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Offline ratmama2

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Mummified Fetus
« on: June 21, 2007, 08:07:37 AM »
Hey All,
Last night we culled out a cow and calf. The cow was bred for a June calf (AI) and nothing. My husband lost the AI paper from the company so I was kind of guessing, a toss up between her and another due in August. Anyhow we took her to the auction last night and I was thinking maybe she didn't take to the AI and our young bull took care of business cause I haven't seen her bulling. Turns out that the vet check at the auction showed she had a mummified fetus in her. Would really appreciate if anyone has any info on this. Like how common, is it curable, etc. In the 15 years we've had cows this is a new one for me.
Ratmama

Offline red

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Re: Mummified Fetus
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2007, 09:45:19 AM »
Ratmama- many factors can cause a mummified fetus. Certain diseases like BVD, genetic defects & early death of the fetus that dosn't result in an abortion all can cause it. Not sure of the frequency of it. I'm sure DL & Cowboy have more ideas than I could ever dream of.

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Offline Cowboy

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Re: Mummified Fetus
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2007, 12:35:50 PM »
Kind of close to home for me in the last year. Here's the story.

We have a really good friend and customer from out in Eastern Kansas that called last year concerning a very good Shorty cow that had done about this same thing. Due in March but nothing, local vet's and ET guy all said she was bred, that they must of just been WAY off on thier breeding date.

Not the case, after some discussions, they brought the cow here. She was , on palpation, carrying a 90-110 day mummy, as well as being bad cystic as well. We treated this cow as if you were trying to induce labor, and in 5 days she had the mummy pushed up into the cervix, but could not get any further due to lack of fluid and volume to push against.

Thru vaginal intervention, I simply got hold of it and yanked it out. It was 8 plus pounds of solid white matter, not rock hard but very firm. Surprisingly , it did not have a bad odor, just dry and hard. I infused this cow many times over the next week, and worked on the cystic condition of her ovaries.

Here is the good part -- after 2 weeks, she managed to get rid of her cysts, and showed a good heat. Normal activity. Me being rather oportunistic, I went and bred the cow just to see what would happen, and did a single egg collection a week later. We DID get an egg -- althought it was degnerated -- we found the egg. Uterus was clean, and felt pretty darn good, so I supered the cow as you normally would.

Hehehehehe -- we froze 4 excellent embryos from that flush out of 6 produced, and then re-bred the cow on her first heat. Now get this --- she settled, went FULL term, and calved a large bull calf this spring, cow and calf doing great -- and she is now getting ready to be a donor again! I was and am very glad --

Bottom line -- although this is very rare and VERY serious, it is not the end of the world, it CAN be cured with diligence.

The causes???? Yes, it can be anything from heat stress at the wrong time clear up the disease issues and on into the nutritional end of it. I have seen them in every breed, more in the dairy cows than in beef, but surely in every breed there is. It will happen in about 1 in every 2500 cows, but MOST of them do get rid of it before it gets to the point of the one above. In your case, selling the cow of average value was probably the right thing to do, but if you get a real high dollar cow, you CAN get her thru it!

Food for thought -- I can give you the folks name and number if you re curious, I am sure they will tell you all about it!

PS -- The first one of those 4 embryos was transfered this spring out there, and has also apparently settled!!! How good is that?? hehehehehe

Yippee

Terry
Cows are family too -- we treat em like they are !!

Offline DL

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Re: Mummified Fetus
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2007, 01:18:11 PM »
Cowboy - you always have such good stories and you always seem to fix those cows! Everyone with problem cows head to Cowboys!

Ratmama2 (who is Ratmama1?)  - first thing I think of with mummies is BVD - you need to work with your vet to assess your vaccination program and determine what your risk is for having a persistently infected animal in your herd. How many do you have - do you buy, show, etc a lot?
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Offline ratmama2

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Re: Mummified Fetus
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2007, 06:54:05 AM »
We have usually about 14 cows plus a couple of heifers for my boys to show. We buy maybe one heifer a year depending on what is born on the farm. Last year we bought our first bull. We have mainly been AIing or we lease a bull. Also depending on bull calves born we may have to buy one or two for the boys' 4-H projects. We mainly do a few local shows and our county fair. Which averages out to about 5 shows a year. We are doing a couple more this year because of the bull and a couple of really good heifers born this year. The cow with the fetus hadn't been off the farm in 3 years and that would have been her 2nd calf. I am a nut for good nutrition and vaccinations. I also quarantine anything coming from shows or just bought. I believe that preventative measures are the best.
Thanks all!!!

Offline frostback

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Re: Mummified Fetus
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2007, 08:29:38 AM »
This year I had a cow calve that I was watching close and as the calf came out so did a lump of tan or light brown stuff. The first thing I though of was that his intestines were out but when I went up and moved the calf the stuff was not attached. So I pulled it away and with further examination I found a head and four feet.( i took photos so the husband would believe me)
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Offline ROAD WARRIOR

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Re: Mummified Fetus
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2007, 12:20:56 PM »
I'm certainly not telling you to rule out something more serious - BVD etc. but I can tell you that after many years in the cattle business, strange things happen. I had one this spring in a first calf heifer. The last one to calve and found her straining one morning. Brought her to the barn "gloved up" and went in to see what was going on. Found a mummified fetus that was kind of curled up in a ball. It took quite a while but I finally got it straightened out enough to pass through the pelvis. Started aggressive treatment on the heifer for any lingering problems. AI bred her back for a late March calf next year - haven't seen her cycle back yet.
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Offline DL

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Re: Mummified Fetus
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2007, 01:52:10 PM »
RW - I do believe that strange things happen, and in fact the aliens have landed at Gypsy's and Malinda's this year but (since I am in the business of stamping out disease) if I had a mummified fetus I would check for BVD PI's and ramp up my vaccination program with both type 1 and type 2 BVDV. Exposure of a pregnant cow to either an acutely or persistently infected BVD animal can result in mummies ans well as other horrors too numerous to mention. You do not want a persistently infected BVD animal on your farm, and although most die before 1 year of agem some are disguised as "normal bovines" and either breed cows or calve and you would never suspect. Many bull tests and feedlots are requiring testing for BVD PI prior to entry. I would never buy a bovine without a test for BVD PI - it is cheap insurance against potentially long term wrecks.....off the soap box now tell me about calving ease RA bulls, please (Red the human you can move this thread if you would like....dl)
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Offline garybob

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Re: Mummified Fetus
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2007, 02:00:46 PM »
DL,
I wish our Animal Health Providers down here ( where all the cows are) were as thorough as you. Thank you for your knowlege. You have my vote for "member of the month".

Gary Bob

Offline ROAD WARRIOR

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Re: Mummified Fetus
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2007, 02:36:31 PM »
RW - I do believe that strange things happen, and in fact the aliens have landed at Gypsy's and Malinda's this year but (since I am in the business of stamping out disease) if I had a mummified fetus I would check for BVD PI's and ramp up my vaccination program with both type 1 and type 2 BVDV. Exposure of a pregnant cow to either an acutely or persistently infected BVD animal can result in mummies ans well as other horrors too numerous to mention. You do not want a persistently infected BVD animal on your farm, and although most die before 1 year of agem some are disguised as "normal bovines" and either breed cows or calve and you would never suspect. Many bull tests and feedlots are requiring testing for BVD PI prior to entry. I would never buy a bovine without a test for BVD PI - it is cheap insurance against potentially long term wrecks.....off the soap box now tell me about calving ease RA bulls, please (Red the human you can move this thread if you would like....dl)
DL - I if anything over vaccinate our herd, even went to the exspence of culturing our strain of pink eye and had custom serrum made (expensive but effective - cheap in the long run!) About calving ease RA bulls- in comparison to many other breeds ( especialy clubbies) the breed is as a whole pretty easy calving. Don't get me wrong there are some that will throw big calves but not the majority. The trick is to not sacrifice growth, power and phenotype to get calving ease. There are several bulls available that have been single trait selected for calving ease (pet peave of mine!) but generaly their calves are pretty fine boned and lack the growth it will take make it down the road. I try to find a bull that is middle of the road for calving ease - our first calf heifers calves will hit the ground between 75 and 82 lbs. unassisted aside from the typical leg back or backwards calf. I buy very little semen from the AI studs and prefer to buy direct from the breeder ( Genex, ABS,Select Sires etc. really don't care if I have had to pull every calf sired by the semen they sold me but the breeder that sold it to me doesn't want me calling him at 3:30 in the morning after I just pulled a 110# calf out of a first calf heifer!) I spend literally hundreds of hours and thousands of miles looking for the next addition to our bull battery every year. This year I was lucky enough to find two bulls that fit my program, but the last two years I didn't bring home any. I'm rambleing now DL- email me or message me if you want to get into more specifics.
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Offline SRU

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Re: Mummified Fetus
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2007, 02:46:30 PM »
rw - what do you think of kit pharo's cattle? so many polarized opinions.
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Offline ROAD WARRIOR

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Re: Mummified Fetus
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2007, 03:16:45 PM »
SRU - Kit does a good job of merchandising. I don't believe alot of what he promotes but you have to remember it is a sales promotion. The whole frame score 4 thing bothers me alot. His claim that the bigger cattle won't work in his country is in my oppinion not true from the purebred breeders stand point. I am very familiar with that part of the country even though it is a 13 hour drive from here. I have 3 bulls in our herd bull battery that came from just 40 miles down the road from him and they are all 6 to 7 frame score bulls. I guess it all boils down to one question - would I buy breeding stock from him? No.
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Offline DL

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Re: Mummified Fetus
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2007, 05:39:36 PM »
This probably should be a new topic, but what the heck...

garybob - thanks for nice words

Pharo Cattle Co - he knows how to market and the readers and writers of the Stockman Grass Farmer think his bulls are the nuts (so to speak ;D) but IMHO they are midgets and not the only kind of cattle that can make it in a grass fed system or in "his country" - I always see this vision of bull on stilts  (lol)

BVDV - this is a disease  every cattle producer needs to know about - a short true story (some of you have heard it - sorry - only have so many short true stories)

Big purebred herd in SW US of A
2000 head of mama cows
keep replacement replacement females
buy bulls every year from various sources
fall preg check usually high percentage of bred females - like 95%
one year really bad preg checking - like 45%
turns out a couple of the bulls were persistently infected with BVD
this is truly a bad deal because already your potential income is less than half  AND
every pregnant cow in the herd has the potential to have a persistently infected calf
or the calf could abort, be deformed, be a mummy etc...
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Offline ROAD WARRIOR

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Re: Mummified Fetus
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2007, 10:46:06 PM »
Well said DL - It looks to me that if you continue to breed Mini Me's to each other the eventual out come will be either continuous calving problems ( smaller animal - smaller pelvic area) or a miniature breed of cattle. Don't get me wrong , I'm not bashing the low lines and I'm not saying we need to go back to the frame score 10 cattle. I think some where in the middle should be acceptable. Our customers traditionaly pick the frame score 6 -7 bulls first and that is where we aim our breeding program towards. 15 years ago I listened to JHL from the famous hair pin brand state that in 10 years there would be no need for anything other than a frame score 5 animal. Maybe in some enviroments but a pretty broad statement to make about the cattle business as a whole.
You tell them I'm coming - Tell them I'm coming and I'm bringing Hell with me!

 

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