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The calf came back

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Shelly

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I don't suppose you all have ever seen a short, animated film called The Cat Came Back. Probably not. Anyways, it's about a man trying to get rid of a cat, and it keeps coming back day after day. The situation turns into the worst nightmare for the man. This calf reminded me of that film, AND is becoming my worst nightmare!!! This is the sluggish calf I posted about earlier. Well, last night it was back to the barn for him and his mama. She was bawling like crazy for it, and when I found it, I got it up, it had a healthy stretch but it was BLOATED! Gave it some bloat-eze, checked on it at 9:30, it was sucking the cow but still with the huge belly. This morning, it's quite lively but still a little round. Last week when I had it in the barn, all it had access to was cow's milk, outside it could eat hay. Yesterday morning when I saw it, it was snacking quite vigorously on some nice grassy hay I put out just for the calves. Do you think there's something in this calf's belly that is not allowing it to process the hay, but allows the milk to pass through?
 

PPRM

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Shelly,

Try a probiotic. I think someone said they have had success using Probias on adult cattle that have bloated. Most likely something is wrong in the miocrobial makeup of this calves stomach,

PPRM
 

Maple Leaf Angus

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My thoughts exactly. When I didn't have probiotics on hand, I would give a calf with digestive troubles a big feed of yogurt. It has the right bacteria in it.
 

3words

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Shelly,i had a calf like that last year.1 day it would be good,and the next day it would look like it was ready to die.When it was young i kept on treating it,finally i just said that's enough of that.If it wanted to live then live,if it wanted to die,then get on with it.It lived until june,and then it died.It was 4 months old when it died,and it was a runt.I should have just saved my money from keeping on treating it,and just shot it right away.Good luck with your's though,maybe it will decide it does want to live.
 

Kato

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Does the bloat make him look like he's potbellied all around? This can sometimes be a sign of peritonitis. It happens often if the calf has an abomasal ulcer that ruptures. The whole abdomen just fills up with fluid from infection.

These ulcers are hard to diagnose until the damage is done. They don't show a lot of symptoms other than the calf just doesn't "look right". Back when he was passing the foul smelling manure, did it look dark like there may be blood in it? Quite often that's about the only visible symptom you can have, and even then it doesn't always show up. We find ruptured ulcers all the time at the clinic in calves that had just been failing, or died suddenly for no apparent reason.

If it is peritonitis, there's not a lot you can do. I'd give your vet a call and get an opinion.
 

Faster horses

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Peritonitis would be an infection, would it not? And the calf would be running a temp, I would think. Have you taken his temperature, Shelly? That will tell you a lot of things. If I were you, I would get a thermometer from the vet if I didn't already have one. They are worth their weight in gold.

Over eating can cause calves to bloat too. Has he had a 7-way shot? Does he lay down and kick at his belly and wring his tail all at the same time? That is classic symptoms of overeating.

You know, you might give him some mineral oil and clean him out. I forgot, we used to do that when we experienced all those problems. I think it is a pint of mineral oil, but ask the vet. Sometimes, just cleaning them out will help. If he was eating that much hay, that leads me to think he has a belly ache of some kind. Calves will nibble at hay, but they really don't eat much.

Just some ideas.
 

Shelly

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No temperature, he's still round all the way around, passes manure that looks normal, sucks the cow, and looks fairly bright. I'm kind of leaning towards what Kato thinks. I won't be surprised to find him dead one day.
 

Kate/wy

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Just use the yogurt that Maple Leaf advised, it is just the natural friendly flora those babies need to digest food. No ill effects! If you don't have that try buttermilk, also gut friendly.
 

Faster horses

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Yes, they are worth too much not to try something. With the yogurt (I tend to lean toward the probiotic because it contains other stuff that helps as well) or the probiotic, it doesn't cost much and sure can't hurt. Doing nothing probably isn't going to work. The bacteria in the stomach is very necessary to keep calves thriving and growing. Getting it in them, seems like sooner is better than later.
 

George

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Yogurt is great with problem calves and will work for humans as well - - - make sure it is a live culture.

I have seen several people who suffered many problems after a round of anti biotics and if you give them Yogurt to reestablish the gut culture it does wonders.
 

Faster horses

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When we used to milk a cow and had raw milk and cream, I made butter and of course, buttermilk was the byproduct of the butter. The doctor in town called and asked if I would bring raw buttermilk to the hospital. They had a patient who had to have her leg removed and they had given her mega doses of antibiotic and she was having problems with diarrea that the the medical profession couldn't seem to stop. He wanted the raw buttermilk to put the proper bacteria back in her stomach. I took it in a few times and it did work. The patient was getting desperately ill and this was a last resort approach.

Maybe that is why I am such a fan of this type of treatment. That really stuck in my mind.
 

sw

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People tend to forget that antibiotics kill bacteria, protozoans, yeasts, and fungi, that are what makes a ruminant a ruminant. A probiotic or a yeast culture should always be a choice when doctoring ruminants. Killing off the microbes that make them function is not going to be good in the health of a cow. The rumen has microflora in it in as little as 7 days of age and sometimes people medicate calves to death trying to save them. Calves will eat what they cannot digest when they start experimenting with foods. We had calves eating everything from rose hips, stinging nettles, grass, dirt, leaves, you name it.
 

DOC HARRIS

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The intestinal flora is comprised of many types of bacteria, some known as Escherichia Coli ( E.Coli) which is normal in the intestinal canal of man and animals (Vertebrates), and as sw said, antibiotics will eliminate most or all of it. Your can literally 'cure them to death'. That is one reason why, when human's take too much antibiotic drugs, they get constipated. Don't mess with Mother Nature!

Yogurt helps because it contains the acidophilic bacteria which restores the intestinal flora to it's proper balance. Your Health Food Store or Pharmacy can supply you with "Acidophilus" or sometimes known as "Acidophilus milk" which is Lactobacillus acidophilus which you can use for restoring the normal bacterial flora in the intestines. Also, perhaps your Vet has some on hand. He certainly should!

DOC HARRIS
 

Kate/wy

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acidolphus lactobacillius can also be bought at either Walmart or your local Health Food Store, very cheaply.
 

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