Sick calf

secuono

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Going to try & list everything & in order...

All ideas on what to do now welcomed.

•Bought on June 28th as a 6 week* bull, zebu calf, on bottle.

*Was actually 5wk 2 days old.


Born May 22nd, currently 7 weeks 1 day old.

Everything was honky-dory at first, drinking from bottle enthusiastically. Bottle & nipple is the one he's been using.

He was getting 2 pints twice a day. New bin of powdered probiotics, one scoop added to each bottle.

I added a noon bottle of 1 pint. He was very thin, evidence of scours.


•July 1st & 2nd, he was slightly different, still taking bottle & happy to see me, but something was odd. Noticed nose wrinkling, occasional teeth grinding, grunting/not breathing normally when laying.


•Morning of July 2nd, he took his bottle, but wasn't thrilled about it. He then refused the bottle the rest of the day.


•Morning of July 3rd, took him to the vet, started tube feeding.
Vet listened to lungs & then used a mobile ultrasound. Showed me where the infection was.
Vet gave bose & something for the pneumonia, gave fluids under the skin, told me to up his milk to total 1 gallon a day.


•Morning of July 4th, had trouble tube feeding & took him to the vet and he said he probably has an ulcer and told to give antacids for it for a few days. Calf had milk coming up out the mouth.


•Morning of July 5th, he was happy to see me, head butting, but refusing bottle. 20mL Pepto given.

He slowly started getting sad again.


•9pm July 7th, temp spiked & I took him to the vet. He took blood, gave fluids and nuflor. Told to give 3× a day, 30mL of Pepto. Stop antacids. 105.1F


•Morning of July 8th, blood work shows elevated white blood count, so an infection somewhere in the body. 105.5F


•Morning of July 9th, 105.2F. Other than slowly moving away from me, there's not much change in behavior. Still hiding in the barn laying around, not drinking water nor eating.

Noon July 9th, 104.5F. Got 2mL injection of dexamethasone, some fluids under skin.

Night July 9th, still spitting up some milk with every tube feeding. Lessened amount fed, still spitting up.


•Morning of July 10th, less milk, still spitting up. 102.4F

Evening of July 10th, put him out of the barn to clean and decided to splash my hand in the water in a bucket. He drank! Then he wandered, found another bucket n drank a sip here n there, nibble of grass. More wandering and sips n nibbles, repeating. He did eat a few pellets. Generally weak, slow, just blah, but ears are up, tiny bit of sniffing n licking me.

5pm, 103.2F, spent day outside, sips a little water.


•Morning of July 11th, down to 2.5cup total milk fed & still spitting up.
102.4F. Nibbled a little pellets. Skin is super tight, fluids don't really go in.

Noon, 2cups of electrolytes tube fed.

Later evening July 11th, licking me for 15min.

8pm July 11th, 2.5 cups milk, still spits up.



And that's where we are now.
He Will Not drink enough nor eat enough of anything on his own, he only sips tiny amounts or picks up 2-4 pellets. Will not take bottle nor pan of milk.

Any ideas what is wrong?
What tests to have vet run?
What to give him or try?
Is he a dead calf walking & I'm prolonging the inevitable??
 
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farmerjan

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I would get in contact with the original sellers... I have no real good suggestions at this point. Dex can cause appetite depression.... not used to calves spitting up milk.... I expect there is damage to the esophagheal tube from all the tubing???? really don't know. Never had a calf with an ulcer at that age so can't comment on that. With all the things he has gotten, his gut flora is so far out of normal, that it may be causing his disinterest in eating too.
 

misfitmorgan

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What kind of milk are you using?

We had one calf die and thought the other two were going to die. Then @farmerjan told us to switch to milk based formula instead of the soy based we were using. That fixed everything and the two remaining calves are happy and healthy.

They had heavy scours, teeth grinding, no interest in food, depressed, kept asperating, and refusing bottles. We tried tube feeding as well, electrolytes, probiotics, etc nothing was helping. Within 48hrs of switching to milk base formula they were perfectly fine. Might not be your problem but worth asking.

We use MannaPro Suckle Select.
 

Mini Horses

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You might add a little live yogurt to first couple bottles....or syringe some into mouth...to help gut flora. May get things started back to normal.
 

misfitmorgan

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Read your thread on the moo journal, for more info.

Full size calves get 1/2 gallon per day. The Mini Zubu international page does say to feed mini zebu 64-96oz per day depending on calf size so 4-6 pints per day, I would stick with 4 pints to encourage him to eat more solid food so his rumen can start developing/working properly. Over fed calves will not be motivated to eat solid food.

In my very limited experience dont feed him anything for 24hrs then offer him a bottle of electrolytes in the morning, then a bottle of CALF milk replacer at night. Give him a chance for his system to flush out all the mistakes you and your vet have made. He is not going to drop dead without a bottle for 24hrs.

Our newest Holstein calves are 6 1/2 weeks old and still only picking at hay and grain, so it takes quite awhile. Our oldest holstein calves were not weaned off bottles until they were almost 4 months old. Our younger holestein calves will get milk until they are 3-4 months old as well.

We literally killed a calf trying to "fix" it. We were throwing everything at that calf including tube feeding, and doing the same with the other two calves. Giving them a 24hrs break and nothing else but electrolytes then whey/milk based formula and a dose of probiotic gel fixed it all. Scours were cleared up within 24 hrs and their appetite came back.

Tips on bottle feeding/care from the Mini Zebu International Assoc. Says nothing about not feeding calf formula. After seeing the damage soy based calf formula did to our calves, I would definitely try a calf milk replacer for your Zebu. I have not see anything online that says not to use calf replacer for mini zebu(I can not access FB at work though)
https://www.imza.name/tips-on-bottle-feeding

We are buying auction barn steers and the right milk, zero issues. Your farm raised mini zebu should not be having these problems.
 

secuono

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I can't figure out the multi quoting, so I'll put it all in a regular reply..


He is on Sav-A-Lam milk replacer.
I don't use soy replacer, as I had huge problems with lambs on it. Switched to Sav-A-Lam & haven't had problems since. I also have a gram scale & weigh out the powder for perfect accuracy.

Most Zebu breeders in the FB forums say to use a soy free lamb milk.
There was a vet in Florida that said to use it after a breeder had their calves get seizures from the copper in calf milk.

I might have access to raw cows milk. I'll see if I can still get that.

Does the yogurt actually say "live" on it or something? Not sure I've ever seen that. I'll look.

The spitting up happened the 2nd day on tube, so possibly something not right from the start. Certainly getting worse from continued tubing.

I've told the breeder. See picture for their reply.

He's not bone thin anymore, only positive.


I asked the largest Zebu FB Group for the best milk replacer for zebu calves-
20210712_101325.jpg20210712_101703.jpg20210712_101538.jpg20210712_101450.jpg20210712_101407.jpg

Breeder reply-
Screenshot_20210712-100758_Messenger.jpg
 

misfitmorgan

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I can't figure out the multi quoting, so I'll put it all in a regular reply..


He is on Sav-A-Lam milk replacer.
I don't use soy replacer, as I had huge problems with lambs on it. Switched to Sav-A-Lam & haven't had problems since. I also have a gram scale & weigh out the powder for perfect accuracy.

Most Zebu breeders in the FB forums say to use a soy free lamb milk.
There was a vet in Florida that said to use it after a breeder had their calves get seizures from the copper in calf milk.

I might have access to raw cows milk. I'll see if I can still get that.

Does the yogurt actually say "live" on it or something? Not sure I've ever seen that. I'll look.

The spitting up happened the 2nd day on tube, so possibly something not right from the start. Certainly getting worse from continued tubing.

I've told the breeder. See picture for their reply.

He's not bone thin anymore, only positive.


I asked the largest Zebu FB Group for the best milk replacer for zebu calves-


Breeder reply-

Dumor calf milk is what we were feeding that killed our calf and almost took out the other 2 as well. /we dont use any Dumor replacer now.

I do see many people saying they use all sorts of milk including calf replacer so I'm thinking people jsut use whatever they prefer and as long as the calf "tolerates" it as one person put it they assume there is no issue. Id Dumor was the brand causing the problem with mini zebu just dont feed Dumor would my approach.

He is your calf do as you feel comfortable, my gut reaction is get him on formula ment for his species, same thing I tell anyone with problems with lambs/kids proper formula makes a world of difference. My concern with the lamb formula is you are feeding a large amount and lamb formula is mixed at close to double strength compared to calf replacer, goat replacer is mixed at the same rate as calf so that would be closer. Raw cows milk is probly better then any replacer you can buy.

Live yogurt just mean it has live probiotics in it, if you are giving probiotic gel you could actually skip it, but extra shouldnt hurt anything. Most name brands will have a "live" or probiotic version at most any store, chobani, noosa, yoplait, Fage, etc.

Oh, stop everything, including today's Noon electrolytes, for 24hrs?
Or just milk & meds?
Going to be another hot, humid day.

Yes even the electrolytes. So everything can get out and his system is empty. He has lots of fresh water if he gets thirsty. Should also help his throat to start to heal from all the tube feeding.

Like I have said I have very limited experience but this is what worked for fixing our calves and it is worth trying.
 

misfitmorgan

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Check his eyes and skin tenting, to verify. You can mix the probiotic powder with water and try to give him that mix. If his mouth is warm still he should be ok though. How much fluid have you gotten into him total in the past 48hrs?

This site has some good info on dehydration in calves.
https://www.beefmagazine.com/calving/dealing-calf-dehydration-issues
 
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