Calf With Swollen Cheek

JonesLaneHomestead

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Hello,
I am new and this is my first time posting, so please forgive me if I have put this in the wrong section.
I have a little South Poll calf that I am taking care of for my sister and her husband. He was rejected at some point. They found him last Wednesday. So we are not sure if he got any colostrum. He hadn't learned how to take from a bottle. I got him Saturday. We have been tubing him for the last couple days, all the while trying to get him to take a bottle. He finally is slowly learning to suck starting last night.
I noticed yesterday though, that his right cheek was looking kind of swollen. I felt inside his mouth and thought he might have bitten his cheek (he has really sharp teeth, I have found out multiple times). This morning it was a little more swollen. He is drooling a lot.
From the bit of research I have done, it seems the closest like lumpjaw. The only thing is, that it is pretty firm, not squishy like an abscess.
Also, he had the start of scouring when I first got him, but it seemed to get better. I just switched formulas on him last night and this morning he had red in his droppings. It has looked fine till now. I think it is from the switch, but just want to make sure.
Any thoughts? I would greatly appreciate any ideas on what is going on with his cheek. I just want the little guy to grow big and strong.
Thank you.
 

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JonesLaneHomestead

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I'm actually about to go give him some electrolytes, just to see if it helps with the scouring issues.
 

jhm47

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Hello,
I am new and this is my first time posting, so please forgive me if I have put this in the wrong section.
I have a little South Poll calf that I am taking care of for my sister and her husband. He was rejected at some point. They found him last Wednesday. So we are not sure if he got any colostrum. He hadn't learned how to take from a bottle. I got him Saturday. We have been tubing him for the last couple days, all the while trying to get him to take a bottle. He finally is slowly learning to suck starting last night.
I noticed yesterday though, that his right cheek was looking kind of swollen. I felt inside his mouth and thought he might have bitten his cheek (he has really sharp teeth, I have found out multiple times). This morning it was a little more swollen. He is drooling a lot.
From the bit of research I have done, it seems the closest like lumpjaw. The only thing is, that it is pretty firm, not squishy like an abscess.
Also, he had the start of scouring when I first got him, but it seemed to get better. I just switched formulas on him last night and this morning he had red in his droppings. It has looked fine till now. I think it is from the switch, but just want to make sure.
Any thoughts? I would greatly appreciate any ideas on what is going on with his cheek. I just want the little guy to grow big and strong.
Thank you.
I'd be far more concerned with the red in his droppings. Could be Coccidiosis or several other things. Get him to a vet ASAP!
 

JonesLaneHomestead

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I am very sure that it isn't coccidiosis. He didn't have it until after I switched formulas. It is doing better now. I think it is from all the diarrhea since it is a bright red not dark like if it was internal.
 

greybeard

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Yes, looks like lump jaw, properly called Actinomycosis and it's caused by a bacteria, usually a.bovis.
Not unusual in young calves with teeth coming in. The bacteria is normally already present, and some kind of tissue puncture allow the bacteria inside the soft tissue and swelling begins. In older animals, it's usually caused by a puncture inside the mouth from a foreign object like wire or really stemmy sharp hay. It starts off as a hard lump and fills with pus and then becomes softer.
If it gets bad enough, it will have to be lanced and irrigated out.
There's a different kind that is a bone infection and it's harder to deal with.


https://www.beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_lump_jaw

Thanks for a very GOOD set of pictures of the problem side contrasted with the other unaffected side!
 

JonesLaneHomestead

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Yes, looks like lump jaw, properly called Actinomycosis and it's caused by a bacteria, usually a.bovis.
Not unusual in young calves with teeth coming in. The bacteria is normally already present, and some kind of tissue puncture allow the bacteria inside the soft tissue and swelling begins. In older animals, it's usually caused by a puncture inside the mouth from a foreign object like wire or really stemmy sharp hay. It starts off as a hard lump and fills with pus and then becomes softer.
If it gets bad enough, it will have to be lanced and irrigated out.
There's a different kind that is a bone infection and it's harder to deal with.


https://www.beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_lump_jaw

Thanks for a very GOOD set of pictures of the problem side contrasted with the other unaffected side!

Thank you for the information. I am trying to figure out whether he has the soft or the bony. It is still firm but the swelling has moved down. So his throat feels very puffy. I am concerned it is affection him tube/bottle feeding.

This morning I went to tube him and I can't get the tube all the way down his throat. It is like I am hitting a barrier. I can get it in his mouth, down past the "Adam's apple", and then it just stops midway down the throat. I didn't have a problem before. When we turn the tube on, it trickles down and then comes back up. So there is a blockage and I don't know what it is.

Any thoughts?
 

greybeard

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Thoughts are...get the vet out today..if you can't tube it and it won't suck a bottle, it's condition is going to go downhill really really quickly.

The soft tissue kind start off hard, then get softer as the abscess forms and fills with pus.
I've not had any experience with the bone type.
 
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