Message Title: Anemia
Author: DonB Posted: 06\08\2001 09:46
4 days ago we found a 2day old calf laying in the pasture flat on its side kicking its legs and sliding its head up and down, doing what I call the death dance. After muttering some words and realizing it was one of our boarder's animals, I muttered a little more. We called the vet out, went in the pen in a rain storm, picked up the calf and put in the pickup. It did not look good. The calf's temp was normal, no fever, no scours. The vet pointed out the white looking nostrils(they are supposed to be pink)and suggested that the calf was anemmic. He told us to put it in the barn with a heat lamp, tube it with 2 feedings of milk through the evening and night and put it out with its mother in the morning. To be honest about it, I thought he was nuts. I was sure the calf was dead and just didn't know it yet. Because it was a boarder's calf we wanted to make sure we did everything we could to try to get it to live. We got the calf dry and warm, tubed it with some milk and yogurt. The calf was stiff, eyes were sunken. I was again muttering to myself somthing about rigor mortis setting in. When we went to tube it the second time, I thought it was dead at first but it moved a little so we tubed it again. Remembering that the vet said "tube it 2 times and put it back out with its mother in the morning", Gayle and I knew now that we might be looking for a new vet. 11:00 that evening I went out to check the calf, IT WAS SITTING UP! In the morning I found it outside the barn in the pen. We took it out to the mother, she was waiting patiantly for her calf to come back.
We could use help on understanding anemia better. The way we understand it, the calf could have a different blood type than the mother. When the calf was in the womb some of its blood got mixed with its mothers. The mother attacks the foreign blood and puts the attack formula in her colostrum. After the calf is born it drinks the colostrum and gets attacked by what the mother put in her colostrum and you have anemia.
If someone knows how to write a better description, please do. We have been raising elk for 10 years and never had this before, or did not know we had it.
We are suggesting to the boarders the name Lazarus for their calf
Good luck to all on their calving.