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Thread: Thin cow with very loose dung

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    Thin cow with very loose dung

    I have an 8 year old cow and ever since calving 2 months ago she has started to loose weigh. The weight has drastically dropped over the last two weeks.

    Apart from Johnes what else am i looking at?

    If it turns out to be Johnes how serious is it?

    How contagious is it?

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    Senior Member T P's Avatar
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    Re: Thin cow with very loose dung

    There's a particularly hard to cure variation of worms in the gut wall that can give those symptoms that most cheap wormers won't clear up. it's a good while since we had cows so I can't remember the details. Also BVD might be a possibility plus many other age related conditions. At that age it's hard to decide whether to start spending money on tests etc. BVD definitely can be confirmed but I don't know if it can be treated.

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    Re: Thin cow with very loose dung

    we have been testing for bvd using eartags for the past 3 years and all have been clear.

    we have taken blood from her and are waiting on the results.

    The thing is we have sold daughters from her for breeding.

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    Re: Thin cow with very loose dung

    Ok here goes...... I had exactly the same & one day moving the cows round the yard she spewed something out of her back end. Thought it was string or something however it turned out to be a worm cast! No lie (up to you if you believe me or not) I put my gloves on & picked it up. It was nearly as long as I was tall!! I was so shocked I rang my vet to check I wasn't loosing the plot completely. Vet said she'd check but I could hear her humouring me..... up till the next morn when she rang me back & having done her research she said that most wormers don't kill all worms & I don't remember which it was but think it was tape worm the pour on's don't kill. Anyway this particular worm can grow inside the gut 6'+ and the only way for complete control was with drench. So bought a bottle & the said cow is still in herd but totally different now!! & drenching her first will be far cheaper than tests, if it doesn't work you can move on but if it does you can save a lot of money!

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    Re: Thin cow with very loose dung

    Johnes carriers usually have watery muck that bubbles if that helps......

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    Re: Thin cow with very loose dung

    Any problems with her teeth? We occasionally have cows in the herd losing teeth and it results in an obvious loss of condition. If she's come from a yard or similar with easy access to food and is now on shorter grazing (has anyone got this problem at the moment though?) it'd make the problem a lot more obvious, especially if she is milking hard.
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    Re: Thin cow with very loose dung

    No, her dung would not be bubbly just pure watery dung and she smells real bad.

    She has lost alot of condition but still has an appetite.

    Her teeth are good.

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    Re: Thin cow with very loose dung

    Salmonella?

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    Re: Thin cow with very loose dung

    Thats what the vet was saying. What is salmonella? Has anyone had it before?

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    Re: Thin cow with very loose dung

    Have you treated her for fluke and has she ever been treated for fluke?

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    Re: Thin cow with very loose dung

    You can add ragwort poisoning to the list of possible causes. They eat it in hay or silage all winter then after calving there liver packs in and they go down hill.

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    Re: Thin cow with very loose dung

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaffo View Post
    Thats what the vet was saying. What is salmonella? Has anyone had it before?
    We had a cow with it once, runny foul smelling dung which flew from one side of the parlour to the other. Course of antibiotics sorted it.

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    Re: Thin cow with very loose dung

    Is salmonella contagious to other cattle/calves? How is it picked up?

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    Re: Thin cow with very loose dung

    Johnes!

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    Re: Thin cow with very loose dung

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaffo View Post
    Is salmonella contagious to other cattle/calves? How is it picked up?
    Birds carry salmonella, if you have high numbers of starlings, jack-daws, pigeons.........
    Are you collecting rainwater off roofs for cows to drink? Yes it can be contagious.

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    Re: Thin cow with very loose dung

    Would have crows due to meal feeding. How is it transfered from animal to animal? Is there treatment?

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    Re: Thin cow with very loose dung

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaffo View Post
    Would have crows due to meal feeding. How is it transfered from animal to animal? Is there treatment?
    What else do the crows do when they're picking meal out of the feed??!

    Ask your vet for their recommended treatment and start shooting crows

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    Re: Thin cow with very loose dung

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenslades View Post
    Johnes carriers usually have watery muck that bubbles if that helps......
    I have a cow doing exactly the same. thought it was ragwart poisining but she still has good appetite,been on course of antibiotics. johnnes milk testing came back high.blood test came back high dung sample came back negative?? vet said to dung sample again cause it doesnt mean she still doesnt have it. johnnes seems to be very complicated.plus i have a heifer out of her who has just been pd in calf.what do i do with her? she looks fine at the min but then so did her mother up until a month ago

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    Re: Thin cow with very loose dung

    Quote Originally Posted by 117 View Post
    I have a cow doing exactly the same. thought it was ragwart poisining but she still has good appetite,been on course of antibiotics. johnnes milk testing came back high.blood test came back high dung sample came back negative?? vet said to dung sample again cause it doesnt mean she still doesnt have it. johnnes seems to be very complicated.plus i have a heifer out of her who has just been pd in calf.what do i do with her? she looks fine at the min but then so did her mother up until a month ago
    Johne's is a difficult one to crack, the key period for transmission is from calf to cow during the first weeks of life, up to about a year old, it doesn't pass from cow to cow between adults. you need to be very careful with calf rearing, use milk power, and make sure that the calf does not consume any manure. either from contamination of the cow's teats at first sucking or from contamination of the housing of sucking buckets etc. Cow with Johne's shed bacteria in the milk, hence the use of milk powder, but the highest risk is in the muck. obviously cleanliness is the key here. clean calving box, clean calf pen and be there to take the calf off and feed it yourself with clean equipment rather than let it suck on the cow's dirty teat

    As for the daughter, just test her for starters, this will give you an idea of any level of exposure, but it's not definitive and can be unreliable especially after a TB test as the MAPP bacteria is the same family as bTB. Basically just take extra care with calving protocol on such high risk cows, and be aware of her high risk status so if she starts to scour and lose condition, cut your losses as soon as possible. When and if the heifer will develop clinical signs depends on the level of exposure to the bacteria as a calf, i've got high reading cows that are perfectly healthy at 12 or 13, but i had some bought in heifers that went down with it during their first lactations.

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    Re: Thin cow with very loose dung

    Another suggestion would be Ruminal Fluke. Needs Zanil/oxyclozanide drench. Worth a shot. Only 3 day milk withdrawal, I think! Do check.

    Have you considered an LDA (left displaced abomasum)? Another one there's a solution for.

    I presume there's no metritis as it would have become obvious by now but could she have had peritonitis since calving?

    An Abomasal Ulcer would usually present more acutely and may well be accompanied by a tucked up abdomen and teeth-grinding... but a mild case....
    History is a race between education and catastrophe.H. G. Wells.

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    Re: Thin cow with very loose dung

    Sounds like classic Johnes I'm afraid! We always see it start about 6 weeks after calving, like the stress of calving sets it off. If you try to treat her for anything else be wary of meat withdrawals, if it's too long she won't be fit to travel by the time she's clear

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    Re: Thin cow with very loose dung

    Are you suckler or dairy?

    Whats the best way to eradicate?

    How does it get onto your farm?

    Does it close your herd down or can u still sell?

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    Re: Thin cow with very loose dung

    Dairy. You can still sell as it's not a notifiable disease. It's really tough to irradicate as the tests are all so unreliable. It usually starts from buying in infected animals, you won't see any symptoms until at least 5 years old. If this is your first one then hopefully you don't have it too bad. Testing is the only way to be proactive but treat the results with caution. You don't have to cull positive animals but calve them separately if possible, don't keep their calves and be ready to cull them if they start to scour and lose weight.

    It takes years to chip away at it but it is manageable.

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