Another illness that we've had several times on our place is "Panter", or Atypical Pneumonia... this happens in the summertime around our place which gets rather warm, as we get over 40C (105F) coupled with 0% humidity
You'll notice a cow who can't or doesn't keep up with the herd, especially in the daytime, completely lacks vigor, as it gets worse she won't want to lay down because she doesn't want the effort of getting back up, as time goes on, she'll start coughing, won't eat anymore, and her situation gets compounded by the fact she usually doesn't have the energy to go to the watering trough... if caught early, put them on a good hay, try and keep them cool... we don't know of much else that can be done.. we've seen this in yearling heifers and older, never had trouble with a bull though... Onlly one cow for approx 12 that have had this have made a complete recovery, the others either die or end up with a lifetime cough, which means thier life is short since they won't breed and produce properly.... If you have a cow which gets this.. good luck, we've lost several of our best cows
What ends up happening is since they can't stop coughing their lungs get destroyed.
On a positive note, it could be that they can (you can) select cows which are resistant to it, as in the last 10 years we haven't had any more occurrences of it
Also, a note on scours... Especially if you're organic... vaccinations are always a good idea, but if you get a calf with scours, we found the pharmacy had a bottle of "activated charcoal" in a squeeze-bottle paste form which has worked for us... and you'll be able to tell which calf-pie you stepped in for about a month!
Next: when a cow "loses it's cud".. it's basically when the rumen of the cow stops functioning properly and turn into a hard lump in it's stomach rather than a bubbly soup... causes of this are varied (Lump jaw, wooden tongue, getting loose in a grain bin, anything that can affect it wanting to eat/chew cud regularly)... Basically what needs to happen is you have to get that lump of grass/hay softened back up, and you need to make them drink LOTS of water.. how?? LOTS of salt.. loose salt and then they'll drink
Next: Bloat.. I'm very surprised this hasn't been covered here!!
What happens with bloat is the rumen foams, which prevents the cow's natural burp reflex, and so the stomach fills with air, to the point where it can rupture it, Causes are usually from turning the cows out onto a lush (young clover, alfalfa, etc) pasture (or pastures fertilized with high nitrogen fertilizers), particularly if they've just come off hay, Also, legume pastures with frost are a danger. if you suspect a pasture could cause blot, let them in for an hour and take them out, let them get used to it slowly, let them roam around your yard for a while before letting them into the lush pasture
How do you diagnose it? standing from the back of the cow, you can see the left hand side of the cow's stomach area rise above the hips, the will LOOK LIKE BALLOONS
What to do? well, make them run, make them run like be nice! and get them out of whatever pasture they are, into one where there isn't anything to eat, In extreme cases, there is a device (A trocar (spelling??)) which is used to puncture the skin and stomach to release the air.. we've never had bloat, and thus never any need for this device, which we bought as a precaution... maybe someone else can expand on this
A note on Pinkeye.. a product (dominion labs?) called Pinkaway powder has worked wonders for us, again, it seems that once you get rid of this problem, you won't get it again unless you import a lot of animals into your herd. It comes in about a 3oz plastic squeezebottle, just snip the tip of it, and try and squirt it into their eye, seems to work best with about a 1/2 full bottle, and they won't like it too much, but it has worked to get rid of the infection, as well as clearing up the cloudyness of the eye
*edit*... OK, I did see this, with picture previously in this thread
Another calving problem that hasn't been noted here is Vaginal prolapse... a nasty situation, mostly caused by unexercised cows, large calves, and calving.. what happens is all the stuff that's supposed to be on the inside comes out, then swells like be nice, and won't go back in... unless you are ready to tackle this one, either call the vet or the butcher, the cow is basically a write off, as she's fairly unlikely to breed again.
one trick I heard of (and haven't needed to try yet) is to pour white sugar over the prolapse, which will draw a lot of the fluid which is swelling it, out, then, with the cow standing, much preferably in a squeeze, it can all gently (but it a lot of force) pushed all back in... keeping it in is another thing entirely, as the next time she lays down, it could all come out again.. I've seen the vulva actually sewn shut, first by some cotton string (I imagine a coarse catgut would work nicely), about 2-3 loops on each side of the vulva, then "shoelaced" together with bale twine... this procedure leaves 3 telltale scars on each side of the vulva.. so if you're buying an older cow.. it's something you can look for
Anyone interested in reading a book that's veterinarian related and hilarious, MUST read something by James Harriot (All creatures great and small is a good one).. a million laughs of an apprentice vet in rural england in the 1940's or so before modern medicine... you can learn a lot from those books
Hope my little writeup may help someone sometime
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