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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20888
Experience:  As a veterinarian, I have been educated to treat all animals, big and small.
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I have a 3 day old calf that appears to be going blind. No

Customer Question

I have a 3 day old calf that appears to be going blind. No problems at birth. Born on pasture, cow has had excellent pasture all season. Today noticed eyes clouding over and both eyelids are swollen with a reddish tint. Calf is becoming thin. Any suggestions?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the calf's name?
Customer: Has no name, I like to leave them alone with mom as much as possible.
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about,?
Customer: Not really, we have excellent pasture, but higher than normal rainfall so there is a little mud around and lots of insects.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

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

Any discharge from the eyes?

Any coughing, sneezing, or fever?

Can you take a photo of this to let me see what you are seeing? To post a photo, you can use the paper clip on the tool bar. Or if you cannot see that on your phone/computer, then you can post them on any site (ie Flickr, Photobucket, Imgr etc) and paste the web address here for me to have a peek

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I'll get some pics in a few minutes...pasture is 4 miles away. Not a lot of discharge, some clear tearing
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
No coughing or other obvious signs of resp. problems. Calf is weakening like it hasn't nursed for several hours
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

No worries,

I will keep an eye out for your photos.

Though if that calf is struggling to feed and thus putting itself at risk of blood sugar crashes, it may be ideal to move mum and calf to a pen if possible for ease of care in the short term.

Speak to you again soon,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Can you see these pic's?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Hello again,

Just loading them now and will post a reply in full shortly.

Dr. B.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Hi again,

Now it is unfortunate that you only managed to get a photo of the eyelids, since the changes to the eye are actually the bigger concern. The eyelid swelling is just likely to be secondary inflammation but the clouding you mentioned raises concerns of severe bacterial conjunctivitis and especially "pink eye." Just to note, the clouding that is obstructing his vision (not actually causing blindness) is the eye's way of swelling in response to damage (often one eye) or inflammation from infection (our suspect here). Therefore, with these in mind, we'd want to consider treating with antibiotics. For pink eye, we tend to use Oxytetracycline (drops or systemic/injectable) and that would be a reasonable starting place for both our concerns. Of course, if the signs don't settle, then we'd want your vet to take a sample of the discharge for culture/sensitivity to determine what antibiotics this is vulnerable to and ensure we nip this in the bud before lasting corneal damage reduces his long term vision.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. B.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Started the calf on penicillin on Sunday. Was able to get it to take a bottle of rehydrated milk and a nutrition-drench that had a vitamin pack. The calf responded really well, especially to the extra nutrition. Was able to get the pair to a barn for better care and observation. Was able to restrain the cow and get the calf nursing on its own, and have kept up the penicillin for now 4 days. Calf now appears pretty normal, and has regained much of its sight. I intend to turn the pair back out in a couple days.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for the update, my dear.

That is great news and I am glad to hear that the treatments are getting this little one back to normal. :)

Keep up the good work,

Dr. B.


**Please rate me afterwards by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you (there is no extra cost for doing so). Thank you for your feedback!: )

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