another down cow, least I know what to do.

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Toby L.

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12 years old, due to calve any time now, really skinny, she just had her last supper.
She's had diarrhea for a couple of day's now, I went to check on them this morning and she didn't get up like she usually does. So I got a pen ready for her so she could have her calf in privacy. I went up to get her, hoping that she could get up, but no luck. She can pull herself up with her front legs, but when she gets her back legs under her and starts to push up they slip out and behind her, then she just sits there like a dog for a while and goes down again. She crawled about 20 feet today like that, with me tempting her with corn, or just yelling at her. I took her temp. it was 99 degree’s, and her anus was so swollen that I could hardly get the thermometer in her. I called the vet, and he said that she slipped and spread her legs, which he really couldn't do anything about. Being that she has diarrhea, he thinks she has a virus that's been going around, or johnes. I don't remember what virus he said. She was " on the skinny side" when I bought her last fall. And it seemed like there was nothing I could do to put weight on her, I didn't want to grain her very much, because of calving issues. I guess I don't have to worry about that now, the calf could be 150 pounds and still come out just as good. The guy I bought her from said she's always been skinny like that. I guess it's how that old saying goes " a fool and his money are soon parted" I've made some foolish purchases this winter.
So anyway, I was going to wait until Monday, but I think tomorrow’s my best bet to shoot her. The vet said that I had 90 seconds to get the calf out. He said to shoot her in the forehead twice with a .22 and make a 2 foot long cut on her left side 6 inches behind the ribs. He said the uterus should be right there and I can pull the calf out. How do I know the calf is far enough along to make it? I called the guy I bought her from, and he said that she's about a week away. How early can you pull a calf like that? Then what? I know to use clean towels and start to rub it down, tickle it's nose with some straw. What if that doesn't do it? I'm really nervous, I don't want to loose this calf, I feel it's the only kind of redemption I can get for buying this problem cow. What about the colostrum? I'm going to pick some up tonight, but how much, and how long should I wait until I give the calf any. I figured a half hour, if it lives that long.
After I care for the calf, I wanted to dress out the cow and make what little meat she has into hamburger. I called my vet and left a message with him, still waiting for the callback, but is it safe to eat the meat if she has johnes or some other virus?
I read all these posts from people that have had 1 or 2 posts on here saying "help my cow/calf is down and won't get up" it just irritates me because after it suffers and dies they never come back. I probably shouldn't let the sun set on her tonight, but I would like to more prepared, so tomorrow is her day. If I tried to keep her alive for any amount of time, she could die some night and I would lose the both of them. The vet also said that if I felt like spending a lot of money I could have him come out there and run blood work and wait 2 weeks for the results, and whatever else he had to do. I was like no thanks, I know what I need to do, the cow isn't worth that to me.... The vet just called back and said that's it's safe to eat the meat, as long as she isn't running a fever... I'm just really nervous, I hope I don't screw this one up.
 

CKC1586

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Ah Toby thats a tough one. Sorry. I would be nervous too.
Brother had a cow go down and we kept her going for about two weeks till she went into labor then put her down, got the calf. We tubed him in the first hour with the colostrum, gave him a shot of bose and iron and bottled him three times a day for quite a while. Turned out to be a very nice bull.
Do you have someone that can help you?
 

dun

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Too bad you want to eat the meat. Check with the vet and see what the withholding tyime is on Dex. The only reason for dex is so that the calf has some time to get it's lungs lined up properly to breathe. A week isn;t too early to do a post mortem C-section and have the calf live, but the dex would probably help it's chances of survival a little more. Insure you have some colostrum ready to feed the calf as soon as possible. Good luck. Post mortem C-sections suck..................
 

Workinonit Farm

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About all I can say is good luck with this. I have not had to do it.

Offered to do it for a friend one time whose cow was due any day, she slipped and fell upside down in a creek and we couldn't get her up and out in time, she died in his arms. He didn't want to have her opened up to get the calf.

If at all possible, see if you can line someone up to lend you a hand. As dun said, the Dex could help the calf. Be careful with the cutting after you shoot, she may kick or move around a little, (posthumous reflexes).

Good luck.

Katherine
 

grubbie

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If the cow has been weak for a while then the calf will be weak as well. If the cow has bagged up you might be able to milk her enough to give the calf a feeding. Good luck, could be tough keeping that calf going. And be careful!
 
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Toby L.

Toby L.

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dun":3ifqm25u said:
Too bad you want to eat the meat. Check with the vet and see what the withholding tyime is on Dex. The only reason for dex is so that the calf has some time to get it's lungs lined up properly to breathe. A week isn;t too early to do a post mortem C-section and have the calf live, but the dex would probably help it's chances of survival a little more. Insure you have some colostrum ready to feed the calf as soon as possible. Good luck. Post mortem C-sections suck..................

The vet told me that if I wanted to that he could get me some dex. He said that it would help with the lung devolpment, and it would induce labor. It would take about 36 hours. I declined, I don't want her going into labor without me around, and without being able to get up or at least move around, how would I know if the calf was properly cared for after it was born?
I got a hold of the sluaghter guy, he comes to the farm with a boom truck and does all the butchering there. He just had eye surgery and can't lift anything for a week, but his aprentice may be available. IF not it will just be my wife and I, maybe a couple of friends that don't know much about this king of thing. One thing the vet told me that made me feel a little better, he said it's easier taking the calve c-section because the calve doesn't have the trama of going through the birth canel. One thing that I forgot to ask, what about the cutting of the cord? Cut it, then tie it? My wife was just talking about getting clamps and all that kind of stuff. I told her that she's going to have to get down there and chew it off with her teeth. :)
 
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Toby L.

Toby L.

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grubbie":3s5ujbpa said:
If the cow has been weak for a while then the calf will be weak as well. If the cow has bagged up you might be able to milk her enough to give the calf a feeding. Good luck, could be tough keeping that calf going. And be careful!
The cow isn't bagged up yet, sometimes they don't untill afterwards. I think that's an other good reason for getting that calve out as soon as possible.
 

dun

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When you get the calf out and the sack off it's face, grab the umbilical cord about a foot from it's belly, wrap it around your hand so it won;t slip and pull it from the placenta. That's pretty much (other then the hand part) what happens when a calf is born. If it won;t break, cut it below your hand and tie a knot in it. I would also make sure I really dipped and soaked the cord and navel in iodine.
 

HerefordSire

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Toby...did she eat while lying down (her last supper) as much as she normally eats? Did she drink water?
 
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Toby L.

Toby L.

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HerefordSire":36tewm5r said:
Toby...did she eat while lying down (her last supper) as much as she normally eats? Did she drink water?
I gave her 4 pounds of corn, she ate maybe 3 if that. I offered her water today, and she didn't take any, and agian tonight and she didn't want any. She didn't want any hay either.
I've watched a few c-sections on u-tube so I'm familiar with the procedure. The only thing is they kept the cow alive.
I think I'll tie her leg to a tree or something before she is shot, so I don't have to worry about her twitching and leg getting in the way.
 

mnmtranching

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Toby, I've done the procedure a couple times. For sure watch the kick. It's best to reach in and grab the calfs back leg for a good grip, because its going to be REALLY slippery. Clear the slime from its face. It should gasp and start breathing on it's own within about half a minute. If it doesn't hold its mouth shut and one nostril and blow in the other, you will be able to tell if the air is going in. Should work out, you have to work quickly. She probably won't have colostrum. Get some from your dairy farm friend or you can buy powdered colostrum replacement that works good. Dry the calf down and let it at least work on standing before offering it the bottle. You have some time before it needs to be feed. It should want to suck, put a finger in it' mouth see if its interested if soit will be eager to take the bottle. Good Luck.
 

rockridgecattle

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I understand this is a rough experience. We have done the emergency C's before as well for some reason or another. Have everything ready and at hand, and a other person to help.

If you feel so inclined to eat her...dog food. This animal is not fit for human consumption and would probably be condemned in a slaughter house. She may not have a fever, but her joints might be watery and thus condemning the meat.

When you got her, did you worm her?
 

LoveMoo11

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We had a cow split herself year before last and had to shoot her...what a bad way to lose a good cow. Best of luck with the calf, just try to relax. You seem like you have been studying up on it so I am sure you will be fine. Have lots of towels handy because it is probably going to be a messy job and that calf is going to be wet too, and you are going to want your hands dry so you can use them! Good luck, sorry that you had to deal with this all of a sudden.
 
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Toby L.

Toby L.

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I gave her a dose of Ivromec pour on when I got her last October, I understand that some people don't believe in the pour on, I guess that's an argument for some other time.
Thanks for the words of encouragement everyone, and the good advise. The slaughter guy will be here at 9 o’clock and is bringing 2 other guys to help, he's never seen this before, but the more hands the better. I gotta go to town and get the supplies, it's been so long that I don't even have any bottles laying around here anymore, guess it's a good time to stock up.
 

Ryder

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mnmtranching":1zabaf7l said:
It should gasp and start breathing on it's own within about half a minute. If it doesn't hold its mouth shut and one nostril and blow in the other, you will be able to tell if the air is going in. Should work out, you have to work quickly.
This is right. But if calf still doesn't breathe, put your foot on ribcage and push in and out (artificial respiration).
I have never done this with a calf, but have with large animals that went down with bloat.

Don't get all anxious about this. You sound like you pretty much have a plan. Just follow it out and let what will be-be. That is the best you or anybody else can do.

Personally, I would not eat the meat. Yuk!
 

mnmtranching

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Up to you on the meat. We've eaten meat from prolapsed C section cows and it has been very good. These cows were in good flesh. Sounds like your cow is really poor. I'm sure the meat is safe. Taco, chili type stuff.
Ever have onion burgers? I'll put my recipe in the cooking forum. :nod:
 

K2011

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Ryder":1103eep9 said:
mnmtranching":1103eep9 said:
It should gasp and start breathing on it's own within about half a minute. If it doesn't hold its mouth shut and one nostril and blow in the other, you will be able to tell if the air is going in. Should work out, you have to work quickly.
This is right. But if calf still doesn't breathe, put your foot on ribcage and push in and out (artificial respiration).
I have never done this with a calf, but have with large animals that went down with bloat.

I've also heard that if the calf doesn't breathe you can (if you can get a grip and lift it) grab the back legs and start swinging it and then toss or throw the calf and the air in its lungs will go out and this will stimulate breathing (basicly like someone hitting you in the chest and you lose your breath and gasp for air) but we've never tried it, only my ag teacher has...and he did it with success. This method would be a very very last resort for me - but I would think the safer way would be to step on the ribcage or breath into the calf as stated...
 

LoveMoo11

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K2011":izba1xek said:
Ryder":izba1xek said:
mnmtranching":izba1xek said:
It should gasp and start breathing on it's own within about half a minute. If it doesn't hold its mouth shut and one nostril and blow in the other, you will be able to tell if the air is going in. Should work out, you have to work quickly.
This is right. But if calf still doesn't breathe, put your foot on ribcage and push in and out (artificial respiration).
I have never done this with a calf, but have with large animals that went down with bloat.

I've also heard that if the calf doesn't breathe you can (if you can get a grip and lift it) grab the back legs and start swinging it and then toss or throw the calf and the air in its lungs will go out and this will stimulate breathing (basicly like someone hitting you in the chest and you lose your breath and gasp for air) but we've never tried it, only my ag teacher has...and he did it with success. This method would be a very very last resort for me - but I would think the safer way would be to step on the ribcage or breath into the calf as stated...

I've had to do that before-the easiest thing to do is have two people, each grab one back leg and hang the calf upside down.
 
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Toby L.

Toby L.

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Well were not out of the woods yet, the calf is really weak and I would be surprised if she makes it. Her breathing is really labored and she kind of moans when she breaths, and yes it is a girl. To bad, I wanted a bull. She appears to be plenty big enough, I had all I could do to carry her to the house, yes we have her in the bathroom right now so we can keep a better eye on her. We did the best to dry her off, and put her in our horse trailer. After about an hour she tried to get up but couldn't, I tried to get her some colstrum with a bottle, but that didn't work so I tubed her with a quart of it. If she makes it a couple more hours, I'll give her another quart. For 90% of the time her eyes were rolled down, and when we get her upright, they go to normal. I couldn't find any bose or iron shots at the fleet store, they had A-D and something else, is it that important?
The procedure went pretty good. We got the boom truck close enought to mama cow so we could rap her back legs to it and pull them tight so they were secure. After she was shot, we made the incision 6 inches behind the ribs, it should've been a little more further back because the guts got in the way. If I would have only known that the big bag that was in my way was the uterus it would have been easier, after feeling around looking for the calf we got ahold of it and the butcher cut the uterus which was right in front of me. I reached in and got a hold of the legs and pulled it out. It's head was facing the front of the cow, so it hadn't turned yet. We got it out and it seemed like forever to get it to breath, which was probably 30 seconds at most. We tickled it's nosed while I slaped it on the side, and she snezzed a few times, and started to breath. The cord pretty much ripped off by it's self, so buy the time I was worried about it, it was already ripped. I poured iodine on it, and did it again while she was in the trailer.
As far as mama cow, the butcher was showing me her knee whitch was pretty screwed up. So apparently she slipped on the ice and hurt her back knee and was to weak to get up. Her front one was damaged also.
Now it's a fight keeping this baby alive, other then the colstrum, is there something else I should give her. I have some la-200 left, I was wondering if I should give her some anti-biotics right away, or wait till she shows and signs of illness. I have some banamine also, if that will help. What I plan on doing if she makes it, is after she's up I'm going to get her back outside in a 3 sided pen. I was thinking of putting her back in the horse trailer, but I would like something with a little more ventaltion.
 

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