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Dr. Todd
Dr. Todd, Large Animal Vet
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 754
Experience:  35 years of experience
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I have a bull calf that has navel ill, joint ill and I think

Customer Question

I have a bull calf that has navel ill, joint ill and I think it is in his eyes. My vet said he never heard of it going to the eyes, Took him from the cow when he was approx. 5-6 days old--looked malnourished, dehydrated and could not walk well. I fixed a bottle of electrolytes and he drank it and followed me up to the barn. I noticed he had maggots on him so we cleaned those of with soap & permetherin. Called the vet and he thought the same as I. About 4 days later I made him go out of the pen to move around more to get a better appetite. He walked around about an hr. then layed down. We had to carry him back in the barn as he wouldn't walk anymore. The next morning his left back leg was swollen around the joint. Called the vet and that is when he said the calf had navel ill & joint ill. He is currently on draxon/dex injections every 5 days. He's had 6 of them. His appetite is very good and you would never know that he was sick except for the eyes. They tear at both corners on both eyes. The vet tells me its the flies, but it's not. I spray in there and wipe him daily. When he gets the injection the tearing eases a bit, but this time it doesn't seem to be as effective. Is the infection in his eyes and if it is can it be cured?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Todd replied 6 years ago.

Please tell me more about his eyes.


Are they clear?


Is he able to see?


Does he close the eyelids?


Is the tearing cloudy or clear?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Eyes are clear, he can see and close his eyelids. Tearing is clear. Sometimes it kind of just pours out in large droplets and this afternoon it seems his left eye is bulged out a bit. When he drinks the bottle you can see a large part of the whites of his eyes, more so on the left side.
Expert:  Dr. Todd replied 6 years ago.

If the tears are clear and the membranes around the eye are not inflamed he probably does not have an infection in the eyes. It could be an allergy or sensitivity.


The best thing to do since he's already dealing with joint ill is to play it safe and treat for both an infection and allergy.


Treat his eyes with an antibiotic/steroid ointment twice each day. You should be able to get the ointment from your veterinarian.


If one or both eyes become cloudy, discontinue the ointment and have your veterinarian examine the eyes.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I already did that. Didn't work. Tried the Neo Predef for pink eye (which he doesn't have) and it worked the best so far but the day of his injection they just get really wet, like the whole side of his face. I read on line from the cattlesite that other sites where bacteria can settle include the eyes, heart & brain. Death is common in the latter cases. My vets have never heard of this before. I've been taking care of him for so long , something is there. If I can get rid of the eye problem I think he'll make it.
Expert:  Dr. Todd replied 6 years ago.

Sorry. I didn't read what you have Already Tried.


I have opted out so that another veterinarian may be of help.