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Offline Austin Jones

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Dead calf.
« on: March 11, 2012, 05:59:32 PM »
I just had the best steer we have bred drop dead last night. He was a May calf out of Monopoly, roughly 1050, and had done pretty well at Beef Congress. I went down to the barn last night to shoot hoops with a friend and found him laying dead in his pen all bloated. He had just been fine when I fed not 5 hours ago. Friends of ours had the same thing happen to them, there calf was fine one minute and dead 15 minutes later and they sent the calf to have tests to see what killed it but nothing was found. Vets say they don't know what the cause is and there really is no way to stop it unless you catch it right when they start to bloat and get some medicine in them right away. I was just wondering if anybody else has had this happen or heard of it. Please reply back. Thanks

Offline Angus2131

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Re: Dead calf.
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2012, 06:12:58 PM »
Wow sorry to hear that! I have not had that happen. If it were me I would do necropsy to make sure it's something that is nothing contagious. Unless someone on here can verify what happened to it. Sorry can't be more help but that is how I would handle it.

Offline twistedhshowstock

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Re: Dead calf.
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2012, 07:03:57 PM »
Was his feed changed in any way?  Bloat can kill, and do so pretty quickly if its bad enough.  Feed lots deal with it a lot, in a serious enough case 5 hours is definately enough time for one to die from bloat, but I would think that there would have to be a serious change in diet for that to happen.  Sorry for your loss.

Offline DL

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Re: Dead calf.
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2012, 07:31:27 PM »
I just had the best steer we have bred drop dead last night. He was a May calf out of Monopoly, roughly 1050, and had done pretty well at Beef Congress. I went down to the barn last night to shoot hoops with a friend and found him laying dead in his pen all bloated. He had just been fine when I fed not 5 hours ago. Friends of ours had the same thing happen to them, there calf was fine one minute and dead 15 minutes later and they sent the calf to have tests to see what killed it but nothing was found. Vets say they don't know what the cause is and there really is no way to stop it unless you catch it right when they start to bloat and get some medicine in them right away. I was just wondering if anybody else has had this happen or heard of it. Please reply back. Thanks

Now that is a drag! Sorry. You cannot know what caused him to die unless you have him necropsied. Just because he was bloated when you found him doesn't mean he died of bloat - the bacteria in the gut continue to make gas after the animal dies - most dead cattle will look bloated. You can tell on necropsy if it was bloat because he will have a "bloat line". There is no reason to believe that just because you and your friends calves died suddenly that the cause of death is the same or that a necropsy on your calf won't give you some answers. There are any number of things that can cause a calf to die rather suddenly - and remember cattle are prey animals so they do their very best to hide when they are not feeling well - so he may have looked fine but he really wasn't - sorry about your calf
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Offline Austin Jones

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Re: Dead calf.
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2012, 08:09:41 PM »
I just had the best steer we have bred drop dead last night. He was a May calf out of Monopoly, roughly 1050, and had done pretty well at Beef Congress. I went down to the barn last night to shoot hoops with a friend and found him laying dead in his pen all bloated. He had just been fine when I fed not 5 hours ago. Friends of ours had the same thing happen to them, there calf was fine one minute and dead 15 minutes later and they sent the calf to have tests to see what killed it but nothing was found. Vets say they don't know what the cause is and there really is no way to stop it unless you catch it right when they start to bloat and get some medicine in them right away. I was just wondering if anybody else has had this happen or heard of it. Please reply back. Thanks

Now that is a drag! Sorry. You cannot know what caused him to die unless you have him necropsied. Just because he was bloated when you found him doesn't mean he died of bloat - the bacteria in the gut continue to make gas after the animal dies - most dead cattle will look bloated. You can tell on necropsy if it was bloat because he will have a "bloat line". There is no reason to believe that just because you and your friends calves died suddenly that the cause of death is the same or that a necropsy on your calf won't give you some answers. There are any number of things that can cause a calf to die rather suddenly - and remember cattle are prey animals so they do their very best to hide when they are not feeling well - so he may have looked fine but he really wasn't - sorry about your calf


We changed the feed about a week and half ago to whole corn on the cob ground mixed with protein, something that my dad swears is better than show feed; but we slowly mixed it with there old feed and they showed no sign of bloating or anything. What is a necropsy?

Offline nathan7522

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Re: Dead calf.
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2012, 08:13:02 PM »
Wouldn't think its fly season, but make sure your fly bait is out of reach if you use it.

Offline DL

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Re: Dead calf.
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2012, 08:55:56 PM »
Austin - a necropsy is basically an autopsy on an animal. Your vet can do one or if you are close to the state or U lab they can do it
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Offline Big M Show Cattle

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Re: Dead calf.
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2012, 09:33:52 PM »
I would suggest having a necropsy done if possible. When I still lived in Missouri, my dad and uncle had 2 calves die for no apparent reason. The University of Missouri did a necropsy on one of the calves for no cost. Came back that the calf died from lead poisoning. After that we did a search of the pasture they were in and back in the woods was an old car battery that was busted open and the calves ate part of the battery which was made of lead. We did not even know of that old battery in that pasture until we searched after getting the necropsy report back. Worth it if you can get it done, might learn something if the death was preventable. Sorry about your loss, any loss sucks.
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Offline rackranch

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Re: Dead calf.
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2012, 09:50:08 AM »
Sorry to hear about your steer.  Were you and your friend feeding the same feed from the same mill?

If so ??????
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Offline RidinHeifer

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Re: Dead calf.
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2012, 12:41:13 PM »
Were there every any cobs big  enough that it could have choked on? Definitely get your vet out to necropsy
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Offline WB ShowCattle

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Re: Dead calf.
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2012, 04:03:52 PM »
ive seen this with multiple heat waves shortly after birth they get up nurse run around play next day DX dead ...  <alien>

Offline BuckeyeBeef2

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Re: Dead calf.
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2012, 08:23:47 PM »
If there was a lot of molasses to make it a sweet feed, I have had a close call with a calf where a clump of feed (stuck together with to much molasses) got caught in he esophagus.  when it got caught, it didn't allow the steer to regurgitate, and bloated very badly. We barely called the vet in time.  But if it wasn't a sweet feed, or anything else that has been mentioned, then i have no clue.  Sorry about your steer  ???

Offline Austin Jones

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Re: Dead calf.
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2012, 09:32:19 PM »
I would suggest having a necropsy done if possible. When I still lived in Missouri, my dad and uncle had 2 calves die for no apparent reason. The University of Missouri did a necropsy on one of the calves for no cost. Came back that the calf died from lead poisoning. After that we did a search of the pasture they were in and back in the woods was an old car battery that was busted open and the calves ate part of the battery which was made of lead. We did not even know of that old battery in that pasture until we searched after getting the necropsy report back. Worth it if you can get it done, might learn something if the death was preventable. Sorry about your loss, any loss sucks.

We called our vet and he told us that by the time that we got it to Purdure, that it would be hard to tell what caused it with the calf dying on Saturday. Also money is a little tight right now and we can't really afford it.

Offline cowcrazy

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Re: Dead calf.
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2012, 11:14:59 AM »
That is really tough. Sorry for your loss Austin :(

Offline Austin Jones

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Re: Dead calf.
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2012, 07:57:36 PM »
Thanks everyone for your input. I talked to my vet more and he said that with him bloating so much so quickly it could be a matter of eating to much by pushing the other calves out of the way. But I'm not sure. I am getting a new steer out of Oklahoma, not sure what yet, just told there is one on the way, he is currently at a show.

 

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