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Abscess in one month old calf

Discussion in 'Diseases & Injuries - Cattle' started by cjc, Oct 3, 2016.

  1. Oct 3, 2016
    cjc

    cjc Loving the herd life

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    On Saturday I discovered one of my one month old (5.5 weeks) Angus bottle calves looked like he swallowed a tennis ball! My mother checked them him at 6am and said he was fine, I was there at noon and I noticed him standing in a paddock, not greeting me as he normally would. I went to check on him and found a giant lump on the side of his face. He was eating fine and acting somewhat normal but had a bad case of the runs. Temperature was a little up but not much. I showed a friend who instantly told me "lumpy jaw". I of course got to googling and starting panicking! A lot of the results from reading about it were not good and he is just a baby and I couldn't find any cases of this on a calf this young online. I called the vet and he came out and said the calf had a piece of grain or hay stuck in his molar or cheek which has given him an abscess. The vet drained the abscess and gave him a long lasting antibiotic under the skin. I am going to repeat that drug on Tuesday. I have also been cleaning the abscess with iodine. He doesn't like it of course so ive really just been squirting it with the iodine and bloating it when he has his bottle. He still has the runs pretty bad so I have been giving him electrolytes at lunch and still keeping with his morning and evening milk. After the vet drained the abscess the next day it was massive, which he warned me about, and today it seems to be going down, as he said it would. I am just wondering if anyone has any experience/advice on this type of issue. This calf was a twin so he's a little guy. His twin brother probably has a good 40lbs on him so I just assume he's a little more sensitive health wise due to his size. Anything you think I should do/stop doing to help this little guy recover?
    Thing 2-1.jpg Thing 2-2.jpg Thing 2-3.jpg
     
  2. Oct 3, 2016
    Green Acres Farm

    Green Acres Farm True BYH Addict

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    I know *nothing* about cows, but when goats have diarrhea, 99% of the time it's parasites. Has he had a fecal run?
     
  3. Oct 3, 2016
    cjc

    cjc Loving the herd life

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    The diarrhea is from the infection from the abscess. I am not 100% sure of that but when these bottle calves get run down by any illness or infections the runs come hand in hand. His poop has gone from pure water to now like a runny mud, so improving. Hopefully with some more days of electrolytes and the next dose of drugs tomorrow it will go away.

    Here is a picture of him from today. 2 Days after the Abscess was drained

    Thing 2 Monday.jpg
     
  4. Oct 3, 2016
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses True BYH Addict

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    Still there but improving. So keep up with the drugs!! Otherwise he may not totally heal. As for the iodine, it is to help but, have you tried a hot, wet compress? That will help wash off any dried materials that are draining and you MUST keep it open to drain....then it will heal.

    The warmth will also be comforting to the wound, so try it while he's nursing. Yes, I know you only have a few minutes for them to suck that bottle down!!:cool: have it all ready and soon as he latches on, put that sucker on the wound, hold it a couple minutes, then put more water on there. Wipe right at the incision the vet made, even pressure from top of swollen area to push any abcess materials out.

    Just my thoughts from afar. :hugs
     
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  5. Oct 3, 2016
    cjc

    cjc Loving the herd life

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    You're so right I need to do that! This is a lame excuse but the barn has no warm water haha. I'll have to bring some out from the house. I have been giving him really big electrolyte bottles to keep him hydrated so that will give me enough time to use a hot compress. It obviously hurts him because normally I cant get him out of my face haha.
     
  6. Oct 3, 2016
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses True BYH Addict

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    And it will hurt less the more it drains. Relieves the pressure and his cells can reduce swelling, etc. Trust me on this, not cows but many goats & horses ... especially when the horse & donkeys were castrated. Now there's an end you want to be careful around! But, if it doesn't drain the swelling is quite painful.

    Take a bucket of pretty hot water and some rags. By the time you get there, take them out and get to him with it they will cool some. It will help. He will love you for it.
     
  7. Oct 3, 2016
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Did the vet do a culture of the contents of the fluid in the abscess?
    It may or may not be lumpy jaw. Lumpy jaw can come about by a puncture inside or outside the mouth by straw, hay, wire anything really. Even new tooth eruptions. That is how it comes about however for it to be lumpy jaw it would culture positive for the bacteria Actinomyces bovis.
    Actinobacillus lignieresii
    causes wooden tongue.

    The treatment for lumpy jaw is high dosage of antibiotics along with Sodium Iodide given IV. Flushing with Iodine is helpful but treatment requires IV Sodium Iodide generally 3 treatments 10 days apart.

    Best to isolate him as the drainage if leaked on hay etc and ingested by another will expose them.

    What antibiotic is he on?
     
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  8. Oct 3, 2016
    Green Acres Farm

    Green Acres Farm True BYH Addict

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    One of our bucks I think probably punctured his cheek and developed an abscess. Took him to the vet and had it drained, tested, etc. Thankfully it wasn't CL! I sure was scared, though, as it was a CL site!
     
  9. Oct 4, 2016
    cjc

    cjc Loving the herd life

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    The vet did not test it as he said he was really confident with his diagnoses. He said that if it continued to get worse he would take more measures to look into the issue but he didn't feel it was necessary. He said he knew this was not lumpy jaw because the abscess is not actually connected to the jaw, it can be rolled around and moved away from the jaw which proved to him that it was just an abscess. He also said that you wouldn't see something like lumpy jaw in a one month old calf and that all in all he was really healthy. He said he would be struggling to eat if it were lumpy jaw and in a lot of pain. But yes...that was my first thought for sure and it was why I called the vet immediately. When I read about lumpy jaw I was panicked! I did not want this little guy to suffer.

    You know I am not even sure what type of antibiotics he was prescribed but its a milky liquid that I am injecting under the skin. I am giving him his second dose today at noon. If this doesn't clear up more by the weekend I think ill take him back to the vet.
     
  10. Oct 4, 2016
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    The goal is to treat BEFORE it affects the bone. It doesn't start in the bone.
    NO way of knowing the bacteria without a culture.
    I am hoping it was not. One reason there is not much success in lumpy jaw in cattle is because poor initial diagnosis allows the bacteria to get to the bone and by that time well....

    More than likely it is NOT. However for future reference whenever there is an abscess have it cultured to see what kind of bacteria it is.
    It also helps in determining what kind of antibiotic.

    Lumpy jaw does not cause pain until it hits the bone and causes secondary affects. It also may not cause issues eating UNTIL the abscess is too large or the bone has been affected. Or if the abscess is extremely large and has not been able to drain.

    :hugs