How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Derek Your Own Question
Dr. Derek
Dr. Derek, Large Animal Vet
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 53
Experience:  Mixed animal veterinarian for nine years
Type Your Large Animal Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Derek is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My 8 year old Hereford cow (whiteface) skin on her head is

Customer Question

My 8 year old Hereford cow (whiteface) skin on her head is turning yellow. Manure is yellowish. I am feeding grain about a gallon a day. Grass hay of mediocre to poor quality.
Her eyes seem normal. Liver? Cut the grain and or change the hay?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Derek replied 1 year ago.

Hello I'm Dr Caudill, a mixed animal veterinarian with an emphasis on beef cattle production. I appreciate your honesty with regards ***** ***** quality of hay you're feeding and the treatments you've tried so far. I think it is possible that you could be on the right track when considering a liver issue. A routine blood chemistry will help you to rule in or out a liver issue.

I wouldn't recommend a drastic change in feeding. Increasing her plane of nutrition could make a potential liver insufficiency worse. Feed a good quality grass hay but no alfalfa. Also be aware that certain vitamins and compounds found in some feeds may cause a mild jaundice.

There are also many toxic plants that may cause liver deficiency and problems like you describe. Knowing what area of the US you are from may help me narrow the possibilities to a few likely toxic plants.

Please feel free to ask any further questions and if your have any more information, include it as well. I would like to help you as much as possible.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dr. Caudill,
I live in the Seattle Washington area. This cow has been on this pasture her entire 8 year life with the exception of a few months in the summer when she is on a friends pasture. I brought her home about a month ago. She did not have this condition then. The hay is from a new source. The grain is a standard lifestock 12% mixed with sweet cob I have fed this for years. The pasture may have some new weed, but the cow that I had on it for the last 6 months had none of these symptoms.
If it is a liver problem, is there any solution? I have deferred AI on her until this is resolved. Any thoughts?
Expert:  Dr. Derek replied 1 year ago.

That is actually very helpful information and has prompted me to reconsider my most likely differentials. Luckily, there is help with both conditions.

Geographically speaking, I'm unsure of the incidence rate of Anaplasmosis in the upper Northwest. I feel this condition must be considered. There are several methods of transmission for this disease including, reused needles, ear taggers, dehorners, scalpels and surgical tools as well as through a biologic vector, the wood tick (Dermacentor). Diagnostics to rule this in or out may be as simple as a routine CBC and chemistry panel and a blood smear to look for the intracellular inclusions of Anaplasma marginale. Treatment protocols differ, but I have good luck using LA-200 or 300 as directed on the label and using intravenous doses of Flunixin meglumine (Banamine) to help reduce the fever associated with this condition.

The second condition I would consider is Leptospirosis. There are a couple possible modes of transmission of this disease as well depending on the serovar, or type, of Leptospira infecting the animal. There are 5 different serovars. The severity of the diseease, clinical signs and potential treatment and outcome depend upon the infecting agent. Although it is more labor intensive, I often use Penicillin G on a daily basis to treat these animals. Some serovars may remain in the reproductive tract and cause infertility which may be transient. Again sending a blood sample to your state diagnostic lab will determine if this disease is the culprit.

I might also recommend that if you are not currently using a vaccination program that includes protection against the 5 serovars of Lepto, please reevaluate and make some changes to include it. It is relatively inexpensive and will save a great deal of money in the long run.

I hope this helps and I welcome any more questions.

Expert:  Dr. Derek replied 1 year ago.
Hi Loren,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Derek Caudill