Is your calf foaming at the mouth and losing weight?
There are plenty of reasons that might explain why your cow is foaming at the mouth. It does not always have to be an indication of an infection/illness.
Why Do Calves Foam at The Mouth?
It is normal for nursing calves to foam up from the mouth as they feed from a cow or by hand. This foam buildup aids digestion.
Personally, my herd foam at the mouth when I feed them a range of meal cakes (cubes) and they’re perfectly fine when a vet checks them every month.
Some may even take it a step further and slobber a mouth full of foam down their sides as they lick themselves waiting for me to put the range cubes out.
I do understand why you’re afraid foaming up cows could mean sick ones. Let’s check out some other reasons why your newborn calf is foaming at the mouth:
A cow suffering from a wooden tongue (fungus that makes the tongue hard as wood) will experience excessive foaming or slobbering from the mouth.
Wooden tongue takes a long time to kill the cow, basically, the infected animal starves to death by not being able to pull hay or grass into her mouth with her tongue.
An overheated cow may drool or foam to cool off.
A cow experiencing fever could foam at the mouth. She will not die overnight from fever, but a calf suffering at the hands of fever is an indication of an infection.
The calf could have bloated. Bloating can kill a calf overnight.
A calf that is choked will foam at the mouth. If the blockage was down the windpipe, then she would have just foamed at the mouth and died without showing any other signs.
There have been records of infections that just show up out of nowhere in less than an hour and if they manage to get into the brain, heart, lungs, or blooms, then it can result in the death of the cow within 30 minutes.
The blackleg bacteria is one of such. It can happen anywhere in the cow’s body.
It is known as blackleg because that was the easiest way to tell. One leg will swell up and a calf or cow will be dead in few hours or longer. If the blackleg infection was inside, you wouldn’t notice any swelling.
Cow Foaming at Mouth Treatment
Vaccines are not always guaranteed to work all the time. If the cow is dead and its legs are sitting up with it’s legs under it, chances are it choked. If her legs where straight out then it could be blackleg (or similar bacteria) or it choked.
If the cow has not been eating for two days and gags while preferring to lay alone from rest of cows or attempts to get up and woobles then you could have a case of pneumonia here.
Give LA200 according to the directions but if there are no improvements after then i=the infection could be resistant to the LA200.
A 250 lb calf needs 12 cc LA200 and the 350 lb calves require 16 cc. You might want to shoot for a higher dose, or go ahead to change antibiotics for affected calves.
There are some new antibiotics for cattle that have proven effective in the fight against pneumonia in calves and they include:
- Excenel (given once per day)
- Naxcel, (given once per day) and
- Nuflor (given every other day)
They’re all different from the LA200 and were originally developed to combat pneumonia in cattle.
There are also pneumonia vaccines for cattle that you might want to use. You might start them now in the healthy calves and possibly prevent any new cases.
I have found the combination of Hemophilus and Pasteurella pneumonia vaccines for cattle particularly effective.