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Dr. Taus, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
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Experience:  Veterinarian with experience in equine and small animal medicine.
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we got hol. bull calves from dairy farm that has above management

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we got hol. bull calves from dairy farm that has above management level . The calves are healthy but around the 5-8 day they get dumb with taking the bottle, the loose suck action but appear healthy with no scours or breathing problems. Some come out of it and some just keep going down hill


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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am waiting for an answer--------I am busy so I can not stay by the comp. . Will check for a answer later. Need help , it is affecting up to 50% of the calves



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Hi there,
I'm sorry to hear your calves aren't doing well. I've got a couple of concerns I'd like to discuss with you.

You said that the farm of origin has an above average management program. Are you certain the calves are getting adequate, good quality colostrum within the first few hours of life? What you're describing sounds like septicemia. It usually results from an infection via either the umbilicus or the GI tract, and in young calves, they can develop an overwhelming infection and die before they ever show signs like scours or respiratory disease. Getting good colostrum really helps boost immunity and keep this from happening, as does raising calves in individual stalls rather than one large pen and dipping navels in iodine twice a day for the first week or so of life. You could also try giving the little guys some penicillin at the label dose when they arrive on the farm, but this doesn't replace any management improvements that you might be able to make (if you're not already doing them).

The other thing I sometimes see is Clostridium enterotoxin, which is usually in calves that are a little older than yours but might be at play. This is commonly associated with overfeeding. Bacteria in the GI tract grow out of control and produce toxins which quickly kill the calves. One standard bottle 2-3 times a day is enough for calves this age. Vaccinating the cows also helps, but this is out of your reach. Make sure you are washing your bottles and bleaching them between uses to keep from transmitting bacterial infections in them.

If you are losing calves, you might consider submitting one or two that have died to your local veterinary diagnostic lab for necropsy. The lab is usually associated with your state's vet school, and can give you more information about what is happening so you can take more targeted action to prevent it.

I hope this is helpful. If so, please rate me positively, and don't hesitate to let me know how I can help further.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

so--------when we pick calves up and they are strong and aggressive wanting to eat --------we scub and beach nipples and bottles ----------they are in individual pens in a good vented building ----what can we give them to attempt to be in front of this


You can give penicillin at the label dose as soon as they start to not nurse as aggressively. And I really think if you've lost calves sending one or two for a necropsy can help you find out more about what, specificially, is making them ill, which can give you more specific steps to take.
Dr. Taus, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 505
Experience: Veterinarian with experience in equine and small animal medicine.
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