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Using Your Tractor & Crop Talk

Discussion Board - black leg in cattle ?

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steven in tn

10-17-2013 18:07:23




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is anybody familiar with black leg? at first i thought it was due to chicken manure being spread on my fields but now i think it is blackleg. i have lost 4 young calves in the last 2 weeks. they looked fine and no more than 2 days later they are dead usually in about a day. the one that died today looked alittle sick yesterday evening when i checked them. this morning kinda had a hard time getting up acted like its back legs where weak and had no appetite and just layed down and was dead this evening.

talked to my neighbor and he has also lost 2 calves in last couple weeks. and the thought thats what cause his to die was blackleg. i went to co-op and bought a bottle of 7 way med for them and gave them a shot hoping to prevent others from getting it.

tried to call vet but he is on vacation or something, would it do anygood for me to get one down here to test it and see if that is what it is. can they test the dead cow and pinpoint the cause of death? and about what would the test cost to have done?

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NEIADan

11-01-2013 19:03:13




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 Re: black leg in cattle ? in reply to steven in tn, 10-17-2013 18:07:23  
Been there after allowing a vet to use a cheap modified live vaccine we still had problems with stressed calves showing black-leg symptoms and deaths. Finally called another vet and he posted a couple and diagnosed black leg. We re-vaccinated with killed vaccine and follow up shots. Problem cured. If you are showing signs or have stressed cattle ALWAYS use killed vaccine. I paid for my education learning this one

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g1wood

11-01-2013 16:28:30




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 Re: black leg in cattle ? in reply to steven in tn, 10-17-2013 18:07:23  
Is it possibly a SELENIUM difficency? Found in the soil and grass/feed. If it has been a really wet season there may not be sufficent quantities in the soil or food sourcepasture or hay, for the animals, young calves get it through the milk from Moms and suffer the most. Symptoms are as you describe, Moms don"t show much for symptoms. Calves can be injected inter muscularly with Selenium and will recover to full vitality in about 2 hrs. It can probably be purchased in the US for about $15. per bottle/ $40. Cdn. from your local feed store. Calves are the most vunarable and it takes them several days to die. Boils down to a $3.00 shot or a $500.00 dead calf.

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donjr

10-19-2013 19:26:09




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 Re: black leg in cattle ? in reply to steven in tn, 10-17-2013 18:07:23  
I've had a bout with something similar. We have lost a few calves this year- usually about 2 weeks old and the vet has checked for about everything. We have come to the conclusion it may be a form of coccidocous, which is a gut infection. Try giving the calf a dose of penicillan and get a good dose of peptobismol down their throat asap. The pepto relieves some of the pain they have in their gut and may allow them to eat more normally. The pennicillan will help control the bacteria causing the infection. So far, we have been able to save a couple of calves acting sick, but you have to act quick. Their heads will be down and the seem to walk stiffly, mainly from pain in their guts. They may kick some at their guts. We're not sure if that is the actual cause, but so far, quick action seems to work. Otherwise, they die very quickly....

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lee little

10-18-2013 19:55:52




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 Re: black leg in cattle ? in reply to steven in tn, 10-17-2013 18:07:23  
Steven,its my understanding that if you take the dead animal to the dept. of ag in Nashville they will do an autopsy free of charge.



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Red n Green

10-18-2013 14:57:40




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 Re: black leg in cattle ? in reply to steven in tn, 10-17-2013 18:07:23  
I've heard that when they have blackleg if you rub their leg, firm I'm assuming, it sounds like bubble wrap popping. Luckily I haven't personally witnessed it, but this is what I've heard. Good luck!



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Jerry/MT

10-19-2013 19:04:52




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 Re: black leg in cattle ? in reply to Red n Green, 10-18-2013 14:57:40  
It could be anyone of the clostridium bacteria. We vacinate for all the clostridium diseses including red water (8 Way vaccine)here. Every time we innoculate calves we give them shot of 8 Way. These diseases are deadly to calves and there isn"t much you can do for most of them once the get one of them.
If you aren"t vaccinating your calves you need to start. 8 Way is a killed vaccine and it"s cheap,easy to use, and it"s very effective. It won"t do them any good once they have one of the diseases however.

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steven in tn

10-19-2013 05:11:45




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 Re: black leg in cattle ? in reply to Red n Green, 10-18-2013 14:57:40  
anywhere from 4months to 8 months old,
also the last one that died, i could rub its leg
and it sounded like it was crackling,
sorta like crushing tater chips.

so this makes 4 for me, 2 for my neighbor, and i just herd about 2 more about 6 miles from me.



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Tx Jim

10-20-2013 04:43:50




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 Re: black leg in cattle ? in reply to steven in tn, 10-19-2013 05:11:45  

steven in tn said: (quoted from post at 08:11:45 10/19/13) anywhere from 4months to 8 months old,

also the last one that died, i could rub its leg

and it sounded like it was crackling,

sorta like crushing tater chips.

so this makes 4 for me, 2 for my neighbor, and i just herd about 2 more about 6 miles from me.





This post was edited by Tx Jim at 04:44:46 10/20/13.

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randallinMo

10-18-2013 07:32:26




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 Re: black leg in cattle ? in reply to steven in tn, 10-17-2013 18:07:23  
Definitely have one tested. They can definitely tell you if it is blackleg. You say "young calves".....how old were they? "Ususally" blackleg affects calves in the 6 months of age group......but can also go up to two years. It usually affects the best ones. 'Can even affect young thrifty calves as young as 6 weeks. It usually occurs in the summer and fall months, seldom in winter. Get all of your calves up and vacinnate for blackleg. Also, give them a penicillin shot at the same time. This will help with any that might have acute symptoms. Unfortunately, once a calf gets the symptoms, he is dead with 12-48 hours.

I lost about a 700 pound heifer this fall that had been vacinnated for blackleg. I first thought "blackleg", but it turned out to be acorn poisoning.

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LAA

10-18-2013 07:15:56




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 Re: black leg in cattle ? in reply to steven in tn, 10-17-2013 18:07:23  
Are you creep feeding the calves? if so what on, is it a ration you have fed before? Blackleg is transferred through feed, hay or pasture, if your pasture is known not to be contaminated then you may want to look at your feed sources. Even if it does not turn out to be blackleg this time vaccination is cheap, if you are penning them all now to vaccinate you may want to administer a large dose of penicillin as antibiotics are the only treatment for blackleg, 9 times out of 10 there is not time to treat an animal because by the time they show serious symptoms like bloating in the fore quarters or limping they are too far gone. What ever else you do don't let those carcasses contaminate your lots and pastures, burn them and scrape and lime the spot where they are burned and keep cattle off of the spot at least until spring. In my state if blackleg is suspected or if a vet conducted postmortem proves it then you have to notify the livestock and brand commission.

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Tx Jim

10-18-2013 05:04:01




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 Re: black leg in cattle ? in reply to steven in tn, 10-17-2013 18:07:23  
I suppose the was no blood in feces which could indicate Coccidiosis. You can slit the skin on the lower legs and look for black colored blood hence the name Blackleg.



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kyhayman

10-17-2013 21:19:26




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 Re: black leg in cattle ? in reply to steven in tn, 10-17-2013 18:07:23  
Definitely find out what it is. My guess on really young cattle and with what you said about poultry liter is salmonella. I had a run in with that a few years ago. Absolutely devistating. 4 calves is 4000 bucks come spring. In all honesty, it doesnt matter what it costs, even if its a thousand bucks its cheap compared to losing another one.

I checked University of TN website and you do have a state lab. If I read it right its free to in state residents for the necropsy. May be a fee for labs but they look to be 100 bucks at most.

If it dies here, and there isnt an obvious cause (like a dead calf sticking out or a bullet wound, dont laugh, Ive seen both, more than once) I take them to the lab. UK charges a 25.00 disposal fee and I have to load and haul them in. Cheap cheap investment in protecting my larger investment.

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