Clostridium Perfringens Type C

Kudos to you if you know what that is.

Or not… depending on how you look at things.
Because if you know this bovine illness, you know its consequences, and you know sometimes it’s not pretty.
Let me back up and use some English.
We vaccinated our heifers today… before we know it, it’ll be calving season.  There’ll be all sorts of cute little bitty calves hitting the ground, nice and wet and slimy with their birth sacs steaming on the cold ground.  It’s a busy busy time of year, and we do everything we can to make sure that they’re ok and soon on their feet and eating!
One thing that can mess up this pretty picture is what most people ’round here call scours.
You’d call it diarrhea.
There’s viral causes and bacterial causes (that’s where Clostridium Perfringens Type C comes in)… and a broad spectrum vaccine will help with that.
It’s JUST diarrhea, right?
The quick loss of fluids due to diarrhea can knock a fun loving running playing gorgeous calf down in hours.  It virtually destroys the lining of the small intestine, and the calf can suffer dehydration, depression, and death.
When that happens, it hurts.
What you stayed up for until 3 am, so you could help it into this world, now lies on a bed of clean straw, limp and listless.  You’ve attempted to give the poor thing an IV, cussing because the veins are so empty, and you can’t find it.  It has to be there, but the light is poor and your hands are cold because you’ve been out in the snowstorm.  You stretch your back and sigh, and bend to try once more.  “C’mon, little girl, hang in there.”  A look at her face and you know.  You lost one.  A rough hand bangs the 1 x 8 wall, and you stand.  A shake of the head, and you wrap a baling twine around a tiny hoof to drag her to the bone pile.
That’s why we vaccinate our cows now, so they can transfer the immunity to their calves.
Because that scenario hurts so much to even write, much less live through.
We’ll vaccinate our cows on Friday… and help the neighbors’ do theirs in the next few days as well.
January 17, 2011   Enjoying Themselves
January 17, 2010   No entry.
January 17, 2009   Hopes

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