Sick cow--infected dehorning : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Hopefully someone will know what to do about this. My Jersey heifer, 10 months old, was dehorned one week ago, and has been fine. Today I noticed what looked like snot (sorry) coming out of the hole where her horn was on one side. I called the person who did the dehorning--has done many, many--and she said that sometimes they get a sinus infection afterwards, but it's not common. The heifer had small horns, and the other side had no hole at all. Very little bleeding, and I'm pretty sure I kept the flies away. Anyway, she said to use my nitrofurazone pinkeye puffer, which I did. A couple hours later, the drainage was much thicker and darker. I'm afraid she may get ill if I can't do something first thing in the morning.

By the way, I don't have the facilities to confine her. She's easily handled, but for an injection, I'll have to get an expert.

Has anyone ever seen this, or know what should be done?

-- Teresa in TN (, November 13, 2000


Be brave Theresa, she needs a systemic antibiotic NOW, call your local RURAL large animal practitioner, and tell them exactly what happened. They should be able to give you something for her if you go to their office to pick it up, and they will be able to show you how to use it, most likely, a course of injectable antibiotics. If you absolutely cannot bring yourself to give the injection ( cattle are the easiest to do of all animals, and it's only scarey the first time), have the vet do it the first time. Around here, a farm call is only 15.00 plus the cost of the medicine itself, and he/she can show you how to do it yourself next time. Annie in SE OH.

-- Annie Miller (, November 14, 2000.

We had a buck's horns removed this spring, right in the middle of the rainy season. I hope I never have to do that again! I had a vetwrap type bandage onit to keep it dry. when I took it off to clean and look at the wound(which covered the whole top of his head), it was a smelly mess, with lots of pus and green goo. I tried using the puffer bottle, tried neosporin, hydrogen peroxide, nothing seemd to help. In desperation, I put some comfrey leaves on there. The same day, there was noticeable improvement. A lot more pus came out, I pulled the leaves off and applied some more. After a day of that, I took the bandages off and just put cut and heal on it twice a day and it healed up nicely. Before the comfrey, I was afraid he was going to die from the infection going into his sinuses or brain.

-- Rebekah (, November 14, 2000.

I agree you must contact your local vet right away. Your vet will supply you with the proper antibiotic and tell you the proper dose. This can become very serious in a hurry so don't waite. Vets in our part of the country are basicly 24-7 and always make housecalls. If you are unable to get a vet, get some penecilin or combionic and initialy increase the recomended dose by 50% the first 2-4 injections. After that go to label recomendations. Also clean wound with peroxide and apply a good powdered wound dressing. I've doctored many cattle with your problem and have never lost one yet. Good luck!!

-- Del (, November 14, 2000.

We too had a buck dehorned this past spring. He had a large scur and we planned on showing him. Anyways, his wound also had that yellowish pus coming from it. The vet told us to clean it with peroxide and spray with Blue Coat (sp?) and then clean it daily. I did a few time a day initially. Eventually it healed fine.

sounds like she may need an antibiotic too. Oh..... one other thing we used to help heal it was Immuno-G which is similiar to ID-1. You can purchase it from either or I'm not real sure about the ID-1 but I think if you go to there is information. Good luck and hope she does better.

-- Bernice (, November 14, 2000.

With infection so close to the brain, I would get vet to come and give her a tranquilizer shot so she could be restrained and doctored. If necessary, the vet could shoot her with tranquilizer gun from a short distance to get control of her long enough to administer what is necessary to get infection under control. If you don't have a stanchion, it's very difficult to doctor when containment for treatment is necessary. At times we were faced with same situation, but now have a stanchion. You sure don't want to lose this valuable animal.

-- Betty (MI) (, November 14, 2000.

Many dehorned cattle have the same symtoms you state. Bigger the horns the more it happens. I usually do nothing in a small case such as this. I have had swelling that would swell the eys shut and it did heal ok but needed some antobiotic. Bottle of penicilin or LA 200 is only 10 to 12 bucks. Run her in behind a gate or any v shaped improvised chute. I'd give a round of medicine 3 or 4 days straight. Giving an injection is no big deal. If you don't get it all in just go at it again. Learn you can do it and then you will be ready for a future raising cattle with out giving the vet your profits.

-- Don (, November 14, 2000.

One of our goat kids came down real sick after dehorning. She had a fever, wouldn't eat, listless. It was Sunday, no vets open and no other goat people at home. I gave her a shot of LA 200 and it worked great. I also force fed fluids from a syringe every half hour untill she started to show a little more interest. By evening she was taking milk from her bottle. Took a couple of days for her appetite to get back to normal.

Learn to give shots Teresa. It'll save you a lot of money. Keep LA 200 on hand. It's saved lives on a couple of occasions on our homestead.

Pauline NC

-- Pauline (, November 14, 2000.

Thanks, everybody. My friend is the "expert" I was referring to; she raises cattle and goats and knows almost everything, but I can't call her when I'm worried at midnight or 5 in the morning, or when her dad is having a pacemaker installed (today!). I was very worried, since this is my first cow, and don't quite know how to handle her confidently yet.

My friend agreed with Don, at this point. Said to wait on antibiotics, that they usually heal fine, no matter how bad it looks, but if it makes me feel better I can give her some anyway. It actually did look better this evening when I checked on her.

I do give shots myself, except the mules (pain in the butt to medicate them), just not sure how to go about it with the cow. I'm sure I'll find out soon enough!

-- Teresa in TN (, November 14, 2000.

I agree with Don. We raise Miniature Hereford cattle and it sounds like your cow needs an antibiotic shot. LA-200 should do the job. I thought I would add the following for the goat people. My herefords have horn buds at birth but we dehorn with a paste that is very effective. We catch the calves at one week, clip the hair near the buds, put a spot of paste on their horn buds. We then isolate them for eight hours so the momma wont lick the paste off. No gore or blood, just what looks and is a bad burn. If they rub some off, as it burns while it is working, I occasionally have to do this twice. This is not effective on a cow after two months of age. Hope this helps someone.

-- Bob (, November 17, 2000.

Bob, I have tried using paste on goat kids. It is a NIGHTMARE! What's more, it didn't work on most of the kids. I don't know why it works on calves an not goats, but it was a real mess.

-- Rebekah (, November 17, 2000.

Thanks Rebekah, there you have it, cant compare apples to oranges.

-- Bob (, November 18, 2000.

The heifer is doing fine, discharge from hole in head is drying up, and she still does not seem to be in any discomfort or ill in any way. Didn't give antibiotics. Still watching her lots to make sure. Just new to cows, and would hate to lose her. I've been spoiling her to death because I want I very gentle milk cow.

-- Teresa in TN (, November 18, 2000.

The reason that dehorning paste doesn't work as well on goats is because their horns are solid. Cow's horns are hollow and grow from the outside ring. I would have about 5 or so year old heifers dehorned by cutting them every year. and usually one would get infected too. We never treated them and they would heal fine, but it was a mess and I know it hurts them. It really gave me the kick to get them disbudded as babies, because it's alot easier on them that way.

-- Jeanette Springer (, November 19, 2000.

Bob, most goats also are born with horn buds. Some of our quad kids, especially does will not have a horn bud for a week or so. We disbud with a hot iron Rhinehart 50, which we have exchanged the calf tip for a 3/4 inch copper fitting. They are disbudded before they are a week old, no blood or gore here either! :) Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, November 20, 2000.

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