection has jumped the band and is going up into his body. I sent a picture to the vet and vet said looks like blood and fluid maybe a infection but will probably be OK just keep watching and get a temperature next time in the chute. The vet said swelling is very common with banding larger bulls. Not that I want to second guess the vet but I had a better look at this calf since I saw it in person and to me it looked like a infection above the band. Is there anything else that can be done to stop the infection? I feel horrible about this makes me want to throw the bander away and never use one again.
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Re: Gangrene banding

Postby M.Magis » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:39 am

Without a picture, all anyone can do here is guess. Like your vet said, you're going to see swelling with larger bulls, unless you slit the sack when you band. There's no reason for two bands, and if they aren't placed over one another two can cause problems. Not saying that's the case here. Seems like you've done what you can do at this point, and honestly sounds pretty normal for banding larger bulls. I doubt he has gangrene, the testicles are just rotting because they have no blood. That's how bands work. A slit in the bottom of the sack at banding really reducing the swelling and discomfort.
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Re: Gangrene banding

Postby midTN_Brangusman » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:43 am

I prefer cutting the sac one week after band placement about a half inch below the band. By then there is no blood flow to the testicles and they heal very fast. Give tetanus at banding and spray with iodine wound spray at cutting. This prevents any infection.
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Re: Gangrene banding

Postby Putangitangi » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:32 pm

You inevitably get swelling above a band and of course he's stiff and sore! Think about it!
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Re: Gangrene banding

Postby BRYANT » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:47 pm

slit the sack, after many threads about this people still think me and a few others that say ''slit the sack'' are crazy. But here is the perfect example of why I always, except new born and sometimes even them, slit the sack. They drain, dry up faster, and fall faster, and way less stress on the calf. That said he should have been cut several pounds ago.
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Re: Gangrene banding

Postby snoopdog » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:40 pm

I wouldn't slit the sack now, but I think on animals that large, it's a good idea at banding. Take his temp
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Re: Gangrene banding

Postby JMJ Farms » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:18 pm

midTN_Brangusman wrote:I prefer cutting the sac one week after band placement about a half inch below the band. By then there is no blood flow to the testicles and they heal very fast. Give tetanus at banding and spray with iodine wound spray at cutting. This prevents any infection.


Brangusman, or anyone else, elaborate on this. I’m fixing to band some bigger bulls. I band at birth, but these were bought. Gonna give tetanus. Wait two week, give booster and band. Slit the sack. Heard this over and over. And I believe it. You said to cut 1/2” below band. Does that mean “cut the sack off”? Or slit. I thought you slit the sack vertically between the balls. I’m asking. Not telling anyone they are doing it wrong. I just want to do it right. Where to slit? One slit or two? Horizontal or vertical? Just want to clarify the exact procedure. May help others as well. Thank you in advance.
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Re: Gangrene banding

Postby rain dance » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:24 pm

Putangitangi wrote:You inevitably get swelling above a band and of course he's stiff and sore! Think about it!


yes a little stiff and sore is different then hardly being able to walk for 5 days . None of the other calves in this group had a problem like he did.

Is there any danger in slitting the sack if the band is not tight enough? Also I could not easily get my finger under the band but still was not 100% sure if it was tight enough. The california bander is very awkward at first especially on large bulls and has no tension indicator like a most ratchet banders
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Re: Gangrene banding

Postby kenny thomas » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:01 pm

rain dance wrote:
Putangitangi wrote:You inevitably get swelling above a band and of course he's stiff and sore! Think about it!


yes a little stiff and sore is different then hardly being able to walk for 5 days . None of the other calves in this group had a problem like he did.

Is there any danger in slitting the sack if the band is not tight enough? Also I could not easily get my finger under the band but still was not 100% sure if it was tight enough. The california bander is very awkward at first especially on large bulls and has no tension indicator like a most ratchet banders

I place a band and then castrate as normal on large calves. Probably the only person that you will hear say that. My opinion only but if you can get your finger under the band it wouldn't be nearly tight enough.
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Re: Gangrene banding

Postby gcreekrch » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:15 pm

kenny thomas wrote:
rain dance wrote:
Putangitangi wrote:You inevitably get swelling above a band and of course he's stiff and sore! Think about it!


yes a little stiff and sore is different then hardly being able to walk for 5 days . None of the other calves in this group had a problem like he did.

Is there any danger in slitting the sack if the band is not tight enough? Also I could not easily get my finger under the band but still was not 100% sure if it was tight enough. The california bander is very awkward at first especially on large bulls and has no tension indicator like a most ratchet banders

I place a band and then castrate as normal on large calves. Probably the only person that you will hear say that. My opinion only but if you can get your finger under the band it wouldn't be nearly tight enough.


I castrate with a knife anything over 400 pounds. My method includes tying the cords off with catgut Lost one once by not crimping long enough with the emasculator. Still favour bands on little calves.
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Re: Gangrene banding

Postby Aaron » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:00 pm

BRYANT wrote:slit the sack, after many threads about this people still think me and a few others that say ''slit the sack'' are crazy. But here is the perfect example of why I always, except new born and sometimes even them, slit the sack. They drain, dry up faster, and fall faster, and way less stress on the calf. That said he should have been cut several pounds ago.


Yes. Slitting the sack at banding causes them to dry and fall off in 1/3 the time and calves react to it more like cut calves than banded ones. I pinch the bottom of the scrotum between the testicles after the band is placed, line up up my Newberry knife to be about 1" into scrotum, stand back, grab and pull the knife. Definitely make sure a good rail behind them because it really lifts some of them.
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Re: Gangrene banding

Postby farmerjan » Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:42 pm

JMJ Farms wrote:
midTN_Brangusman wrote:I prefer cutting the sac one week after band placement about a half inch below the band. By then there is no blood flow to the testicles and they heal very fast. Give tetanus at banding and spray with iodine wound spray at cutting. This prevents any infection.


Brangusman, or anyone else, elaborate on this. I’m fixing to band some bigger bulls. I band at birth, but these were bought. Gonna give tetanus. Wait two week, give booster and band. Slit the sack. Heard this over and over. And I believe it. You said to cut 1/2” below band. Does that mean “cut the sack off”? Or slit. I thought you slit the sack vertically between the balls. I’m asking. Not telling anyone they are doing it wrong. I just want to do it right. Where to slit? One slit or two? Horizontal or vertical? Just want to clarify the exact procedure. May help others as well. Thank you in advance.

We also cut the sack off about a week after banding if we have them near the barn to get them back in the chute. We do not slit the bottoms like so many do because at the time of banding, they still have feeling. Within an hour or less, the bands have cut off the circulation, and the nerves so they are numb below the band. It has to be tight. The calicrate has the ratchet and you ratchet it up tight. Then crimp and cut the excess band. In a week, cut the whole sack off, just below the band and the little metal piece that holds the band tight. It is mostly to stop the bag from taking weeks to completely dry up and fall off and gets rid of the smell when getting rid of the sack.
If I remember from a previous post, you have a friend that has used the callicrate bander before. So, they should be aware of what to do.
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Re: Gangrene banding

Postby BRYANT » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:17 am

farmerjan wrote:We also cut the sack off about a week after banding if we have them near the barn to get them back in the chute. We do not slit the bottoms like so many do because at the time of banding, they still have feeling. Within an hour or less, the bands have cut off the circulation, and the nerves so they are numb below the band. It has to be tight. The calicrate has the ratchet and you ratchet it up tight. Then crimp and cut the excess band. In a week, cut the whole sack off, just below the band and the little metal piece that holds the band tight. It is mostly to stop the bag from taking weeks to completely dry up and fall off and gets rid of the smell when getting rid of the sack.
If I remember from a previous post, you have a friend that has used the callicrate bander before. So, they should be aware of what to do.

what 's the difference if you slit them they hurt for a hour if you don't slit them they still hurt for a hour. Either way I don't think it feels to good to them. If you numb them and put them to sleep they still going to hurt when they wake up, only way to stop the pain is leave them bulls.
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Re: Gangrene banding

Postby M.Magis » Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:39 am

I haven't done nearly the amount most here probably have, but when I slit the sack between the nuts I don't think I've had one even kick yet. I use a scalpel with a new blade, it's almost like they don't even feel it.
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