Bull with limp (trick getting foot up?)

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Jan 25, 2007
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Our almost 5 yr. old bull is limping on his front left foot. He was fine yesterday so I'm thinking he stepped on something. Anyway, my dilemma is he's really too big for our head gate and I'm good at getting rear feet off the ground with ropes around ankles but have not had as good luck with front feet. Any tricks to getting front foot up to look at it? He's probably 1800-2000 lbs. We can always load him and take to the vet if needed.
I would also give it a couple of days if there is no noticeable swelling or injury. He could have just come down off a cow wrong and sprained it a little or stepped on a rock and bruised it a little. If he doesn't seem to do any better on it in a few days or gets worse, then if he can't fit in the head gate the best option is the vet where he can be contained and no one gets hurt. If he was real docile, and halter broke, tying him so he will be against a wall or something, you might be able to put a rope around the foot and lift it up with the rope up over a beam or something....or put him on the ground and then look at his foot. But, alot depends on his temperment and all....
If he's really docile, maybe you can go up to him when he's laying down?.. Otherwise, yes, get him well enough contained at a vet... Benign neglect for now unless you see some real swelling
Sometimes they hit the ground wrong, coming off a cow.. Especially if she ain't in standing heat...also as wet as its been..could be foot rot...look for swelling between the toes...
I assume you just can't hold his head in the headgate but you should be able to still get him up and maybe a bar behind him. I use a small block and tackle similar to what is used on the mainsheet of a sailing boat or the rope that trims the mainsail attached to the boom for those that are not familiar with sailing, they come with a cam cleat attached to the block which makes it easy to lock off and and also to release when required. I use a loop of braided rope doubled around the pastern and the top of the block over the top of the chute. I find you don't have to pull hard as they tend to lift their leg to get rid of it when they feel the pressure and you just take up the slack. I just lifted the front leg of one of my 2 yr old bulls this week, he weighs 920kg (2024lb), was very easy. You can put a truck tie down ratchet strap under his chest to help support his weight so he doesn't go down.

It is always best to look as there might be something there that will stop it from getting better. I think Firesweep posted a photo just recently of a tack or something in one of her bulls so if you don't feel confident lifting it yourself get him seen to.

Have the vet knock him out and work on it in peace. I hardly bother messing with large bulls now when they're still awake, quicker easier and less stress to put them under.

I'll have an initial look myself, but if its not obvious and easily handled its sleepy time.
Our vet used Rompum (sp?) to knock the bull down, haltered and worked on his foot and he was up and fine in no time. But then we had another that we just haltered in the chute and tied it off and a little rope and tackle like Ken was saying worked like a charm. One other was limping pretty bad suddenly and by the time we could get things to where we could catch him up a couple of days later, he was walking better so think it was a stone bruise. Watched him daily for another week but went to walking fine so that was a good thing to not have had to get him caught.
I agree, pen him so he doesn't have to use it much for a few days and reevaluate. Had a bull get lame few months back, had a stick stuck between his toes. Pulled it out he was fine. Most likely a sprain or foot rot.
About the same, I tried to get him in the corral and he went toward the heifers fairly quickly--i'll wait another day.
Rafter S":3j53yxnv said:
tncattle":3j53yxnv said:
About the same, I tried to get him in the corral and he went toward the heifers fairly quickly--i'll wait another day.

It sounds like he's not hurting too bad.

Yeah, he moved pretty quick but still a noticeable limp.

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