Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Neuromuscular and musculoskeletal conditions of the young calf

Synonym(s): Demyelination disorders, paresis and paralysis, damage from obstetric injury, spinal cord damage, septic arthritis

Contributor(s): Virginia Sherwin , Nick Bell

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Introduction

  • Primary neuromuscular or musculoskeletal disease can be identified as weakness without alteration to mental state.
  • Neuromuscular and musculoskeletal conditions can be difficult to diagnose, particularly in the recumbent animal.
    • Further diagnostics might be required such as radiography or blood sampling the adult cows for nutritional deficiencies; a post mortem of a calf which is not responding to treatment may provide extra beneficial information.
  • The bulk of the information included in this article has been presented as a table.  Please click on the link to view a table summarising musculoskeletal and neuromuscular disorders. Musculoskeletal and neuromuscular disorders: overview table
    • The table aims to assist vets with compiling a differential diagnosis list when presented with such cases. 
    • Brief information regarding clinical signs, etiology, diagnosis, treatment and prevention is provided, but more detailed information can be found by searching for the individual conditions within Bovis.

A note regarding “weak calves”

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A note regarding lameness/ reluctance to walk

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMed Resource.
  • Amanda K (2017) Hartnack, Spinal Cord and Peripheral Nerve Abnormalities of the Ruminant. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Food Animal Practice 33 (1) pp 101-110.
  • Dore V & Smith G (2017) Cerebral Disorders of Calves. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Food Animal Practice 33 (1) pp 27-4.
  • Gentile A & Testoni S (2006) Inherited disorders of cattle: A selected review. Slov Vet Res 43 (1) pp 17-29. 

Other sources of information

  • Smith (2015) Large Animal Internal Medicine. 5th Edn, Mosby Elsevier. Missouri, United States of America.
  • Radostits (2007) Veterinary Medicine. 10th Edn. Saunders Elsevier, Philadelphia, United States of America.
  • Blowey & Weaver (2003) Color Atlas of Diseases and Disorders of Cattle. 2nd Edn. Mosby Elsevier, Philadelphia, United States of America.


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