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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21195
Experience:  As a veterinarian, I have been educated to treat all animals, big and small.
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My 5 week bottle calf appear to n constipated. It's shaking

Customer Question

My 5 week bottle calf appear to n constipated. It's shaking and staining trying to poop but won't
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your situation, and wanted to help.
Poor lad!
This is not an uncommon situation for young bottle fed calves. It often will be related to the milk replacer and can be a sign that either it is not being made dilute enough or its just not as good as mum's milk.
In this case, the first step for these situations is to make sure we are making the milk exactly as per instructions. Furthermore for the moment, we'd want to water this down further +/- alternate with
an electrolyte solution (ie Resorb, Lectaid, etc). This will make sure you are keeping him hydrated and with adequate energy intake while dissolving any milk induced "blockage".
In addition, since he is straining, we can also treat with lactulose or food grade mineral oil. This can be given mixed in his milk or carefully by drench. In regards ***** ***** you can give 1 ounce per 10 pounds of body weight every 4 hrs until you see a difference. Do note that it can take 4 hours before you see the effects of the lubricating agent (as their will be a gut transit time to consider). And do take care if you drench or stomach tube this down, as we don’t want this going down the wrong pipe (as it can irritate the lungs). Alternatively, you can use milk of magnesia as this too is a constipation aid for ruminants. The dose for this would be 5ml for every 20 pounds of calf. And again, care should always be taken when administer medications orally to this wee one.
If you are still not seeing signs of fecal production after a few doses of either, then you may wish to try an enema. This can be done using 2 ounces of soapy water (you can also add a good dollop of KY or any other water soluble lubricating jelly to aid fecal passage) to allow the stool to be removed. If we don’t start seeing some feces produced shortly with these treatments implemented, then the calf needs to be examined for IV fluids and more aggressive debulking therapy.
Overall, this is a terribly common situation for bottle babies. Therefore, since he is straining we would want to start with GI lubricants but may need to consider a gentle enema. If you do so but are not seeing some feces produced shortly with these treatments implemented, then we may need to have his vet check him, +/- administer IV fluids, and more aggressive debulking therapy to get him clear and comfortable.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best, *****
If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and happy holidays! : )
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hi Josh,

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

Dr. B.