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CountryDoc, Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1530
Experience:  Experienced mixed animal veterinarian
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Calf with hair loss

Customer Question

We have a Hereford calf that is 40 days old and weights approx 80-100 lbs.She has been bottled feed with Dumor non- medicated milk replacement as she was one of a twin that was rejected. She stays in a stall with straw bedding inside a barn, and waste is removed daily. She's very active and started eating some clover and grass seperate from other cattle. We noticed 3 days ago that she has been losing some hair on her head and some on the left side near her tail and hind qtr. We looked online and learned that it could be lice, parasites or mange.  There  are no skin irrations visible. We would like to know what is causing it and recommended treatment.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  CountryDoc replied 6 years ago.

Welcome to JustAnswer, this is Dr. Christie. I have a few questions for you to better help with your calf!


Is the calf itchy (ie rubbing on the stall, gates, etc)?


The areas where the fur loss is-any scaling, redness, scabs? What color does the skin appear in these areas?


Can you take a piece of scotch tape and stick it on and off the calf at the edge of the furless areas, catching both the fur and the skin? Take a look at the tape-do you see any lice stuck on it (they are small little yellow/whitish bugs).


Has the calf been wet at all (out in the rain, etc)?


Can you post a picture on here at all?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.


1) We have not noticed the calf rubbing on the walls. As a matter of fact, I looked on the stall walls yesterday for signs of hair that might have stuck to the wood. I did not see any.

2) The skin is not scaling or red. There is no visible sign of irritation. The color of the skin is pink.

3) The calf has not been wet or in the rain. The stall is completely inside a barn. However when we changed her straw bedding we did notice some wetness in the lower layers of the straw. Maybe just dampness occuring as a result of alot of rain.

4) I will do the scotch tape trick this afternoon as well as attempt to post a picture.

5) I believe the hair loss might have started with her tail. Her tail has seemed thinner at the bottom for a couple of weeks.

Thank you so much!

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
We did the scotch tape trick and did not notice any bugs. Any help is appreciated!
Expert:  CountryDoc replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for the information and the picture! :)


I am glad you did not find any nits on the tape-so lice is out! I am not convinced that it would be mange either since she is not itchy at all. Typically mange is extremely itchy and you would notice her rubbing everywhere!


I am concerned about possible infection from moisture on the skin or possibly ringworm. Since she is mainly in a stall, is young, and it is spring time (less sunshine), ringworm is a good possibility. It too can be itchy, but not always. Most symptoms you see are fur loss present in irregular areas across the body.


A few different things you can do to treat it: 1) get her out in the sunshine more (which can be challenging if it is as gloomy and rainy where you are as it is here in Ohio!), 2) betadine or iodine scrub (use a toothbrush to scrub the areas once a day for 7-10 days), 3) topical antifungal such as lotrimin, daily for a week, or 4) a topical antifungal from your vet. Make sure you wash your hands afterwards as you can get ringworm too!


Now it will take a good three weeks for any fur to begin regrowing! :)

Hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any further questions!!

Dr. Christie