Calf cant stand on her own

Zummerol

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OK so let me start right at the beginning regarding this calf... the owner was not aware his cow had calved as his cows roam all over the roads and beaches here and the cow calved on the banks of one of our lagoons. She abandoned the calf. When the calf was found by the owner she was in shock and hypothermic. I have no idea if the calf had colostum. He took the calf home and put it in his garage with no heat lamp no meds nothing and because the animal could not stand up he put her in a sling while he was at work for 8 hours at a time so she was only fed when and if he remembered or had the time. He was also feeding her store bought milk... some do gooders with absolutely no experience with livestock came across this little girl on one of our coldest days about 3 weeks ago lying in her own urine and feces and once again frozen and hypothermic. They took over the care of this animal for the owner buying all the milk, feeding etc... once again no antibiotics vitamins or otherwise was given. I heard about the calf and phoned one of the ladies and offered to help with meds etc but they said all was fine they were sorted. Then last week Thursday they were deciding whether to euthanaise the animal as she was still not standing on her own and I offered for them to bring her to my farm where we could put her in the shed where it's warm and my vet was coming the next day and let a vet check her over and make an educated decision on her. So the vet came was appalled that no antibiotics were given no anti inflamatories no vitamins nothing and the fact that no vet had seen this animal in the 5 weeks of its life considering its condition. Anyway I have now been left with this animal and have given it all the meds recommended by the vet as he says she deserves a chance my problem with her is this:
She cannot stand up on her own, she cannot lie curled up like most calves she lies flat. When I do manage to get her up her muscles are super stiff and she battles to walk. If she tries to run she just falls over. I have to push her to get her to walk. Every morning her body and legs are warm to the knees but from the knees down she is ice cold... she has had a hard start to life but if I can help her I will but I do not want her to suffer any more than necessary.
 

Mini Horses

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Wow. She's alive, barely. Massage her legs and move them as physical therapy. Put sweater sleeves on lower legs. She's sore. No muscle use. I commend your efforts! Obviously walking would help, if she's able. She can't just lay, systems won't work. A sling may be a way to support her while her legs are moved to help flex muscle and joints. This needs to be several times a day. Hope your a home body. :hugs This is on top of the feed and meds.....I'm not a cow owner but these are animal function needs. It's what I've done with mini horses and goats with injury.

You may want to ask vet about pain meds?
 

Zummerol

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Wow. She's alive, barely. Massage her legs and move them as physical therapy. Put sweater sleeves on lower legs. She's sore. No muscle use. I commend your efforts! Obviously walking would help, if she's able. She can't just lay, systems won't work. A sling may be a way to support her while her legs are moved to help flex muscle and joints. This needs to be several times a day. Hope your a home body. :hugs This is on top of the feed and meds.....I'm not a cow owner but these are animal function needs. It's what I've done with mini horses and goats with injury.

You may want to ask vet about pain meds?
Thank you.. she is currently only drinking milk... not eating any solids or drinking water as she can't get to it..
 

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Could you add water between bottles? She certainly has under developed muscle and tendon from non use. Without that help, I see major problems to come. Will her legs bend? Could she be propped up with a bale of hay part of day? How do you feed her the bottle? She can't take laying down....how is her response to handling? Can she walk at all?

I find banamine works well with pain and swelling in both goats and horses, for several hours. Was this one of items suggested, given? Not sure if it's ok for cattle, ask vet.
 

farmerjan

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We use Banamine for cattle so yes it is safe. It sounds to me that the lack of development to the lower legs will be a life long thing. And at this age, she will not "grow" better muscles, tendons, or even the blood veins/vessels to carry the blood to the extremities. Long term laying down in cattle, and other large animals, will only cause her to develop pneumonia in the lungs and the rumen and such to not be able to develop properly.
I don't like to be negative, but I honestly think you are prolonging her suffering. The possibility that she also had some joint ill, which will manifest its self in the stiff joints, and they often are swollen, but not always. If that is the case, it will never get better... and the joints will be less and less functional.
 

Zummerol

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Could you add water between bottles? She certainly has under developed muscle and tendon from non use. Without that help, I see major problems to come. Will her legs bend? Could she be propped up with a bale of hay part of day? How do you feed her the bottle? She can't take laying down....how is her response to handling? Can she walk at all?

I find banamine works well with pain and swelling in both goats and horses, for several hours. Was this one of items suggested, given? Not sure if it's ok for cattle, ask vet.
The vet recommended finadyne for pain and inflamation. I put a dog harness on her and stand her up between my legs for her to take her bottle she can bend her legs but the back legs are a lot stiffer than the front. She walks with me on the harness but only when forced to. She loves handling and being touched i think she is starved of it. Would it do damage if I forced her to stay in the curled position for short periods of time as lying flat all the time is not normal.
We use Banamine for cattle so yes it is safe. It sounds to me that the lack of development to the lower legs will be a life long thing. And at this age, she will not "grow" better muscles, tendons, or even the blood veins/vessels to carry the blood to the extremities. Long term laying down in cattle, and other large animals, will only cause her to develop pneumonia in the lungs and the rumen and such to not be able to develop properly.
I don't like to be negative, but I honestly think you are prolonging her suffering. The possibility that she also had some joint ill, which will manifest its self in the stiff joints, and they often are swollen, but not always. If that is the case, it will never get better... and the joints will be less and less functional.
Not negative honest. I just want honesty at this point. She is very sweet but don't want her to suffer...
 

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farmerjan

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We can all give our opinions from the distance. The fact that you have a vet involved says alot for you. I would go with what the vet suggests. If they don't think she is suffering more, than less, then do what you can. You certainly have done more than most people. She might be like someone with cerebral palsy, and in the future it will be a worse problem but if the vet feels you might be able to get her to some level of better, then bless your heart. The worst thing, is she will grow and be alot bigger than say, dealing with something that hits 200 lbs..... and the size and weight will be a determining factor of how much you will be able to do.
I don't see how making her legs stayed more bent for short periods of time would hurt. Physical therapy has me bending and doing things with my knees that hurt and they ache, but it does help them to be more flexible in the long run.
 

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She really is a cute thing. So sad she has had such a poor start. I hope she improves for you and the vet. :love Miracles do happen. Please keep us updated on her.
 

Zummerol

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OK an update on the little one.. she seemed to be improving and standing for longer periods of time without support. Still can't walk without support as she has very poor balance... seems to have taken a turn for the worse... she had a bout of scours that I managed to sort out... I think it was more from the meds but I think she is tired of all the struggling now... she seems to be in pain a lot and even though she is moving better it is not without pain... she has just had her evening bottle and not really interested in it.. she did not finish it and she just looks so tired... I think now she is just suffering and it's time to end it...😭
 
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