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Normal Topic Smaller than normal Calf - Worms? (Read 1006 times)
WGC
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Smaller than normal Calf - Worms?
Nov 2nd, 2014 at 6:01pm
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Gday,

We have a small calf, about half the size of others we got at the same time about one year old.  He's always been the runt but noticed him coughing the other day.  A 'real' farmer came out Saturday to homekill a beast and suggested we knock it over as it might pass something on to the others.  I'm reluctant to do so until we know what's wrong with it.  Should I get a vet out?  If it's worms, what course of treatment should we do?  Are the others at risk?



Any help would be much appreciated.

Cheers
  
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ethos
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Re: Smaller than normal Calf - Worms?
Reply #1 - Nov 3rd, 2014 at 8:02am
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Its the hazard of buying a bunch of cattle unseen!
The truth is it could be a bunch of things.
If its coughing then first drench it for lungworm, and the others too- any ivermectin type drenches kill lung worm well, pour ons are handy and easy to administer, "Eclipse" is a great pour on product with multiple actives to clear out young cattle on arrival.

Now that said, there is likely to be another reason for lagging in size that badly, think late calf, twin or internal health problem (congenital problem? BVD? or pneumonia etc). BVD Persistently Infected animals are sometimes stunted and may scour and have lesions in the mouth, its a complicated disease but they can not thrive themselves while causing other pregnant cows to abort - maybe this is what the other person was meaning.
Whatever the cause, if you are fattening these animals to finish at 18 months or even 24 months this one is one is likely dead weight Im sorry  Undecided
The vet might help to rule out some of the above with a good check over and blood testing is available for BVD. A check with the farmer or stock agent might help to clarify calving dates (what does the NAIT record say?)
  
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WGC
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Re: Smaller than normal Calf - Worms?
Reply #2 - Nov 3rd, 2014 at 5:56pm
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Thanks, I gave her a dose of drench yesterday arvo when I got home from work and will do the others on the weekend.  I'm pretty sure they were all born around the same time, we've had them all from a couple weeks old.  They were all drenched when they arrived, but only had one more dose since then.

We've got heaps of grass so will give her a few weeks and if she doesn't improve, will look at knocking it over.

Not sure it'll be economical to do all the vet tests if she won't fatten up for the freezer anyway.

Thanks for the reply.
  
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shankspony
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Re: Smaller than normal Calf - Worms?
Reply #3 - Nov 12th, 2014 at 3:45am
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As a commercial farmer, I would not hesitate in removing that animal from the herd. There is something major holding it back and while the others of its age seem fine I'dworry about contact with younger animals. Even if it gets over whatever is affecting it, you will still need to keep it an extra year or so.
  
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WGC
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Re: Smaller than normal Calf - Worms?
Reply #4 - Nov 12th, 2014 at 8:34am
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Thanks shankspony,

We made the decision to destroy it and it is no longer with us.

Appreciate your comments, good to know it was the right decision.
  
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