coughing cow please help

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12 years 3 weeks ago #31466 by daerfamily
Hello all and thanks for your interest and replies (hopefully!)

We have two steers on our property, we've had them for only 3 weeks they are 6 months old. One of them is much bigger than the other one (and always has been) ... and now the smaller one is coughing somewhat and standing quite stooped over.

It was coughing last week also but we put it down to a bit of hay that got lodged ... now it is coughing again today. It is eating fine and drinking water and licking salt licks etc .... so we're kind of questioning if there is anything wrong with it? How do we tell if they are putting weight on? It's eyes look clear as far as I can tell and it doesn't have any discharge from its nose etc. It is skinnier than the other one but like I said it always has been ..

I would be pretty angry if there was something wrong with it as we paid top dollar for them. I called the guy we bought them off he said it would be hay in the throat.

Any other thoughts? The other cow is unaffected and looks well.

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12 years 3 weeks ago #422625 by muri
Replied by muri on topic coughing cow please help
when were they last wormed?

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12 years 3 weeks ago #422629 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic coughing cow please help
Lung worm will make them cough. How much does it cough, how often? Is it coughing all the time, or do you just see it sometimes? My calves cough, so do my cows. Occasionally there's a sneeze/cough which would blow your socks off if you were too near.

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12 years 3 weeks ago #422635 by hilldweller
Standing stooped over isn't good. Also you mention licking the salt lick - this is good and normal but if he's needing a lot of salt compared to his paddock mates that could be a sign of something wrong. I've got a crook lamb at the moment who's spent the entire day hanging around the salt lick. Can you post a pic?

hilldweller

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12 years 3 weeks ago #422652 by cowvet
Replied by cowvet on topic coughing cow please help
If they are coughing without stimulation (food, moving, dust etc) and given their age I would question lungworm.
Re their size difference - if they are the same age and vastly different sizes (and unless they are different breeds) then I would question their BVD and mineral status too.
Paying top dollar is not an insurrance policy.


I love animals...they're delicious

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12 years 3 weeks ago #422655 by daerfamily
Replied by daerfamily on topic coughing cow please help
Thanks for your replies all. He is not stooped over all the time, only while coughing. He coughs a few times in a row then gets on with eating etc. Cowvet, I didn't mean paying top dollar will not cause harm, I would just be questioning where I got them from since we've had them only two weeks.

I will call the vet in the morning to see what he says. I believe them to be the same ages but one has always been slightly smaller than the other one. How much would I expect to pay for a vet to come out and have a look? Just so I know when I call them in the morning.

Will try to get a pic up tomorrow.

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12 years 3 weeks ago #422660 by Ronney
Replied by Ronney on topic coughing cow please help
There are coughs - and coughs. Experience will eventually tell you which coughs are the ones to be concerned about. My cows are starting to cough - all in good condition and producing the amount of milk that I would expect this far into lactation but I also know it's a lungworm cough rather than a tickle in the throat. On the other hand I have a nearly four month old calf that coughs and his cough is probably brought about by pnuemonia contracted before I bought him and his mother. He is under veterinary supervision.

How much it will cost will depend a lot on how far out of town you are, the clinic's mileage rate, thier hourly rate and what drugs/expendables they may need to use. Feel free to ring and ask these things, that is your perogative, it is you that is paying the bill so don't feel embarrassed to ask.

Cheers,
Ronnie

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12 years 3 weeks ago #422694 by daerfamily
Replied by daerfamily on topic coughing cow please help
Righto, the one with the white face in the first 5 photos is the one with the cough. He coughs when he is standing still. Still munching away etc. Got the vet coming at 11 just to reassure me as it's the first time I've had cows and I hate animals suffering. Will let you all know.

The last photo is the other cow front on view sorry it's not close up, but he's much bigger.

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12 years 3 weeks ago #422696 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic coughing cow please help
Oh, those sort of six-month-olds. [;)] What sort of top dollar do you pay for stock like that? (That's a genuine question, because there may be better ways for you to go next time around. PM me if you prefer, if you wouldn't mind.)

Little animals which don't get a sufficient start in life, sometimes don't turn into very healthy adults.

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12 years 3 weeks ago #422698 by Sue
Replied by Sue on topic coughing cow please help
Mmm, maybe time to talk about when a cow is actually a steer calf! Can be misleading, to say the least.

Good on you for calling the vet-you might also get some pointers about their health in general going forward that could benefit many on here who take on calf rearing for the first time and don't know what they are looking at, or accept as 'normal' conditions which can affect the animals future health and welfare.
I hope you have a race and yards as the vet may want to listen to his chest!

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

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12 years 3 weeks ago #422702 by daerfamily
Replied by daerfamily on topic coughing cow please help
Thanks for your replies, we dont have a race and yards, but i have penned him into the gates we use, as we only have two steers the rest is a bit of money to spend etc, so will do for now. Ruth, is this stock not good looking stock? Have PMed you.

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12 years 3 weeks ago #422703 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic coughing cow please help
Cows and steer calves .... almost as perplexing and ambiguous as hoggets and sheep :-)
Unless the gates are steel, then they will very likely get broken. To straighten bent steel gates, take them off the gudgeons (the proper name for "hinges"), lay them on a flat bit of ground, and drive the wheel of the car over them a few times.

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12 years 3 weeks ago #422709 by tonic
Replied by tonic on topic coughing cow please help
hi there,

ruth will have lots of good info for you, but here is a photo of a white face at 3 months old, raised with another calf on a cow.

handraised calves do not fill out as quickly in my experience but this calf is also sharing milk so not as well grown as he would have been had he been with mum on his own... but to me it is an example of a healthy weaner steer.

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12 years 3 weeks ago #422710 by daerfamily
Replied by daerfamily on topic coughing cow please help
Right, vet said: Suspected BVD. Taken bloods away. Gave him an antibiotic, wormer and vit b12. He said he is underweight and struggling with ulcers in his mouth also. He said if it was BVD from birth he's no good, otherwise he'll come right in a couple of days. Have all my fingers and toes crossed, and god only knows how much the bill will amount to.

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12 years 3 weeks ago #422711 by tonic
Replied by tonic on topic coughing cow please help
and here is the calf he was raised with at 5 months, it is a small breed but you can see how filled out he is.

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