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Old 13th June 2011, 07:32 PM   #1
CEW79
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Question Why are my cattle coughing?

I've got two heifers & one steer, all around 18mths old. They are in good condition and behaving as normal but I've noticed all 3 of them cough occasionally (they've never done it before). They've had regular drenching, they get a multi mineral salt block in their paddock and they've had copper & B12 when they were due to have it.

Do I need to be worried?
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Old 13th June 2011, 07:57 PM   #2
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Re: Why are my cattle coughing?

Mine used to do this too occasionally. Not sure why, but would be interested in the answer too. Ours wasn't chronic enough or often enough to warrant further investigation, they weren't distressed, and were well fed and drenched.
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Old 13th June 2011, 08:04 PM   #3
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Re: Why are my cattle coughing?

No worry if it is ocassional, especially if they are eating hay.
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Old 13th June 2011, 08:06 PM   #4
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Re: Why are my cattle coughing?

I notice ours cough after running to a new paddock. Figure cows aren't all that atheletic!
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Old 13th June 2011, 08:56 PM   #5
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Re: Why are my cattle coughing?

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Originally Posted by Denneaux View Post
I notice ours cough after running to a new paddock. Figure cows aren't all that atheletic!
Well who wants fit and trim cattle? Sort of defeats the purpose of having them I would have thought
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Old 13th June 2011, 10:43 PM   #6
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Re: Why are my cattle coughing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CEW79 View Post
I've got two heifers & one steer, all around 18mths old. They are in good condition and behaving as normal but I've noticed all 3 of them cough occasionally (they've never done it before). They've had regular drenching, they get a multi mineral salt block in their paddock and they've had copper & B12 when they were due to have it.

Do I need to be worried?
Probably not. You will, I would imagine, have started to feed out hay by now and the occasional coughing when on dry feed is normal. I see you live in Taupo and give copper and selenium. Do you address the cobalt deficiency as well?

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I notice ours cough after running to a new paddock. Figure cows aren't all that atheletic!
Nothing to do with being athletic. Cattle that cough after even a brief period of excercise are almost guaranteed to have lungworm. Not noticeable until they kick their heels up and then stand there coughing.

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Last edited by Ronney; 13th June 2011 at 10:45 PM.. Reason: Comma in wrong place
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Old 14th June 2011, 07:47 AM   #7
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Re: Why are my cattle coughing?

Being a big mob of dairy heifers they are incapable of a "brief period of exercise", there is only one speed and that's fast, with detours from the direct route to lick and chase interesting objects! The one who circles and bellows the most wins!
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Old 14th June 2011, 10:50 AM   #8
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Re: Why are my cattle coughing?

Ronney, the cobalt is in the B12, and Co is needed to make B12 :-)
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Old 14th June 2011, 07:06 PM   #9
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Re: Why are my cattle coughing?

yes rothwell but most people underestimate the B12 requirement...those short acting injections only last about 28 days. Providing adequate cobalt to an adult ruminant gives you a safety buffer - an adult ruminant should be making its own B12 if cobalt is available.
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Old 14th June 2011, 08:28 PM   #10
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Re: Why are my cattle coughing?

Yes I'm sure I covered cobalt too, had advice from the local vets (I think that's what the big capsules are I've got from the vet and stuck down their throats

No we don't feed out!! We live on the side of a steep hill and so no chance of making hay here. Also I only have 3 cattle and 2 ewes on 7 acres (mainly because I don't want to feed out over winter). There's always plenty for them to eat (standing hay my old farmer neighbour calls the paddock they are in now).

We've had plenty of autumn rain and still warm temps (no frosts so far) so the grass is still growing, which is amazing for this time of year.

Do you think they are just coughing coz they are cleaning up the longer dry bits of grass in the paddock they're in now. I'm wanting them to clean it all up before moving them. Or could they possibly have lung worm
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Old 15th June 2011, 02:57 PM   #11
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Re: Why are my cattle coughing?

Both are possible, but at 18 months the cattle should be making antibodies against internal parasites, unless they are sick or pregnant or hungry.
If you have been regularly dosing your animals, then you could very well have bugs that are resistant to the drench. If so, another drench won't help them. If you have lots of spare money you could find out from the vet how to get a test done to find out if they have lungworms. Hopefully there is a blood test, which tend to be more reliable than trying to get eggs to grow from a poo sample.
Thus, if they look sick, drench them and see if they improve. If they look happy and healthy, don't panic :-).
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Old 15th June 2011, 03:57 PM   #12
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Re: Why are my cattle coughing?

What sort of coughing is it? Lung worm coughing is a pretty distinct, coughing up a lung sound. Whereas normal coughing sounds like them blowing their nose or a couch potato trying to run a marathon..if that helps
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Old 15th June 2011, 04:04 PM   #13
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Re: Why are my cattle coughing?

My new calf was coughing.....see my thread... and in this case it was the start of pneumonia. Mind you this was not just occasional!
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Old 15th June 2011, 10:17 PM   #14
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Re: Why are my cattle coughing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rothwell View Post
Both are possible, but at 18 months the cattle should be making antibodies against internal parasites, unless they are sick or pregnant or hungry.
If you have been regularly dosing your animals, then you could very well have bugs that are resistant to the drench. If so, another drench won't help them. If you have lots of spare money you could find out from the vet how to get a test done to find out if they have lungworms. Hopefully there is a blood test, which tend to be more reliable than trying to get eggs to grow from a poo sample.
Thus, if they look sick, drench them and see if they improve. If they look happy and healthy, don't panic :-).
eggs do not come out in the poo with lungworm - the eggs are already hatched and come out in the dung as larvae so a specific faecal test is required for lungworm.
Gives new meaning to the term faecal float !

here is the lifecycle for lungworm

http://www.bovilis.com/diseases/lungworm/lifecycle.asp
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Last edited by cowvet; 15th June 2011 at 10:20 PM..
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Old 16th June 2011, 07:56 PM   #15
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Re: Why are my cattle coughing?

Thanks cowvet :-) ..... but ..... does that make it easier or harder to find lungworms than to individually identify each type of worm egg? Do lungworms get excreted evenly? And how many per gram/10 grams/100g ie what sample size needs to be analysed?
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