Contracted tendons in calves can be a challenging issue to deal with for livestock farmers. This condition can significantly affect the calf`s ability to walk, run, and stand properly, leading to a decrease in productivity and profitability. However, there are several treatment options available that can help alleviate this condition and promote proper growth and development in calves. In this article, we will discuss how to treat contracted tendons in calves.
What are Contracted Tendons?
Contracted tendons are a condition that affects the calf`s legs, causing the tendons to shorten and weaken, leading to an abnormal gait. This can occur due to various factors, such as genetic predisposition, nutritional deficiencies, or environmental stressors. Calves with contracted tendons tend to walk on their toes, with their hooves pointing downward, making it difficult for them to stand or walk for extended periods.
Treating Contracted Tendons
1. Nutritional Support: Providing the calf with proper nutrition is essential for the treatment of contracted tendons. This includes ensuring that the calf receives an adequate amount of protein, minerals, and vitamins. A diet rich in alfalfa hay, calf starter feed, and a supplement of Vitamin E and Selenium can help support proper muscle development and reduce inflammation in the tendons.
2. Exercise: Regular exercise can help promote joint flexibility and improve muscle strength in calves. Encouraging the calf to move around and stretch its limbs can help reduce the severity of the tendon contraction.
3. Physical Therapy: Stretching and massage of the affected tendons can help lengthen and strengthen them, reducing the severity of the contracted tendons. This can be done by manually stretching the calf`s legs or by using specialized tools designed for stretching tendons.
4. Splinting: In severe cases of contracted tendons, splinting the affected leg can help support the tendons and encourage proper growth and development. This can be done by creating a splint using materials such as fiberglass or PVC pipes that are attached to the leg.
5. Surgery: In extreme cases of contracted tendons, surgical intervention may be necessary. This involves cutting the tendon to release the tension and allow the tendon to lengthen and heal.
Contracted tendons in calves can significantly affect their growth and development, affecting farm profitability. However, with proper treatment, it is possible to alleviate this condition and promote proper calf growth and development. By providing the calf with proper nutritional support, encouraging regular exercise, administering physical therapy, using splints, and surgical intervention, farmers can help reduce the severity of contracted tendons and promote better health for their livestock.