house calls

Prevention is key

By JOSEPH A. D’ABBRACCIO, D.V.M.
Posted 8/12/20

Illness comes at all times, no matter in the middle of the night, on a holiday, or in a major storm.

A phone call came in at 3:50 a.m. Monday morning from a very upset woman regarding her …

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house calls

Prevention is key

Posted

Illness comes at all times, no matter in the middle of the night, on a holiday, or in a major storm.

A phone call came in at 3:50 a.m. Monday morning from a very upset woman regarding her two-month-old calf named Indy. The client was concerned that, at about midnight, Indy seemed to not be walking around well. He was stumbling and not able to nurse from his mother. The woman noted that Indy was completely fine all day despite the record high temperatures and sweltering humidity. She was given some instructions on what to do for the poor sick calf prior to bringing him to the veterinary hospital in Rock Hill, NY in a few hours.

When Indy was brought to the hospital, it was clear he was not feeling well. He was not able to stand, he was breathing very rapidly, he had a fever and he lacked the ability to suckle milk. All of these things are quite concerning for a young animal of any size.

After being thoroughly evaluated, it was noted that Indy was recently castrated by the owners through the method of placing a surgical band around his scrotum that later results in castration. This is a standard management procedure in cattle care.

While the procedure was done correctly, they had forgotten to give Indy a tetanus vaccination prior to the procedure. Tetanus is a highly deadly bacterial infection that affects horses, humans, cattle and, in some cases, dogs. The bacteria that causes the infection is called Clostridium tetani. This bacterium is unique in that it requires a low oxygen environment, also known as anaerobic environment, to survive and multiply. The bacteria spreads via spores that allow the bacteria to survive in the harshest of environments. It has been documented that tetanus spores can survive in temperatures of over 100 degrees. It is also resistant to a number of cleaning products.

Unfortunately, despite our very best efforts, Indy did not survive this severe debilitating infection. It is extremely important to be sure that all livestock receive proper vaccinations prior to having surgery—especially their yearly immunizations. Tetanus is a very preventable disease! It is important to communicate with your family veterinarian about the best husbandry and medical practices to be sure your animals are in the best health status possible.

Catskill Veterinary Services, PLLC

www.facebook.com/catskillveterinary
services

www.catskillvetservices.com

drjoe@catskillvetservices.com

prevention, vaccine

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