Calf tongue hanging out/foaming at mouth

jcrice07

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Got calf at 3 days old and bottle feed. Now he's about 1 mo. old. He ate fine at first but has progressively gotten slower. He wants to suck but is having trouble doing so. It takes him an hour to eat a bottle. He doesn't seem interested in grain or hay. His tongue hangs out of the right side of his mouth. Slobbers and foams ALOT! Other than that he is a regular cow.
 

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Greetings @jcrice07 from the front range in Colorado. :frow Welcome to BYH. Sorry it's a problem that brought you here, but I hope some of the good folks here can help you get it taken care of. I don't know squat about cows, so I'm going to tag a few folks who have graciously helped others before you. Hopefully they can help you as well. I would expect they will need a lot more info first though, so expect some detailed questions.

@WildRoseBeef @jhm47 @greybeard @Bossroo @Ridgetop

Hope it works out for you.
 

jcrice07

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Thank you. I am getting concerned. Thinking about calling a vet.
 

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Perhaps that would be a wise choice... What you're describing does not sound normal by any stretch.
 

WildRoseBeef

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Sounds like a bad case of pneumonia. When their tongues are hanging out like that and foaming at the mouth that means the calf is having difficulty breathing. You need to give him electrolytes ASAP and definitely get the vet out ASAP and immediately, because he sounds like he's going downhill fast, and you could lose him in a matter of days.

Is he acting lethargic or acting dull and depressed, coughing, wheezing/gasping for air when trying to suckle, etc? There's nothing normal nor regular about what you described at all.

A one month old calf should be eagerly eating his food (especially if he likes the taste of the stuff), suckling at the bottle like mad and being as rambunctious as any healthy calf can be, and not be slobbering or have his tongue hanging out like that.

Your vet will recommend an antibiotic (if it's still a bacterial infection and not progressed to a viral one--those are particularly nasty to deal with), and regular tubing or feeding of electrolytes.

And while the vet is there, get him to castrate and dis-bud the calf as well. You don't need to make a pet out of a bull, there's too many horror stories of what happens when someone decides to keep a "cute" bull calf as a pet on here.
 

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Please let us know long term how he does.
I saw this but had absolutely no advice what-so-ever.
I know nothing about cattle.

Glad you had the vet out and he is being treated.

Belated welcome to BYH:)
 

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Did the vet say what the issue was? Glad the prognosis is good!
 

jhm47

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I would second Wild Rose Beef's comments, but I would caution you to NOT castrate and dehorn the calf at this time. The added stress would likely kill him in this time of obvious distress due to illness. And, if the calf is as bad as you say, it's likely that his lungs are damaged beyond repair, no matter what treatments are given. I had a calf on pasture last summer that I didn't notice was exhibiting pneumonia symptoms. By the time I noticed him, his lungs were damaged beyond repair. I treated him, but to no avail, and he died several weeks later.

FYI: I have since purchased a "dart gun" (around $400) that is manually pumped up, and can deliver medications without restraining an animal. Works great, and is well worth the $$$. I have several neighbors and relatives who use it, and it's a great way to treat individual animals without stressing the whole herd by having to gather, sort, and finally treat an animal. I've used it to treat respiratory problems and also hoof rot. The new generation of antibiotics allows us to treat an animal once, and it lasts up to a week or more depending on the med. The darts cost a little $5 - $6 each, and the meds are expensive (up to $40 /dose), but using something that WORKS well is well worth the $$$. Since I have a very good relationship with several vets, I'm able to purchase my antibiotics and other meds in bulk, and that saves me a lot of $$$ in vet visits. It's also much cheaper to buy the drugs in bulk, rather than in individual doses. I realize that most of you can't do this since you have fewer cattle than I have. If anyone is interested in how these dart guns work, PM me, and I'll try to explain it to you. Good luck!
 
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