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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20604
Experience:  As a veterinarian, I have been educated to treat all animals, big and small.
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I had a calf born late last night or early morning with s

Customer Question

I had a calf born late last night or early morning with his head down in mud. All mucus fluid was out but umbilical cord is green and calf has (what looks like to me) a burrow hole on top of head with maybe some brain matter coming from it. What could this be caused from and is there any possibility of calf surviving
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

Was the calf alive or dead?

If alive, is it normal or mentally dull?

Can you take a photo of this hole in the skull? If you can do so, this will let me see what you are seeing. To post them online, you can use the paperclip icon on the tool bar above your text box. Or if you can't see that on your computer/phone, then you can post them on any other site (ie Flickr, Photobucket, imgur, etc) and paste the web link here for me to check.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The calf was born alive but it's mentally dull. I can't get it to set its head up to feed and and just noticed it has 3 nostrils. I've stuck my finger in its mouth to see if there's any other deformity but can't see any. Otherwise it has a very small head.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Poor lad!

Now most of that open lesion appears to be a failure for of full fusion of the skin over the skull. There isn't obvious brain exposure, though I cannot appreciate how deep the tissue access is at the edge at the back of the head (you may want to probe with a gloved finger). As well, we'd be a bit concerned with these birth defects to whether the bone is normal and fused underneath and whether he has full brain function. So, this doesnt' look like brain exposure which would be a death sentence in our bacteria filled world; but his prognosis is quite guarded especially if he cannot sit up or feed. You can puttinh him into sternal to try tube feeding colostrum to see if that perks him up (in case we have hypoglycemia). If he does, you can treat that open tissue with betadine and cover him with antibiotics to give this a chance to granulate in. Though if he doesn't and remains dull, we may need to just put him down and monitor any future offspring as this is likely genetic.

Please take care,

Dr. B.


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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

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

Dr. B.