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Unread June 10th, 2010, 13:26
matt76_uk matt76_uk is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1
Post hind limb abnormality in a belgian blue bull

I recently bought a 2 year old ready for work Belgian Blue bull, he was right and correct when i bought him with no evidence of any abnormality, however, after putting him in a pen with a bulling cow he developed what my vet diagnosed as a severe bilateral varus, i.e. his back legs were bent and bowed outwards just above his fetlock, one leg was very bad the other not so severe but still obvious. There wasn't and has never been any swelling and no lamness at all, indicating that it is unlikely to be an injury. The other suggestion was that it could be a genetic condition in which case there is the risk of him passing it on to his calves, there is also the longevity issue as heavy bulls with non-correct joints and limbs (particularly back legs) are not going to last very long.

Has anybody had any experience of this type of condition in cattle? can these things just appear suddenly once the joints are under particular stress/activity? (i.e. whilst serving a cow)

Any advice or opinions welcome

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Unread June 11th, 2010, 11:50
joncowcare joncowcare is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Cheshire
Posts: 75

Hi Matt,
Welcome to the forum, good to have you aboard !

I've worked with most breeds and types of bull and what you describe is something I've seen a lot of especially in the double-muscled [or heavy as you call it] breeds. Without actually being there it's hard to give a positive diagnosis but sure sounds like you are right.
These joint injuries can be there from birth, a genetic disposition or as a result of injury during service but whatever the cause it would be unwise to use this bull again until it is entirely rested and you have had it checked by a vet for a clean bill of health.
While you wait for it to be healed find out all you can about it's sire/dam and any traceable offspring.
Now, are you sure that the area you use for service is level and with a stable surface ?
Good luck please let us know how he does !
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