What to do if the calf does not get up


If the calf does not get up right after birth, it is likely that he needs human help. Normally, after the birth of an animal, the animal rises within two hours. In the event that the cow’s pregnancy was severe, or the newborn was injured during the birth, his limbs may be denied. In young stock leg problems can occur before the age of two years. The causes of this violation are diseases, injuries or unbalanced feeding of animals.

Hypoxia is a common cause of weakness.

During pregnancy, the diet of a cow should consist of a balanced and fortified food. With a lack of nutrients, the body uses internal reserves to feed the fetus, which disrupts metabolic processes and contributes to the formation of toxins in the body. The fetus has a lack of oxygen. This leads to a lack of beneficial substances, disrupts the development of the liver, gastrointestinal tract and respiratory organs.

A hypoxia-suffering calf is born with swollen limbs, weighing between 50 and 70 kg. In addition to the fact that the baby can not get up on his feet, he has a weak breathing and slow heartbeat. Swelling appears on the head, and the nose and mouth fill with thick mucus.

First aid for a newborn

If the calf does not rise to the light after birth and does not breathe well, then the following steps should be done with it:

  • take the hind legs and lift to help clear the airway of mucus;
  • clasp the face of the animal and push the paranasal ways, helping the mucus to move out;
  • to improve blood circulation and facilitate breathing, cold water is sprayed on the back of the calf's head;
  • a couple of drops of the drug "Respiro", which stimulates the lungs, are instilled into the nose or cheek.

All manipulations are preferably carried out in the presence of a veterinarian. The specialist will help make the necessary drug injection, provide drugs that stimulate blood circulation and lung function, and if necessary, perform artificial respiration for the newborn.

Bruises and scratches are possible.

A healthy baby may suddenly weaken and stop moving. Farmers have a question, what to do when the calf does not get up on its feet, how to treat it. If the limbs of the young have failed, the first step is to conduct an external examination of the animal for possible damage to the muscles and joints, probe the claws and the rim.

Often, injuries can be invisible by visual inspection, so the tissues and muscles are squeezed with fingers until a calf develops a painful reaction. Sensitive places need to be washed with water, clean the claws with a knife from the stratum corneum. Disinfect wounded sores with hydrogen peroxide or potassium permanganate. Then smear them with streptocide and apply a bandage. Tetracycline or bitsillin-5 is administered to the animal intramuscularly.

Causes of weakness in the grown calf

If the calf has a swelling joint, then it may indicate arthritis or myositis (inflammation of the skeletal muscles). At the same time, body temperature rises sharply. There are these diseases due to metabolic disorders, bruises, sprains or ligament ruptures. It is recommended to provide the animal with rest, apply cold on the affected areas and a pressure bandage, then make warming compresses.

In case of zoonotic infection (pasteurellosis) or acute intestinal infection (salmonellosis), the joints increase in size, while there is indigestion in the calf. In these cases, the sick calf needs to be completely restrained; apply a cooling compress to the swollen joints. In case of a protracted process of the disease, a massage of the extremities should be done with application of 10% ichthyol ointment or camphor oil.

Unbalanced nutrition and poor care

An important role in the full development of young animals is played by the correct content and rich in vitamins and supplements.

The main mistakes of farmers, leading to impotence and severe calves are the following:

  • water sour or cold colostrum;
  • feeding with colostrum from a cow suffering from mastitis;
  • calf teat with too big hole;
  • abrupt diet change;
  • feeding substandard feed;
  • walking in a cold and windy season;
  • overfeeding;
  • non-observance of cleanliness in stall premises.

The lack of certain nutrients in the diet of a young calf leads to the development of various diseases that prevent him from moving.

White muscle disease

With a lack of nutrition of vitamin E, selenium and methionine in the calf, fatigue and a decrease in motor activity are observed. He begins to breathe heavily, falls to his side and no longer rises. At the same time, his appetite is lost and his stool is broken.

For an accurate diagnosis, contact your veterinarian. According to the protein contained in the calf urine and myochrome pigment, the doctor diagnoses white muscle disease. If the disease is not detected in time, then the probability of death of the animal.

For treatment, it is necessary to add a dose of sodium selenite prescribed by a doctor to the animal’s feed and inject intramuscularly with vitamin E.


With severe stress of the animal (transportation in transport, change of place of stabling) or lack of vitamins A, B and D, with insufficient supply of iodine, zinc or manganese, the calf is at risk of developing tetany.

If a baby has swollen knee joints, and he cannot stand up on his own feet, this indicates the development of the disease. The calf becomes lethargic, stumbles and falls to the ground. When you try to get up it strongly shakes, further movement is given with great difficulty. Later, in patients with bulls and calves, convulsions, copious salivation, and eyeball displacement are observed.

Tetany diagnosed by blood tests. Treatment is reduced to providing the body of the calf with the missing nutrients: magnesium and calcium salts. Prescribe drugs that prevent the excitation of the nervous system during painful attacks (luminal, sodium bromide, chloral hydrate).


Insufficient intake of vitamin D, phosphorus and calcium into the calf diet leads to the development of a chronic disease - rickets. The disease is typical for calves of any age group, more often during a period of lack of sunlight and with insufficient walking of animals. Congenital rickets can be found in calves whose mother has suffered from hypovitaminosis.

If a calf born from such a cow is lame or has fallen to its feet, there is a possibility of this pathology. Usually his bones are twisted, his joints are inflamed and thickened, digestive upset and a sharp weight loss are observed. Calves begin to heavily lick the walls and feeders. It is not necessary to explain in detail why it is necessary to seek help from a veterinarian. Suffice it to say that only a specialist will select the necessary full-fledged diet and prescribe in proper doses intravenous calcium supplements.

Alimentary dystrophy

With insufficient nutrition of calves, they are exhausted, which subsequently leads to a serious disease - nutritional dystrophy. If the calf loses weight by more than 20% of its normal weight, then it will decrease muscle mass, decrease skin tone, and cause hair loss. Heart rhythms and respiratory activity slow down, the calf is very difficult to stand up and defecate.

It is necessary to take serious measures to treat a dystrophic condition. To normalize the work of the intestinal microflora, calves are prescribed probiotics and parenteral feeding is performed. For this purpose, a solution of glucose and plasma substitutes are administered intravenously to a sick animal.

To avoid weakness of the limbs in young animals, it is necessary to give them a balanced diet from birth. It is necessary to take into account the content of nutrients in feed produced in a particular area. In the first 10 days of life, calves should receive colostrum, gradually moving to coarser food.

Share the received information with your friends.

Tell us in the comments about the effective treatment of weak calves in your area.




Popular Categories