Cows/Cattle/Skin Loss

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Question
Chocolate\'s Patch
Chocolate's Patch  
Hello, I have a question about one of my family's cows name Chocolate. She is not mine but I care about her and I am worried about her. She is over 10 years old and has been breed all her life. I am going to convince them to call a vet but this website has helped me out a lot in the past and I hope you can help me by giving me any advice on what it could be. She has a massive bald spot that keeps growing. She is very underweight and grass fed. We have 80 acres they run free on and we separated her from the herd. Have you ever experienced this and if so what did you do to help the animal?

Answer
Hi Bree'a,

I have never seen this before, no, but I'm just wondering if some sort of parasite--mange or lice being a couple--that is causing her to have such hair loss as this?  I'm also wondering when was the last time she has been dewormed?  The other possibility--though I may be stretching it a little--is that her malnutrition and being very underweight may also be a contributing factor to her hair loss, a small possibility though it may be, but something to think about.

You also said that she could be rubbing the area, which is also a distinct possibility, and which does happen in horses as well. But I definitely recommend that you convince your family to get a vet out to have a look at her, and he/she may suggest some deworming and/or an improvement in her diet, such as higher energy and protein feeds in addition to the grass that she has access to every day.

One thing though, I hope it's just mange or lice and not something worse. Hopefully you figure out either a cure or a treatment to help her get her hair back to its former glory.

Good luck!

-Karin  

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Karin L

Expertise

Forage-Beef Extension Specialist. Knowledge in almost everything to do with beef and dairy cattle. Strong points include forage production, pasture and rangeland management, grazing management, breeding/calving/weaning, cattle genetics, breeds, feeding and nutrition, starting-up, and most physiological questions. I AM NOT A BOVINE VETERINARIAN; so please any questions that concern serious health of your cattle must be taken to your local large animal veterinarian.

Experience

Part of a farm family that bought, raised, and sold stocker/backgrounder steers; assisted with health management, handling, feeding, pasture management, and forage production. Also worked at local mixed-practice veterinary clinic. Experience with cattle included breeding soundness exams on bulls, castration, fixing prolapses, preg-checking, C-sections, calf pulling, vaccinations, etc. Worked at a local farm and ranch supply store selling medications and feed for livestock. Research assistant for the University of Alberta with range health assessments, and helping with various rangeland research projects. Always learning and gaining more experience as time goes on.

Publications
Alberta Farm Express Agri-News and Call of the Land (Alberta Agriculture)

Education/Credentials
BSc in Agriculture (Animal Science Major) @ University of Alberta, June 2015 graduate, but started studies in 2005. An Sci degree allowed me to specialize and gain significant knowledge in beef & dairy cattle production,animal behaviour and reproduction, ruminant nutrition, forage production/management, rangeland and pasture management & ecology, and plant identification.

Past/Present Clients
Various eef and forage producers in Alberta, CAN

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