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Dr. Taus
Dr. Taus, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 505
Experience:  Veterinarian with experience in equine and small animal medicine.
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I have elk calves 6 mnths old. When I looked at lungs there

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I have elk calves 6 mnths old. When I looked at lungs there were growths that had white milky fluid. Calves were in good health all dropped first day. I vaccinated with a andibiotic don't remember name but it was good for 21 days. I do know that TB has a similar growth but assumed it was more a grainy white more then just creamy in the growths.
Hi there,

I'm sorry to hear about the loss of these calves. White lesions in the lungs sound like pneumonia; however, it's not possible to tell what organism (TB versus another bacterial infection) caused the problem just from looking at the lesions in the lungs at the gross, whole organ level. Big granulomas in TB can be grainy, but they don't have to be.

When we receive samples of lungs like what you describe at the diagnostic lab, we preserve them, cut them in microscopic slices, and look under the microscope to see what bacteria are there. Migrating parasites can also look like that at the gross, whole organ level so we look for those too. Sometimes we have to grow the organisms in the lesions out in culture to know for sure what they are. If this was a bacterial infection, your antibiotic might not have worked because either the bacteria in question wasn't susceptible to that particular antibiotic, or because their infection had already reached a point where the antibiotic wasn't sufficient by the time they were treated.

If possible, I'd suggest sending a whole dead calf to your local diagnostic lab for a necropsy. This will give you the most information about what is actually going on in those lungs and what, if anything, you need to do to treat the rest of your herd.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX the first calf sampled by my local vet and the other two were done by a diagnostic lab samples are now also being cultured by ames,iowa. Since it happened on Friday afternoon we will still playing a little bit of waiting game. In any animal to give proper meds and dose at nearest chance is critical. Thanks again.

Yes, I do agree. I am glad you pursued this, as it is the next diagnostic step to get the information you need for proper treatment. It is good that you have an antibiotic on board to help in tje meantime, but I am afraid I can't add much definitively at this point.
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Hi Dave,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Taus