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Dehorned calf with maggots.

  • 12-09-2022 8:52am
    Registered Users Posts: 10,182 ✭✭✭✭patsy_mccabe

    I had a calf yesterday with maggots where I dehorned it. First time ever happening here. It was dehorned on 2/9/2022 so 9 days previously. It got the aluminium spray and stockholm tar initially.

    Neighbour with sheep told me to squirt salty water with a syringe into it which worked very well in fairness. Washed them all out. I sprayed Alamycin spray into it and stockholm tar over it.

    Anyone have experience here of dealing with it? Should I treat again in a few days? Calf is stone mad. Not exactly easy to get back in the dehorning crate. She was jumping around so much with me initially, the hole was opened a bit to the side. It looks very open now.



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,659 ✭✭✭alps

    Are maggots a bad thing for a wound?

    They're used to clear up flesh wounds on humans.

    Maggot therapy involves the use of maggots of the green-bottle fly, which are introduced into a wound to remove necrotic, sloughy and/or infected tissue. Maggots can also be used to maintain a clean wound after debridement if a particular wound is considered prone to re-sloughing.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,182 ✭✭✭✭patsy_mccabe

    I was thinking that, but I don't think the calf would agree with you Alps. It was walking around shaking it's head as in serious discomfort.


  • Registered Users Posts: 198 ✭✭Gamergurll

    Sorry can't advise, just wanted to say AFAIK they are medically bred larvae in a lab for medical use, the maggots in the op scenario can't be good for the cow? I know they discovered maggots cleaning wounds because of WWII though and obviously not a controlled environment so I'm open to correction on this 😁

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,474 ✭✭✭Limestone Cowboy

    I had one after dehorning last year for the first time aswell, not really much you can do only keep an eye on it and keep spray applied if you can catch him. I think I only caught mine once. Had one a few years ago that got them on a little cut on her hindquarter though and it was an awful job to flush them out by the time I spotted them, they had burrowed in the length of my finger. Took a while but she made a full recovery after.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,822 ✭✭✭tanko

    When they burrow into the calfs brain it won’t end well.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,182 ✭✭✭✭patsy_mccabe

    Would the Alminium spray be better than the Alamycin spray in this case?


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,718 ✭✭✭✭wrangler

    Any where maggots are used in medicine , I'm sure they take them out when the wound is cleaned out,

    We used to use hydrogen peroxide followed by daily washing with salt and water when we had a case, but you'd need to monitor it, ive seen the maggots start again under the scab

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,691 ✭✭✭✭Base price

    I've used a solution of hydrogen peroxide to flush out a wound or you could use an iodine solution but salty water works as well. All you can do is keep an eye on her and hope the stockholm tar keeps the flies away. I've a cow here that has a wound on her side and I'm treating it with sudocrem twice daily but she is quiet and will stand for me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 581 ✭✭✭ABitofsense

    I've being using Ordel fly spray with Aluminium spray to keep the flies off the late calves that I dehorned. I had one lad that got badly infected on one side & brought him in every 2nd day for 2 weeks to keep it clean & put spray on as flies were driving him mad. He'd be scratching his head again creep feeder making it worse! August was awful for flies.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,184 ✭✭✭Lime Tree Farm

    Question. I can feel small buds on the new calf. If I were to debud at 2 weeks and leave on the bud, would that work to prevent fly strike

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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,221 ✭✭✭893bet

    I have never removed a bud when dehorning and have yet to suffer any regrowth.

    Having an open hole to me seems a risk.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,871 ✭✭✭El Gato De Negocios

    This happened once or twice over the years with the oul lads calves. About 5 years ago he started using sudocream when he removes the buds and has never had a single problem since, they seem to heal up really quickly, even in the summer time when flies are at their most rampant. A good dollop of it into the opening.

  • Registered Users Posts: 581 ✭✭✭ABitofsense

    Started leaving the buds on here 2 years ago now. Huge difference & heals faster. No horns have grown after. The buds do fall out on most few days later but they're nearly sealed at that stage. Way easier on the calf

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,216 ✭✭✭148multi

    Butox will keep the flies away, you'll have to rub it into the hair around the buds, use other products in bud to help it heal

  • Registered Users Posts: 442 ✭✭1373

    An open wound in the sun we just had is looking for trouble . Fly numbers are bad this year . Salty water daily is good for most wound

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,075 ✭✭✭Siamsa Sessions

    Is there anything to be said for a drop of burnt oil on the wound?

    And maybe tie a sprig of holly round his neck with a blue baling twine, just to be sure!

    In all seriousness, if they’re anything like the maggots sheep get, then what you’ve done already should sort them out. Alamycin will do the job, and don’t spare it. Jeyes fluid will also do it apparently but I’ve never used it. You could also ask that neighbour with the sheep if he has any ticsol (not sure of spelling) if he’s an oul lad, or that Clic pour-on if he’s younger

    Trading as Sullivan’s Farm on YouTube

  • Posts: 6,192 ✭✭✭ Jason Most Against

    If you have a sheep farmer nearby,get a drop of click to keep flies off him

    Works for neighbours around here

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,659 ✭✭✭alps

    Where do you guys come up with cabinet loads of antibiotics....and just fire them around..

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,685 ✭✭✭Sheep breeder

    Iodine to kill infections and alu spray to seal to keep flies off,

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,454 ✭✭✭funkey_monkey

    Would Swish not be the product to use to keep the flies off?

    Clean it out well and plenty of alu spray.

    Did you get it sorted patsy?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,718 ✭✭✭✭wrangler

    Jeyes fluid stops the healing and is too severe to put into the head.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,177 ✭✭✭Anto_Meath

    One of the things I hate about late calving cows, it way anything I have calving from mid May on I have started to give an Angus to, saves on de-horning. Gave a bull called Man O Man to two cows last year AA4087 have to say I am happy with the calves. So I have done the same this year, I have 1 in today (repeat after 6 weeks and that is what she is getting)