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Dr-Bonk, Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 213
Experience:  Five years as a veterinarian performing farm calls for livestock, including herd health checks, vaccinations, and pregnancy testing. Also operate a small cow/calf operation.
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Is it possible to have calf less than 12 hours old to have

Customer Question

Is it possible to have calf less than 12 hours old to have rectal temperature of 74 then climb into 80's and then die
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  Dr-Bonk replied 11 months ago.

Hi, I'm Dr. Bonk. I'm sorry to hear about your calving troubles. Any temperature below 82 degree F is considered hypothermia and has a poor prognosis, especially if associated with disease. This time of year, calves are exposed to a variety of weather elements, such as wind, wet and cold that can lead to hypothermia as well.

When an animal becomes hypothermic, their blood pressure decreases and respiratory and heart rate slow down. This can lead to a build up of carbon dioxide and lactic acid in the body. If severe enough, the body can't recover without fluid therapy and other treatments, even if they are warmed up again, especially in a very young animal like this. So yes, it is very possible.

The best thing for these hypothermic or near hypothermic animals is to warm them slowly, by drying them and sheltering them from the elements. Fluid therapy may be necessary in severely affected animals. Getting colostrum into them helps as well. I hope this helps. Please contact me with any further questions you may have. Thank you and good luck!