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Country Discussion Topics
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Ranchers I need you help please with the Cow!
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Mark Hendershot    Posted 05-29-2002 at 13:05:26       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Here is the problem. This cow has been down since last Sunday (11-days)She got up one time a while back and we walked her into the pasture. No fever, have given 4 IVS 4-5 visits by the vet. We have been feeding her by hand, giving enimas with ebson salt, Powerd suger (vets idea from Idaho) for energy by mouth. Lot of electro lites by mouth. We have to get this cow up on her feet befor she dies. We have been able to get some grass, hay, bread ect down her by hand and stuffing it down her. At 4:00 a guy is coming by with a sling to lift her and not sure about this. How long do you leve them hanging up in a sling? We have access to a back hoe for lifting. Do you just leave her up till she is better? Give me some hints at what to expect. How long can you leave a cow in a sling. Has anyone done this befor. We are at are witts end and very tired. A big cow is hard to sit up prop a bale agaist stake it to keep it from sliding to feed. Any ideas welcome befor we have to shoot her to stop the suffering. Thanks, Mark H.


Matthew in SD    Posted 05-30-2002 at 10:22:41       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hi Mark,
I had a heifer down this spring for 2 weeks. Hang in there with the sling. It will work if she can still feel her legs and you keep her fed and watered. Don't give up! Persistance will pay off.

I can't beleive $640 bill from the vet! They must think there doctors, next thing you know there will be cow health insurance salesmen stopping by.

Watch the heat, if you can move her to shade, do it. We picked up our heifer with two rope slings and moved her with the loader tractor.

Don't give up!
Matthew in SD


Mark Hendershot    Posted 05-30-2002 at 10:40:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
Well she was butcharded this morning. He said we must have taken good care of her while she was down because she looked pretty good for 11 days. Her Liver had shut down and was retaining a lot of water. She would not have made it. The cow went quick and the calf is OK. This one will be used for hamberger for the dogs food. The meat looked good but we needed another one for the dog food we make to feed our dogs with. At least this way the cow was not waisted. Mark H.


Hogman    Posted 05-30-2002 at 14:35:29       [Reply]  [No Email]
I'm so sorry it had ta happen Mark but at least in tha end We got some information and was not a total loss with the meat. That She shall not have died in vain.
I do agree with the comment about pricy Vet. Like Maw Hog told tha one Vets wife when She stated that"after all You must remember He spent a good deal of money going to school"n Maw said I know that but be damned if I want ta buy tha collage He went to! Made tha Lady mad. Actually tha Vet is a real good Friend,His Wife? She tolerates Us now.


jamo    Posted 05-29-2002 at 20:01:10       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I have no advice at all, but I do remember that you have a little girl. Must be really tough for her. Hang in there, ya just never know.


Mark Hendershot    Posted 05-29-2002 at 21:08:17       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks read the above post. Mark H.


Mark Hendershot    Posted 05-29-2002 at 18:00:28       [Reply]  [No Email]
Just checking posts we have her up she started to stand tied to the fork lift with bales under her. She is kicking some hope this works. Got to go back out, Mark


George8NFL    Posted 05-29-2002 at 16:47:16       [Reply]  [No Email]
Mark sorry about the cow. It was mentioned earlier about Zanes cow maybe you can drop him a line. You could break the new barn in an sling the cow up in there at least it'll be out of the weather. I would say with the weight of the cow you wouldn't want it in the sling to long as suggested earlier.Maybe just lift it high enough to have her on her feet if it'll stand. mho
Good Luck keep us posted


Farmer Gene (WI)    Posted 05-29-2002 at 14:50:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
Mark the symptoms you described before sounded like ketosis, did the vet check her for it? As far as lifting her up I would let her hang for half an hour or so and lift her every couple of hours, just lift her high enough so she can stand on her own if she decides to. If they hang too long the sling cuts into them and if they lay too long they get pinched nerves and legs fall asleep.


Mark Hendershot    Posted 05-29-2002 at 15:48:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
She was treated for that by the first vet. Isure can't stop now just got a bill from the second vet $643.00 and the other vet hasn't sent his yet. Sure makes you wonder for a bill that high and the Vet School Univercity involved nether can fix or tell you what is wrong for sure?? This is why I stay away from doctors. Flustrated I hope this sling idea works because that is all we can do for her now. Mark H.


Hal/WA    Posted 05-29-2002 at 13:49:36       [Reply]  [No Email]
Mark, it sounds like you have done about everything. Is she a valuable registered cow? If you had a vet out there 5 times, you already have a huge investment.... And the whole thing must have tired you and your family out, considering you effort.

Some times you have to cut your losses, as hard as that is to accept. If she were mine, I sure would not invest any more money. I might try the sling, but I have no experience with one.

Is she peeing and pooping? If not, I would try to figure a way to get her some liquid down her throat with a hose. I might try gatorade. I also would try some mineral oil. A couple of times when I was a kid, we had cattle down and my Dad did something like that.

If the cow dies, you may or may not want to open her up to see if you and the vet can find what was wrong with her. Once we did a post mortem on a calf and found that he had eaten a peice of plastic that obstructed his intestinge. Not a job for everyone though.

One of the sad facts about ranching is that occasionally you lose one. It sure kicks the profits in the teeth. Once my Dad missed part of our herd. He hunted around and found them--6 adults and 2 young ones under a tree that had apparently been hit by lightning overnight. There was not a mark on any one of them, but they were sure dead. All we could do was call the rendering company, which luckily would come pick them up for free. At least we were able to claim a sizable farm loss on the income taxes that year. Not near enough to make up for the value of the animals though.

If your vet is competent, then he has eliminated anything that the rest of your animals could catch. I don't think I would shoot her just yet. A while back Zane had one come back when it sounded pretty grim for her.

Sorry you are having these troubles. Good luck with the cow. I sure have enjoyed your barn photos.


Mark Hendershot    Posted 05-29-2002 at 14:12:22       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hal the shooting part is a last resort to stop any pain. She is pooping and peeing that part works. We have stopped spending money on the vet now they can't do anything else for her that we are not doing. The sling is free from a guy we know and no cost on the back hoe. I am just bummed the cow throws great calfs and is only 5 years old. I hope this all works out. Hate to lose a animal if it can be saved. Mark H.


Mark Hendershot    Posted 05-29-2002 at 13:23:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
Just lifted her up against a bale again and she drank 3-gals of water. She is holding her head up under her own strength. We are also giving Pro-Bioatics to keep the stomach working. Mark H.


Hogman    Posted 05-29-2002 at 13:43:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
Mark taint over till it's over so keep fightin for Her.
The sling is fine,suprised tha Vet hasn't advised usin one. As ta how long She could stay in it,I won't even hazard a quess,know of cases where They have spend time enough to heal some pretty bad leg injurys and such. You'll need some sort of support to hang Her from. I'd opt for undercover to protect Her as a wet sling would be another source of trouble.
Too, I'd get Her so Her feet are on tha ground so as to take some of tha weight off Her belly.
Also I'd figure on excersin Her legs along with massagin Em.
Hope this helps... Hogman DMV Grad of cowplop kollage nowhere.


Mark Hendershot    Posted 05-29-2002 at 14:08:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks, We have been keeping her under cover I have to move it several times a day to keep it over her because of her working herself around oaway from the bale. The vet is saying she is tired and that is why she won't get up. I will keep working on her. Mark H.


DeadCarp - hazards of critters    Posted 05-29-2002 at 16:16:22       [Reply]  [No Email]
I remember us losing a few when we milked. Usually infection or something obvious. And we saved a few.
One sawed her bag half off in a barbed wire fence. We cleaned her out, stitched her up with that old black fishline and she milked on all 4s later too.
Reddie dropped heifers every time but she'd cast her wethers every other time. So dad would pour coffee/brandy* in her to stop the labor, get her up, wash off the hanging guts and stuff them back in, wad lotsa gunnysacks to keep them in, and strap her together with a horse collar and harness parts. Then we'd take turns watching her all nite for awhile til she got settled.

*Did you eever see a drunken cow? They're downright hilarious! They moo funny, their eyes roll independently, look like something out of a cartoon! I sometimes think poor old Reddie pushed extra hard just for the trip ........ :)

We rarely had to put a cow down. My cousin's whole herd got bangs and they had to dig a trench, herd them in there & target practice on 30 years of work. He says that's the hardest thing he ever had to do. Sometimes farming is tough.



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