Thursday, May 24, 2018

"Normal" time for navel cord detachment?

I have to admit that I have not paid much attention to when navel cords detach or fall off. However, an excessively short or long time for retention possibly could be a signal that something is wrong.

In a study about navel dips 67 Holstein heifer calves with unassisted births were observed (general health, umbilical infections, umbilical cord diameter) for about 22 days. 

What did they find regarding umbilical cord detachment?

Earliest detachment was between 12 and 13 days.

Latest detachment was between 20 and 22 days.

So, I am guessing we should start looking for cords to start falling off just short of two weeks and all of them to have fallen off just over three weeks of age. 

I occurs to me today that a cord missing in the range of 5 to 7 days should trigger an examination - maybe an abcess?

A cord that is still there at 4 weeks of age? On one hand I cannot recall one on a calf that old. On the other hand I guess that is possible - maybe cause to take a look at this "abnormal" situation. 

Reference: Fordyce, A. L. and Others, "The effect of novel antiseptic compounds on umbilical cord healing and incidence of infection in dairy calves." Journal of Dairy Science 101:"5444-5448

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