update of calf that won't eat

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread


For those who have sent in responses to my calf problem, here's a short update:

We started calf starter ration yesterday - I literally put the starter in his mouth and then kinda closed his mouth a little so some feed would stay in, he spit part out but chewed up some, so that is ongoing at every feeding. Just a couple of handfulls each time until he can get the idea. Today calf would not get up at all. Calf not getting any LA-200 today as nose is now clear, eyes clear, no rasping, no temp (in other words, technically the calf is not showing any signs of sickness). Poop is not runny or scouring. He's drinking 2 pints of milk replacer at feedings four times per day; however, this morning he just didn't seem very responsive. Calf was given coffee plus sugar which seems to have perked him right up (caffeine is a wonderful thing when you're looking at your baby who's flat on his side suddenly decide he's going to look around and get interested in the world!).

So we can't really decide if he's better - he's certainly no worse, although tonight we blanketed him in the stall and we are playing NPR for him on the radio to keep him company and yep, we're checking on him several times during the night (can you even imagine that this calf is going to end up in freezer - NOT). So my husband is right, this one will be a big ole steer pet if he lives as we have put so much time and effort into practically willing him to live..

I will tell ya'll one thing though - this town stinks if you have a sick cow - no vitamins, no calf starter, - had to go to three different feed stores before I found milk replacer and antibiotic. Guess I will have to keep a few things on hand if we're going to keep calves-couldn't even find a nipple for the bottle until I went to the third store...

ya'll are great - and thanks for helping me out. I hope we can get him on his feet tomorrow, even for just a little while. We are turning him from side to side and he is laying on his brisket, not flat out anymore.

thanks everyone! We'll keep you posted on progress..

-- Cindy (colawson@mindspring.com), December 19, 2001


What I have not seen mentioned yet is that when animals get antibiotics, this kills all bacteria in them- including the benifical ones in their digestive systems which MUST be replaced immediantly. I do this by introducing acidodophlis milk in small amounts until their stools change colors or harden. Acidophlis milk is pasturized, then the benifical bacteria is put back in, it is available at larger store dairycases, usually as 2% milk, I have not lost a calf in many years, my screen name is MOO-PUPS, please listen.

-- mitch hearn (moopups@citlink.net), December 19, 2001.

With Mitch - Lactobacillus acidophilus. Maybe also mix in the ABC yoghurt - L.acidophilus, L.bifidis, L.caesii. Also remember he's a baby. He may be so OD'ed on caffeine that now he's got food in him, he just needs to sleep. Babies DO need to sleep a lot - and they will, regardless of what you do to them. Other than replenishing or establishing his "intestinal flora", I think he sounds like he's as well as a premmie baby calf can get - just try letting him and his system set the pace, and keep an eye on things from a distance (except when you're turning him - that still sounds like a good idea if he won't move himself).

-- Don Armstrong (darmst@yahoo.com.au), December 19, 2001.


We only gave him one cup of coffee in his bottle as he was so lathargic this morning we actually thought he was going to up and die on us. The rest of the day he just got his regular milk replacer and a couple of handfuls of feed. I am going to go to another town tomorrow and (an old fashioned town) and try their feed store and see if I can get some vitamin b for him and will try the milk you suggested. How much in his bottle? Clarence (that's his name) is now drinking a little over two pints at each feeding and he is getting four feedings in the daytime spaced evenly and one at 10:00 at night. We were told he needs about 1 gallon a day, for his size, but I would really like to see him start eating a little more solid food.

I'll keep ya'll posted.

-- Cindy (colawson@mindspring.com), December 19, 2001.

If your sticking to just 2 cups of coffee a day he really won't be getting too much caffeine. I've used way more on more alert animals but it is a diuretic, and will dehydrate him. Don't mean to step on any toes here but giving antibiotics does not kill off all the rumen flora. I'd hate to put off people using antibiotics responsibly!! Certainly a long coarse of broad spectrum antibiotics can be harmful, oral dosing will stress the flora more and more quickly. That said boosting the rumen is a great idea too. If you could get an injectable dose of Thiamin and vitamin E with selenium (if he hasn't had one)it wouldn't hurt and might help a lot. I did read getting vitamins is a problem but those two are pretty common and should live in every vet's box.

-- Ross (amulet@istar.ca), December 19, 2001.

Oh, oh, Clarence was the angel in "It's a Wonderful Life". You are definitely not going to get him in the freezer. :> Glad he's doing better.

-- Jennifer L. (Northern NYS) (jlance@nospammail.com), December 19, 2001.

Aquart of acidopholis milk should last 8 to 10 days and is not necessary more than once a day. Do continue to feed small amounts often streaching the insides slowley, when the calf needs more you will see it continue to suck an empty bottle and "rear" its head up to the bottle. In nature this stimulates the cow to release more milk.

-- mitch hearn (moopups@citlink.net), December 20, 2001.

If you cannot get the acidophilus milk, you can go to a health food store and get the caplet to crush (or open a capsule) into the milk replacer. I've fed it to chickens and dogs and cats, as well as all my family members. It is THE BEST fix for food poisoning. I doubt one can overdose on it. It can be ordered on-line from vitamin companies.

-- Nina in nj (ninasinthegarden@aol.com), December 20, 2001.

Cindy, I have raised bottle calves for 4 years now and the best product I have found to "get the rumen bugs going" is Probios. I buy a powder that you add to milk replacer or water. You will see a difference after the first day in the calf's stool. Probios also comes in an active gel. Any good feed store should have the gel on hand if not Valley Vet Supply sells it www.valleyvet.com. I usually put Probios in milk of healthy calves also to get the rumen going even faster.Hope this helps you.

-- Joni (jjdenton@st-tel.net), December 20, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ