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Ask Dr. Loretta Your Own Question
Dr. Loretta
Dr. Loretta, Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28121
Experience:  25 years of experience in treating large animals of all kinds.
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My 500 lb calves are all suddenly having difficulty walking,

Customer Question

My 500 lb calves are all suddenly having difficulty walking, appearing stiff legged and sometimes even falling over. They have runny noses as well. Can you give me some idea what may be happening and can we treat the problem?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Loretta replied 10 months ago.

Good Morning and welcome! I am Dr. Loretta, a licensed veterinarian and I am happy to answer your question.

There are a couple things that may be affecting these calves. The most common issue is White Muscle Disease. This usually affects younger calves but can affect the older ones also. The farm supply will have BOSE and you will give one injection and then another in a couple days according to the dose listed on the label. This disease is caused by a deficiency in Vitamin E and Selenium and causes these types of symptoms. The other problem would be an Encephalitis which is an infection affecting the Central Nervous System. Cover these calves with antibiotics such as Micotil or Pencillin G that can be purchased at the farm supply or LA 200. If there is no response, certainly contact your vet but start here.

Does that make sense to you?

Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please REPLY so I can clarify for you.

Sincerely, ***** *****

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Does it sound like symptoms of black leg?
Expert:  Dr. Loretta replied 10 months ago.

No, since there is not sudden death, swellings of the muscles and death within 12 to 24 hrs. If you are seeing lameness and stiff legs, this is most likely something else.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
One of them has died.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
In less than 48 hours
Expert:  Dr. Loretta replied 10 months ago.

Have you seen any swellings especially in the hip area of the one that has passed away? If not, even an infection in the Central Nervous system can also cause death. Pencillin G is the treatment for Blackleg although it is usually too late. Keep these guys isolated and make sure others are vaccinated.

Swellings are common with Black leg...if you do not see this, I would look else where.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
the dead one was swollen all over and had bleeding from the anus.
Expert:  Dr. Loretta replied 10 months ago.

The only way to be sure is to have this biopsied or have your vet test this guy. This still may not be Blackleg because the calf will swell post mortem normally with any disease and bleeding fro the anus could be due to many diseases. The only thig to do is to vaccinate all others and treat with Pencillin prophylactically all that have been exposed.