help sick cow

pollysearlsJune 22, 2010

I have a sick cow he is falling off ( loosing weight ) i have wormed him and givin him a penacillin shot, he eats very little and now is dragging his hind leg on left side anyone advise on what else i should try?or what could be wrong with him

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How old is he? How long has this been going on? What is his diet like & the weather there lately?
Penicillen should be given a minimum of 5 days in a row at the recommended dosage, but also if there is a reason to give it (i.e. fever or infection). (You may have done this but not type it).

Couple of thoughts based on the little info provided:

1. Your wormer is not working correctly because of resistance build up. Get a fecal done ASAP & treat accordingly, repeat in 10 days, then again in 10 days. Follow up with Probios. Is he anemic?

2. If young possibly coccidia but that doesn't explain the leg dragging.

3. Selenium deficiency (white muscle disease) can cause dragging of the legs. A shot of MuSe or BoSe may help if you are in a selenium deficient area. Does he have access to loose minerals?

4. Irrepairable and highly contageous Johne's Disease link:

Is the leg hot to the touch or has he just lost the use of it due to weakness from not eating?

Start him on Thiamine (B-vitamin-use B-Complex in high doses if you can't get thiamine from your vet). B vitamins are water soluable and he will pass what he doesn't need. This will help with his appetite also. Start this ASAP while you are trying to figure out the cause.

Stomach tubing him with electrolytes will buy you some time, also. Dehydration kills.

Any more details you can offer would help diagnose, It may be vet time if you can't figure it out & treat very soon.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 8:52PM
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You call the VET.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 3:36PM
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Calling a vet would seem, to the inexperienced, the best thing to do. More often than not calling the vet is not in the best interest of the livestock animal. Many vets do not specialize in large animals & have no clue how to treat simple illnesses. Oftentimes, but not always, getting advice from experienced owners is the best solution. It all depends on where you live, and the number of practicing large animal vets are in your area. Don't get me wrong, some vets are very good at what they do, and by all means at some point a vet is NEEDED, but other vets are just in it for the money, and don't stay up to date on the current facts, studies, & sciences that they should.

If one is to call the vet, make sure they are familiar with the type of animal they will be treating. If they are not, find another vet or do like many have done, research, ask questions, learn from the experienced, and treat them yourself. When the cost of veterinary care far exceeds the value of the livestock, it makes no sense to call the vet.

Often lists just like this one are created to assist where otherwise the animal would just suffer, not be treated, or treated incorrectly. Thank goodness for lists/forums like this, there are many of them, it opens doors & educates, brings new ideas, and helps keep like-minded responsible owners up to date.

I hope the OP will come back for their 2nd post to the list. Update us on how the cow is doing, if they figured out the problem, and if they decided they couldn't treat and found a qualified veterinarian to assist.

btw pollysearls, welcome to the forum.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 7:58PM
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he is almost a year old: gave him some gatoraid last night he gobbled it up ate a little , leg is not hot and i can pick it up bends ok but he does not want to put weight on it, dont see any problem in the hoof on the outside, it has been really hot here past two weeks 90s and up
and thanks for your ideas

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 10:22AM
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oregonwoodsmoke(5 OR Sunset 1A)

If his leg is hot and he is dragging his leg, it's possible that he isn't eating because he is in pain.

Do you know how to detect a broken leg? (I guess not, or you would have said). How about a dislocated patella? Torn cruciate? Nail in the hoof?

See if you can get a local farmer who knows cattle to look at him.

It's not OK to allow an animal to suffer for weeks while you hope to work something out. Get someone to look at him.

If he is in pain and you can't afford a vet, put him down.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 11:15PM
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Oregon : if you read the last comment : his leg is NOT HOT! It Bends so im assuming it is NOT Broken! I have looked at his hoof and no visible problems on the outside
One day eats real good and the next a little: this is while im on site and watching: he is in the pasture and could be eating while im not there: as of last night he was putting a little weight on the leg while walking: still giving him some gatoraid Just in Case and he loves it! couldnt hurt

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 11:04AM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

Gatoraid has a lot of sugar in it. in general sugar is not friendly to ruminants, they ferment in the rumen and lead to acidosis, there is a dose response curve and I do not know what it is, but best to avoid too much. Something like pedialyte may be a better choice if electrolytes are your concern.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 7:12PM
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It is true that sugar can cause acidiosis, but the small amounts being given in no way will cause harm. Large amounts are another story....very large amounts as we're talking a cow here. Good thought though.

Pollysearls, are you leaning towards an injury which is causing the lack of eating? Seems odd he would lose weight so fast if the injury is new.

I would check the leg and hoof again. There may be a new sign of swelling or infection that has developed that will give away the injured area. Check for an abcess in the hoof-just under the hoof wall. Another thought, possibly he ripped a tendon or something and it's not visible.

Still thinking it strange he would not eat & lose weight so fast. Banamine will help the pain, and he should use it more on meds. Process of elimination.

Have you seen any improvement?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 9:16PM
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Eating really good last night : of course i gave him some gatoraid,been giving him about 4 courts , along with water and feed . dont think that will overdose him on sugar ? he is putting a little weight on the leg now ,he went up the hill to the top of the pasture,really spunky this eve and wanted to play , of course i had a gatoraid bottle and he wanted it , so i think he is feeling better seems like may have a hoof issue but i do not see anything visible could there be something i am missing here?

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 9:14AM
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Yes you are missing something, though I don't know what it is as I havn't seen the cow. He's getting better apparently so keep up what you are doing.

No 4 quarts of gaterade will not cause acidiosis in your cow. If you gave 4 quarts of pure sugar or concentrated sugar syrup, I'd be a bit worried. It's a non-issue.

If you think it's a ligament issue rub some salve on it. If you think it's a hoof issue, I'd dip the hooves in coppertox. I'm fresh out of ideas with no new information. The good news is he's on the mend.


    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 8:09PM
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