Calf with a broken leg

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Calf with a broken leg

Post by mtnhunter » Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:18 pm

Had a cow i guess stepped on her calf and broke its rear hind leg below the hock. Couldnt find a vet that was open after hrs, so i splinted it myself. Calf looks great but today at the three week mark I could smell the leg and i can see some red or inflamed tissue above the wrapping. I have kept antibiotics in it and the calf is frisky and eating well. Should I unsplint the leg at the three week mark or wait at least another week. Also can smell a bad odor from the leg. First time I have tried this. Anyone with experience?



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Re: Calf with a broken leg

Post by Buck Randall » Sun Oct 06, 2019 6:14 pm

You need to take the splint off right away. The bad odor is likely from an infection. The best case scenario is that your splint is just too tight and cutting into the skin. The worst case scenario is that the skin was broken when the bone broke and the whole leg is gangrenous. You'll know when you get the splint off. Feel the leg at the site of the break to see if the bone is stable. If it hasn't healed at all in 3 weeks, it's hopeless and you'll have to put him down. If it's stable, you'll probably be fine just to leave the splint off. No guarantees in life, but I've done it several times and never had a problem with leaving the cast off of a calf after three weeks.

Good luck.

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Re: Calf with a broken leg

Post by mtnhunter » Sun Oct 06, 2019 6:32 pm

Buck,
The skin was broke when I found her but not bad. I treated the leg and bound it up. I will take the spliint off tomorrow and hope for the best,
Thanks

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Re: Calf with a broken leg

Post by Nesikep » Sun Oct 06, 2019 6:40 pm

hope it's alright!
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Re: Calf with a broken leg

Post by Mat Man » Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:05 pm

We had one that way. We put mom and calf in 30x30 lot.
Healed up fine with splint. Always had a knot at break and limped.
Tasted fine when it got to 1000 lbs

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Re: Calf with a broken leg

Post by Bright Raven » Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:15 pm

Good luck.
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Re: Calf with a broken leg

Post by Silver » Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:30 pm

We always use the cast that comes in the foil packs. If you on top of your game you can leave a chunk of de-horning (obstetric wire) in the padding beneath the casting material with an end sticking out both top and bottom. That way the removal of the cast when the time comes is a breeze.

I hope this deal works out for you.

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Post by darcelina4 » Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:05 pm

I bought a calf a few years ago with a broken leg. It was broken between the hock and stifle. It would bend in half but it had not broke through the skin. He was 2 days old. I fashioned a Thomas Schoeder splint by using thin rods a purchased as Lowes. I bent the rods using my truck bumper. I put lots of padding on his leg and taped him into the splint. His foot was in traction. I checked it everyday and often had to retape it all. After 3 weeks we took it off. We kept him in a 6x10 pen in the barn a few more weeks. By the time he was 4 months, you could not tell he had ever been injured. I found the design on the internet

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Re: Calf with a broken leg

Post by mtnhunter » Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:30 am

Thanks for all the replies. I took the splint off this morning and was dismayed to find it hadn't healed any at all. The leg was rotten around the break and the smell was horrible. I don't know if I did something wrong or it was just bad luck. I know I had probably overdosed it with antibiotics but the calf was clear eyed and growing every day. The vet said I had done what she would have done and cautioned me that if the skin was broken the prognosis was not good.

I know this is part of it but it sucks. I wish the peta people could see how hard we fight to save some of these animals when bad luck hits but then they would have to admit that we care more about the animal than we do the money. :(

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Re: Calf with a broken leg

Post by cowgal604 » Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:35 pm

mtnhunter wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:30 am
Thanks for all the replies. I took the splint off this morning and was dismayed to find it hadn't healed any at all. The leg was rotten around the break and the smell was horrible. I don't know if I did something wrong or it was just bad luck. I know I had probably overdosed it with antibiotics but the calf was clear eyed and growing every day. The vet said I had done what she would have done and cautioned me that if the skin was broken the prognosis was not good.

I know this is part of it but it sucks. I wish the peta people could see how hard we fight to save some of these animals when bad luck hits but then they would have to admit that we care more about the animal than we do the money. :(
I am sorry to hear about your calf's leg. And I totally agree. I am both animal advocate and cow raiser and my step sister is a huge PETA vegan activist. I could literally suffocate her sometimes with what she says and does. PETA doesn't fight for animals rights, they make things worse. And you're right, this part super sucks. What will your plan be next. Just wait it out? Put it down?

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Re: Calf with a broken leg

Post by Buck Randall » Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:34 pm

mtnhunter wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:30 am
Thanks for all the replies. I took the splint off this morning and was dismayed to find it hadn't healed any at all. The leg was rotten around the break and the smell was horrible. I don't know if I did something wrong or it was just bad luck. I know I had probably overdosed it with antibiotics but the calf was clear eyed and growing every day. The vet said I had done what she would have done and cautioned me that if the skin was broken the prognosis was not good.

I know this is part of it but it sucks. I wish the peta people could see how hard we fight to save some of these animals when bad luck hits but then they would have to admit that we care more about the animal than we do the money. :(
You didn't do anything wrong, and I wouldn't even say your luck is bad. Most fractures where the skin is broken end up that way, unfortunately. I don't even bother trying to fix them anymore, unless the client absolutely insists. It's just too disheartening to take the cast off of a calf that was looking great and find out that the leg has turned to mush.

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Re: Calf with a broken leg

Post by mtnhunter » Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:25 pm

cowgal604,
Had to put it down. Hate to do stuff like that but its part of raising animals.

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Re: Calf with a broken leg

Post by Nesikep » Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:35 pm

boo.. that sucks :(
What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence
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Re: Calf with a broken leg

Post by cowgal604 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:53 pm

mtnhunter wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:25 pm
cowgal604,
Had to put it down. Hate to do stuff like that but its part of raising animals.
You made the right decision. There is nothing worse than watching an animal suffer. We have an old dog right now, 15, with cancer. Our vet said to me "there is a line in the sand. One marks good day, the other bad. Right now you are in the grey area between. Once you cross the other line, into a bad day, you'll regret it. But you will never regret letting them go on a good day"

Sorry about your calf. But you are the definition and an example of a good cattleman.

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Re: Calf with a broken leg

Post by ccr » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:38 pm

mtnhunter wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:25 pm
cowgal604,
Had to put it down. Hate to do stuff like that but its part of raising animals.
mtnhunter, sorry about your calf. we had one last year with a broke leg, but he made it. we had splint put on and vet changed ever week for about 4 weeks.

on one of the first visits to the vet with him, we put in a dog crate. when we got to the vet the crate turned over and came apart. when we left the vet to go home we sat the crate in a corner of the trailer and he was laying down in another corner. when we got home we found he had crawled inside the crate.
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