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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Bad Monday

There are Mondays and then there are Mondays like yesterday that just start off bad.  If you follow me on Facebook, you know that yesterday was a Monday in every since of the word.

I awoke with a horrible sinus that pounded my head with every step I took.  I must have looked real bad, because my awesome hubby said I could stay home and his dad would help feed.  Yeah, I had to look real bad, because I've tried to call in sick and it hardly ever works.  Anyway, I was staring at my computer when the phone rang an hour later to tell me we had a cow with a uterine prolapse.

These are never good we all prefer when things go according to "the plan".  Often, the cow goes into shock and dies before we find them.  If we can help them get things put back in place and treat the shock, we have a chance at least. 

The calf was HUGE!  The guys guessed it weighed 120 pounds at least.  She amazingly had him by herself, but things didn't stop pushing when she got the calf out and out popped her uterus, too.  Not good.  
It was probably a good thing at the time that she was partially paralyzed at this point.  We've seen cows have way more hanging out and running around the pasture.  That is no good as they rip their uterus.  I snapped this picture after I administered drugs prescribed by the vet to help with the shock. He was pretty sure she may have been dead before he got there had I not given her the drugs.

The guys got her rolled up on her belly, so gravity would work for them putting things back into place.  Usually, I am in my father in law's position and not able to take pictures.  Usually, these happen at 11:00 at night or 2:00 am in the sleet and rain and snow.  But I digress.  The feed sacks are important!  As the vet got things cleaned up best he could, I slipped the bags underneath, so the uterus had something cleaner than the ground to rest on.

As he started pushing we saw something that none of us liked.  She had torn a whole in her uterus that A LOT of blood was coming from.  (She did pick one of the few brushy spots to have her calf in and we guessed that one of the broken shoots caused the tear.)  The vet had to stop for a minute and attempt to sew that spot closed and we hoped for the best.  They continued to push and push and finally "the basketball sized mass went into the softball sized hole."
To keep things from falling back out, he put some big ol' stitches across her...well you can see where.  These obviously aren't dissolvable stitches.
We took the rope off of her and let her rest and prayed she would make it.
My husband took a tractor and loader back up to the pasture to let her stand up.  Dairy Carrie has talked about doing this in her post Sometimes We are Mean to Our Cows.    She is paralyzed on her back legs, but is trying to stand which is great news.  A 1100 pound cow that doesn't want to try isn't going to make it.  We also gave her some antibiotics, Vitamin K to help with blood clotting and some injectable minerals to help with healing.

Then I had to tend to a calf who's mama was in no condition to feed him.  In fact, she didn't even clean him up very well.  I gave him a bottle of colostrum replacer.  Colostrum is the first milk a mom produces after giving birth.  It is full of antibodies that help the calf develop it's own immune system, but it needs to be fed within 6 hours of birth.  The gut lining starts to close to antibodies after 6 hours.
I  gave him a bottle and had the guys help me get him in the barn.  He didn't really want to stand up and my head was back to pounding at this point, so I let him be.
When the boys got home from school, I told them that they were in charge of feeding the calf.  That's when they noticed his tendons were bending his feet back.  Poor calf was running out of room inside mama and was crunched anywhere he could be.  We splinted his legs to straighten them and will leave those on just a couple of days.
His eyes are also incredibly blood shot after the difficult birth.  I am guessing that he was at least 2 weeks over due!
To give you an idea of just how big this calf is, my husband is 6 foot 3.  Those little 60 pound calves make standing up look easy.  Apparently, it is harder when you are trying to coordinate 120 pounds of bulk.
So, how was your Monday?  Do you feel better about it?  I know I didn't think my sinus infection was quite as bad as I originally thought it was after helping with these two!  Now, I am off to see how everyone is dong and praying I don't have to have the talk about All Living Things Die.
-A Kansas Farm Mom

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