We purchased a Jersey X cow 6 weeks ago, from a sale. We knew nothing of her calving/milking history, didn't know what breed she was mixed with, wasn't even sure of her age. She's definitely young, I'd say not more than 3-4 yr. Although we knew little about her, she seemed like a good deal. She was a little on the thin side, but her coat was shiny, eyes bright and clear, she seemed energetic, etc. She was good in all 4 quarters and was currently in milk, so we hand milked her for about a week before we started seeing symptoms. The first red flag we got was that she stopped eating grain and hay. The only thing she'd eat was grass in small quantities. She'd come into the stanchion with grain right in front of her and just stand there while we milked and never touch it. Within 2 days, her milk production dropped from 5 quarts a milking, to 1 1/2., and gradually dropped from there until she was totally dry. She is eating like normal again, but has developed a large lump on her neck under her jaw, and she is now extremely thin We aren't sure what to do next, any advice? Any chance of saving heror should we put her down, or sale her? What if she's bred, is it worth having her preg checked? What about future animals, can Johne's from cows pass to goats or is it a different strain?
Big Moo & Heidi (dexter cows), Belle (jersey cow) Little Moo (dexter steer), Jack (lowline steer), Ziggy (lowline x dexter steer), Flora (lowline cow), Jaffa (dexter x red angus cow), Sorcha (jersey x highland heifer), Anne (jersey heifer), Tug & MoonBoy, (angus x lowline steers), Heart, Panda, Oxboy & Freckles (jersey steers). About 30 sheep (dorper and awassi x white dorper), 3 cats (Sarge, Hoot & Jasmine), Finn& Poppy the Amazing Maremmas, 15 chooks.
I'd get a vet out ASAP - she sounds like she's in serious health trouble. Johnne's wouldn't be my first thought, either. Not eating, she's probably got ketosis and the lump in her jaw sounds like lumpjaw - an infection caused by a poke or something getting lodged in the oral cavity.
[quote author=lew92 board=cow thread=56697 post=448530 time=1346498941 Don't let this go on any longer, please.[/quote]
Oh, I should have clarified that we have been working under the advice of our vet and a long time friend that has owned a dairy for many years. Our vet is old and no longer works with large animals, so he hasn't been out to look at her, but we have called him for advice. We have wormed her, given her Vit B to increase appetite, given her probiotics, gave her a magnet in case it was hardware, etc. It seems like they all think that its Johne's and have given up on her, but I wanted to get some more advice before we did. She is so sweet, pretty, gentle, easy to milk, gives a ton of cream, just perfect for our family. We are sending in some samples for testing Monday, that is one thing I wish we'd have done already! Thanks to all for the advice and giving me a glimmer of hope that we might be able to save her. She is eating normally now, never showed signs of a fever, and does not currently have diarrhea. She has had it within the past few weeks though, especially when she first stopped eating grain and hay and was only eating grass, so I'm hoping that was the cause instead of Johne's. We will find a vet Monday that will come look at her jaw.
If she were mine I would look around for a vet that is capable of seeing her. She sounds like a gem and worthwhile to find out what if going on. You can draw blood on her and send it to WADDL for a biosecurity panel and it will test for BVD, BVL, Johnes and Neospora. www.vetmed.wsu.edu/depts_waddl/fees.aspx#Immunodiagnostics This is the link to the page with that information, the biosecurity section is halfway down the page and well worth the money. I really think you need to get someone to look in your cows mouth to check out her teeth to make sure there isn't something going on there also.
You have not described one thing to me that would indicate she may have Johne's. Once a cow "breaks" with Johne's and you start to see the watery and smelly diarrhea about the only thing that will stop the diarrhea is a 80 pound bag of concrete mix. Get the lump on her Jaw examined, quickly.
Update: The cow has definitely been improving, she's even coming back in milk! I can't believe it! She's been eating normally with no diarrhea, and two days ago I noticed her bag looked tight, so I decided to try to milk her... she gave 2 quarts! Then yesterday she gave 2 1/2 qt (only milked her once each day). The vet gave her an Ivermectin shot (he thinks the lump on her jaw is because of parasites), and his conclusion is that she had a twisted stomach which was the root cause of all this trouble. So, hopefully the worming will get rid of the lump and she can start putting on some weight. Her body condition is already looking better, her coat is shinier and she doesn't seem quite as skinny as she did. Thank you all for the advice and encouragement, y'all are wonderful support :-) Also, the vet said her milk is safe to drink (but we are going to wait until the wormer has had time to get out of her system) Yay!!! I'll share pics of her soon, I know you all are wanting to "meet" her
Last Edit: Sept 4, 2012 14:49:57 GMT -5 by Deleted
Just read through this all and to me it also sounds like bottle jaw.
I just went through this with a Boer goat. I'm really new to all of this and with the goats winter coat I didn't see the abscess. When I could finally touch her (she's not a pet or milking goat) she was a skeleton with skin on, under that coat. I felt bloody awful, I must tell you. By then the abscess was gone - just a nodule of tough, dead skin that had obviously sloughed off. She was very visibly pregnant, so that really took it out of her too.
After a month of supportive treatment (dewormed twice in 2 weeks and piled with good quality lucerne/alfalfa and a handful of 15% horse meal twice a day) she birthed triplets 1 stillborn, 1 died at birth and 1 is currently driving his mother mad being a strong, healthy boy. He's 2 weeks old today. I don't know if the additional worming caused her to give birth prematurely (as they definitely were a week prem) BUT my thinking was that I'd sooner lose the babies than lose her, as she was a confirmed breeder and good mother when we bought her. So, with her carrying triplets, if she'd died I would have lost 4 goats, but I only lost 2. The rest of her herd are angling towards the fat side of things, so I think her pregnancy lowered her parasite resistance.
Living our dream! 6.5 acres in Johannesburg, South Africa, with a doggy daycare and boarding business on-site. Lots and lots of critters: 10 dogs (pets and LGDs), 6 cats, 2 parrots, 2 goats, 1 Dexter, 1 Jersey, 1 Hereford x, 3 horses, 1 pony, 6 pigs, barn chickens... And a wonderful fiancee!
Post by jerseylovinliz on Sept 5, 2012 8:32:43 GMT -5
Do you have other cows or animals? If she has/had a heavy worm load & they have access to where she was the parasites can be passed around.
Even if your Johnes test comes back negative I'd test her again. AnnB can tellyou how frequently (annually/biannually) I can't remember. If everybody was quick to suspect it chances are it's in your area & she could potentially have it but show a false negative right now. NOTHING you said makes me think Johnes & I'm NOT trying to freak you out. I have never heard of vets/dairymen so quick to diagnose it though, around here it's the LAST thing people think of not the first.
Good luck w/her! It sounds like y'all got a dear sweet girl!
Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from any direction.
I am so glad she is getting better!!!!!!! Keep up the great work! You know I learn something new on here everyday! I had no idea cows can get bottlejaw! I had goats before and knew they could but I didn't know cows could. Dawne
Wife to the most wonderful man, mother to 8, grandmother to 14 (one that lives with us full time), greatgrandmother to one. A perfect (sometimes hard) life with my Bea (guernsey), cattle, pigs, chickens, ducks, cats and dogs. Loves Life And All Gods Creatures
Post by chickendan on Sept 9, 2012 15:04:34 GMT -5
Sounds like you are on the right track and glad it's not looking like Johnes. Back to one of your original questions, if it is Johnes then YES it is contagious to goats and sheep, Elk and Bison. Does not effect horses and is comparable to Krones (sp) disease in people. Nasty, nasty diseaese you want to stay far, far away from, even stays in the soil for up to a year after the infected animal is gone.
Last Edit: Sept 9, 2012 15:07:22 GMT -5 by chickendan
claytonpaul: A bull was put on her herd Late Last May so she was expected to be due between May1 and August. They quoted me August so I wouldn't be disappointing by a late arrival.
May 23, 2019 13:07:11 GMT -5
Trim: I'm baaaaacccckkkk!
Aug 31, 2019 17:57:22 GMT -5
alpacalexi: My mini jersey cow is pregnant, however the last couple days her udder has deflated. My vet saw her on the 23 and said delivery in a couple weeks Is there a reason for her deflating?
Oct 2, 2019 17:17:00 GMT -5
Trim: She probably aborted a while back. That happened to one of my animals. She was bagging up but within a short while of her "due date" she began to deflate. I had no idea what had happened. I was seriously bummed out.
Feb 8, 2020 20:46:23 GMT -5
mamacherri10: good afternoon! I have not been on the website in a long time. Have a new jersey milk cow and am looking to see how long she needs to be dried up prior to calving? She is due the third week of May.
Mar 10, 2020 14:33:11 GMT -5
steven888: Dry her up now, she needs 6 wks of rest.
Apr 1, 2020 2:05:11 GMT -5
highlandteen: five to six weeks is generally suggested
May 7, 2020 14:39:23 GMT -5
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