Dystocia Calves Need TLC
Yesterday morning I listened to a talk by Dr. Franklyn Garry, Colorado State Univ., given at calf seminar in Lansing MI. Among other things he highlighted the increased probability of calves requiring more than minimal assistance at calving of being sick or dying in the first 60 days of life.
He recommended that all calves that require this kind of birthing assistance be identified in some easy-to-see way. With this identification extra TLC (tender-loving-care) can be provided consistently by everyone that is providing calf care.
In particular, Dr. Garry suggested that these high-risk calves be observed more intensely for symptoms of illness. If they have diarrhea they are more likely than other calves to become dehytrated - so extra care is needed in providing electrolytes. When exposed to respiratory pathogens they are more likely than other calves to have pneumonia - extra care is needed to monitor respiratory risk symptoms.
You might be interested in going to the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine web site for a respiratory-risk observation guide - click Here for the guide - be sure to scroll to page two for the pictures.