Calf with a Cough

MyFather'sSheep

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My 7 week old Holstein calf has a dry cough after it being wet and the temp dropping from 72 to 27 degreesin 24 hrs. We put a blanket on her and she has shelter. What could or should I do for her?
 

Rammy

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I hope she's not getting pnuemonia. It can happen this time of year. Can you take her to a vet or call one to come out and check? I had one get it and a lady up the street who has cows happened to have some meds to treat him. Keep her warm and in a dry place. @farmerjan knows alot about cows. Maybe she has some better suggestions and advice. Hope she will be ok.
 

farmerjan

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Could be the start of pneumonia, or the BRSV which is a resp virus. DRY #1, and then warm. If it continues for more than 36-48 hours, call the vet. They will probably, hopefully, give you something like either Nuflor, or Baytril. Shot to be given under the skin (SQ). Calves can get very sick very quick. If you do not have an already existing relationship with the vet, then they may require a visit.
You can buy Penicillin and LA200 or LA300 (oxytet) over the counter. Different types of pen, I like the dura-pen type. I am not afraid to give a shot of pen for 2 or 3 days for something like that. Follow directions. I try to keep it around for any kind of problem as a precaution. As long as the calf is eating and drinking you should be okay. Staying hydrated is the biggest thing.

Is this your first calf? A couple of days with a cough, but no other symptoms is not the end of the world, but a cough can quickly "go south" so bears watching. You don't want them to get lung damage so better to err on the side of caution and treat, than let it go and they get worse and then will take more to respond to treatment.
 

MyFather'sSheep

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Could be the start of pneumonia, or the BRSV which is a resp virus. DRY #1, and then warm. If it continues for more than 36-48 hours, call the vet. They will probably, hopefully, give you something like either Nuflor, or Baytril. Shot to be given under the skin (SQ). Calves can get very sick very quick. If you do not have an already existing relationship with the vet, then they may require a visit.
You can buy Penicillin and LA200 or LA300 (oxytet) over the counter. Different types of pen, I like the dura-pen type. I am not afraid to give a shot of pen for 2 or 3 days for something like that. Follow directions. I try to keep it around for any kind of problem as a precaution. As long as the calf is eating and drinking you should be okay. Staying hydrated is the biggest thing.

Is this your first calf? A couple of days with a cough, but no other symptoms is not the end of the world, but a cough can quickly "go south" so bears watching. You don't want them to get lung damage so better to err on the side of caution and treat, than let it go and they get worse and then will take more to respond to treatment.

Yes, this is my first calf. I have only heard three coughs in two days, which leads me to believe it is not terribly serious, but I could be wrong. She is eating and drinking normally. She is very active as well. I will see how she is tomorrow. Thanks!
 

MyFather'sSheep

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It has been over a week. She is eating and drinking well, and very active. I still hear her cough after her evening bottle. Am I wrong to assume she is fine?
 

greybeard

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With calves, never assume very much.
If it continues for more than 36-48 hours, call the vet....... You don't want them to get lung damage so better to err on the side of caution and treat, than let it go and they get worse and then will take more to respond to treatment.
That's pretty sage advice right there..
 

farmerjan

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If the calf is only doing it after the evening bottle, it could be that it is guzzling it too fast and getting a little in it's lungs. Another thing. So many people who feed bottles hold it up too high. If you look at the bottle and the calf from the side view, it is like a straight line from your arms holding it, nipple in the mouth, right down into the throat and calf's stomach.
A calf has to reach UNDER the cow, and tilt it's head UP to get the cows teat in most cases. So looking from the side, the calf's neck has a little bit of a U shape. This prevents the milk from getting into the windpipe and causes it to "close off" while the calf is drinking. The milk then goes into the calf's stomach.
It could be that you are just holding the bottle too high, and the calf is getting a bit into it's windpipe instead of all down it's throat to the stomach. Try holding it a little lower and see if that helps. If you can, look at a picture of a calf sucking a cow to get an idea of what I am trying to explain.
 

MyFather'sSheep

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Thank you @farmerjan! I was holding the bottle too high. I will adjust in the morning.
If the calf is only doing it after the evening bottle, it could be that it is guzzling it too fast and getting a little in it's lungs. Another thing. So many people who feed bottles hold it up too high. If you look at the bottle and the calf from the side view, it is like a straight line from your arms holding it, nipple in the mouth, right down into the throat and calf's stomach.
A calf has to reach UNDER the cow, and tilt it's head UP to get the cows teat in most cases. So looking from the side, the calf's neck has a little bit of a U shape. This prevents the milk from getting into the windpipe and causes it to "close off" while the calf is drinking. The milk then goes into the calf's stomach.
It could be that you are just holding the bottle too high, and the calf is getting a bit into it's windpipe instead of all down it's throat to the stomach. Try holding it a little lower and see if that helps. If you can, look at a picture of a calf sucking a cow to get an idea of what I am trying to explain.
 

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