Steer Planet - Show Steers and Club Calves Forum

Steer Planet Chat => The Big Show => Topic started by: GLZ on October 17, 2008, 01:16:12 PM

Title: Quick help steer planet.
Post by: GLZ on October 17, 2008, 01:16:12 PM
So the cow I have been asking about had her calf.  He is a 100 lb bull calf.

I got home and found him.   The only thing is that he hasn't stood much since I got home, and when he did, he is walking on his front fetlocks.  Google search gives me a picture that looks like arthrogryposis. 

I was able to help him straigthen the joint, but he was like a pig on roller skates.  Any help or has my luck continued.  Is a vet call in order?
Title: Re: Quick help steer planet.
Post by: red on October 17, 2008, 01:22:49 PM
I know that DL would have a better answer, but you might try splints? Personally, I'd call my vet or someone w/ a lot of cattle knowledge.

Best of luck!

Red
Title: Re: Quick help steer planet.
Post by: Dusty on October 17, 2008, 02:14:16 PM
You could put splints on them if it makes you feel better, but he'll come out of it on his own no problem.  I've seen a lot of calves do this and then they'll straighten out as they get to moving around more....
Title: Re: Quick help steer planet.
Post by: GLZ on October 17, 2008, 02:28:59 PM
Thanks Dusty

I just called a guy, and he says he has had many born like that.  He said that all of his grow out of it without any problem.  He figured he must have been a big calf (which he was ~ 100 pounds).  He told me not to worry about it that he would be fine in a couple of days or so.

Anyone else have similar problems/stories?
Title: Re: Quick help steer planet.
Post by: red on October 17, 2008, 02:31:00 PM
we had a calf that developed swollen knees. Cowboy said probably navel infection & recommended penicillin. cure him right up.

Red
Title: Re: Quick help steer planet.
Post by: Jason on October 17, 2008, 02:32:49 PM
I know it is tough, but give it a couple days
Title: Re: Quick help steer planet.
Post by: steermomintx on October 17, 2008, 02:48:33 PM
We had a yellow jacket bull calf that was born like that--he was also a big calf.  He has grown out of it and you should see him now, he looks really good!!  Good luck!!
Title: Re: Quick help steer planet.
Post by: shorthorngirl2010 on October 17, 2008, 02:53:45 PM
we have calves born like that every once in awhile... our vet told us put radiator hose around it then use vet wrap to secure it comfortably tight.  its worked every time so far!
Title: Re: Quick help steer planet.
Post by: CAB on October 17, 2008, 03:28:54 PM
Make sure that the calf has nursed well or you'll need to help make sure one way or the other that it has gotten a charge of colostrum. He'll more than likely get up on those toes in a couple of days just as everyone else has said, but may need some help to a teat in the meantime. Brent
Title: Re: Quick help steer planet.
Post by: Malinda on October 17, 2008, 04:04:16 PM
Hey StillLearning,

Do you live in a Selenium deficient area? You might want to talk with  your vet and see if he/she thinks the calf needs Bo-Se.

Glad you got the rascal on the ground alive and hope he gets turned around quickly.

Malinda
Title: Re: Quick help steer planet.
Post by: justamom on October 17, 2008, 05:35:18 PM
We have had some big calves do that too, I think they are so jammed up in Mamma that they are all bent, usually it takes a couple of days but we have
wrapped the legs wtih horse wrap and that helps alot, it breaks my heart though when I see a calf struggle with life, but as long as he can drink he should come out of it.
A year ago we had a mamma fall on her calf cause she was partially paralized, she broke his hind legs right at the hip joint, we tried to cast it some but it never
got better so we had to destroy it, that was the worst day of my life, except for when we had to put our dog to sleep.
Title: Re: Quick help steer planet.
Post by: DL on October 17, 2008, 06:15:15 PM
So the cow I have been asking about had her calf.  He is a 100 lb bull calf.

I got home and found him.   The only thing is that he hasn't stood much since I got home, and when he did, he is walking on his front fetlocks.  Google search gives me a picture that looks like arthrogryposis. 

I was able to help him straigthen the joint, but he was like a pig on roller skates.  Any help or has my luck continued.  Is a vet call in order?

SL - What you are describing is "contracted tendons" a fairly common problem in the bovine calf. Because you can move the joint and straighten it means (to me) that he does not have arthrogryposis (which is basically fixed or frozen joints and limbs)

What happens with contracted tendons is this
There are tendons on both sides of the limb - flexor tendons (make the joint bend) are on one side and estensor tendons (straighten joint) on the other. If for example the flexor tendons are "contracted" (shortened) then the limb will be "curled up" - if the extensor tendons are contracted then it pulls the toes up and drops the fetlock.

The general thought is that these calves get "jammed up" in a certain position but there certainly could be other factors involved - generally they do fine

What you can  do - you can split the calf - probably will make him feel better (and you too) and move around more - you can splint with something as simple as the sticks you get to stir paint, cotton roll and duct tape - make sure the toes are warm and remove every couple of days.

You can stretch the limb in the proper direction a couple times a day or actually you can probably do nothing

I agree that you make sure the calf gets colostrum and if you are in a selenium deficient state talk to your vet about BoSe and maybe vitamins A,D and E

Good luck
Title: Re: Quick help steer planet.
Post by: linnettejane on October 17, 2008, 07:25:31 PM
we had a large calf like this once and we used plastic pipe for a splint.... when cut vertical came about 2/3 of the way around the leg and used vet wrap and duct tape to secure....it took about 1 week for one leg to get straightened out and a week and half for the other....but it enabled the calf to get up and nurse good...our vet also gave him the shots mentioned above...
Title: Re: Quick help steer planet.
Post by: linnettejane on October 17, 2008, 07:40:17 PM
i found some pics of the big guy....he made a full recovery and turned out just fine...
the first pic was taken about the 2nd or 3rd day he had them on, the second pic was taken after 1 week and we had just taken off one of them...
we changed them a couple times...would take them off to see if he was up on his hooves yet...
Title: Re: Quick help steer planet.
Post by: Cattledog on October 17, 2008, 11:45:40 PM
i found some pics of the big guy....he made a full recovery and turned out just fine...
the first pic was taken about the 2nd or 3rd day he had them on, the second pic was taken after 1 week and we had just taken off one of them...
we changed them a couple times...would take them off to see if he was up on his hooves yet...

Thanks for posting the picture.  that is really interesting!  Do those ear warmers come in handy?  I have seen them advertised but never bought any.
Title: Re: Quick help steer planet.
Post by: linnettejane on October 18, 2008, 05:07:42 AM
well.....the ear warmers are....really cute!   ;D  and it was pretty cold...temps were hanging around 0 when this calf was born....ask my husband and he says they weren't really necessary(we kept this calf and momma in the barn for about a month)....ask me and i say yes.......the only issue i had with them was at first when the momma was constantly licking on the calf, she would get them off (the pair i have only has velcro holding it on)...but after a couple days, she finally started leaving them alone...
Title: Re: Quick help steer planet.
Post by: inthebarnagain on October 18, 2008, 08:36:01 AM
If he can get up and nurse despite standing on his fetlocks I would leave him alone.  I saw more problems with pressure sores from bandages not padded properly or circulation issues from bandages being too tight when I was at Purdue than I would ever care to see and most of the time the animal would have been better off without the bandages.
Title: Re: Quick help steer planet.
Post by: red on October 18, 2008, 11:39:43 AM
he is darling! Don't tell me it's time for ear warmers yet!

DL wrote an excellent article on calving in cold weather. I know it's early for that but here's the link.  http://www.steerplanet.com/content/view/21/52/

Red
Title: Re: Quick help steer planet.
Post by: linnettejane on October 18, 2008, 02:44:13 PM
no, its not time for them yet....this was a calf we had back in 2004 i believe...we calve in jan and feb....and usually have to use them once or twice a year....
Title: Re: Quick help steer planet.
Post by: dori36 on October 18, 2008, 03:42:00 PM
he is darling! Don't tell me it's time for ear warmers yet!

DL wrote an excellent article on calving in cold weather. I know it's early for that but here's the link.  [url]http://www.steerplanet.com/content/view/21/52/[/url]

Red


Good article but I had to  chuckle at "Every calf at Kaiser Cattle gets a polar fleece coat"....or close to that.  When I worked in Wyoming on the ranch where commercial cattle were raised, 1000 cows calved starting in mid February and 90% finished by end of March.  The overwhelming majority calve within a 3 week window with upwards of 50 calves are born every day for what seems like forever!  Putting coats on just isn't an option!  However, good management and getting the heavy (ready to calve) cows out of the meadows and up to the corrals is essential.   Every day you go out on the 4 wheeler and sort out the heavies and bring them up to the barn/corral.  Makes one VERY good at spotting cows that are within a day or 2 of calving. They straw down (unroll several 1500 pound round bales of straw) the entire outside perimeter of a very large barn so at least the cows have a clean dry place to calve.  Of course, not all of them are too bright and some calves are discovered frozen to the ground.  Calf warmers are used at times and more than once a calf has gotten its start in the basement of the house.  After calving, mother and calf are moved into the barn where they stay for about 48 hrs.  In that time, the calf is tagged and dehorned (paste) if they have buds.  They, they're booted out into the cold Wyoming weather.  If they've nursed , it's amazing what they can tolerate.  During the heavy calving weeks, the herd is checked at least every 2 hrs around the clock.  The average on this ranch for successful calving percentage is around 98%.  If you count the twins, it's over 100%. The general feeling is that new calves can tolerate being cold or they can tolerate being wet but then can't tolerate (for long) being cold AND wet.  I learned more than any book could ever teach me on that ranch!  Also learned that ranching is only glamorous in books and movies!!   (lol)