calf with broken leg

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Dave Clarkson

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I have read through the other threads but would like some more input.

the cow must have stepped on the calf when she had twins. The lower part of the leg was broken and you could move it. We tried to splint it but it kept sliding down. after two days we decided to cast it.

My wife is an ortho nurse so she had some knowledge. I watched a vet from the UK cast one and he put the cast up past the hock.....I assume so it wouldn't slide down. We used cotton, wrap and then cast. taped over the cast to prevent water damage and check it everyday.

Now, my question is how long? My vet said only two weeks and it may be healed in a week......but that was relayed over the phone by vet tech so I dont know what was missed in translation. The vet from the UK said 3 to 4 weeks.

My plan is to let it go three weeks and cut the cast off. then possibly use the cast as a splint for a couple of more weeks.

Is the three week time frame good? I would be afraid to take it off after two weeks and ha345666572_771070527819865_6075961381531389153_n.jpgve to start the whole process over again.

any suggestions, advice or previous experiences would be appreciated!
 
That's a nice looking cast. I almost always leave mine on for three weeks with good results. If he starts acting like it hurts again you can cut it off early.
 
That's a nice looking cast. I almost always leave mine on for three weeks with good results. If he starts acting like it hurts again you can cut it off early.
Do you need to splint it or watch it after you take the cast off? I will do the three weeks. Is it hard to control the calf when you take the cast off? Thanks for the advice……greatly appreciated!
 
When I cut a cast off a 4 week old calf he was in so much relief he was licking my face and at the point the cast came off he looked at me and said who the hell are you and scraped my cheek with his teeth. Flesh wound, I bled like a pig.
 
Do you need to splint it or watch it after you take the cast off? I will do the three weeks. Is it hard to control the calf when you take the cast off? Thanks for the advice……greatly appreciated!
In three weeks it should be solid enough that you can just forget about them after the cast is off. I always sedate them for cast removal, but I'm a vet. It can be done without if you have good help.
 
In three weeks it should be solid enough that you can just forget about them after the cast is off. I always sedate them for cast removal, but I'm a vet. It can be done without if you have good help.
It's just myself and my wife so I think sedation would be in order. What type of sedation would work best? Thanks so much for the help!!
 
It's just myself and my wife so I think sedation would be in order. What type of sedation would work best? Thanks so much for the help!!
If your bottle feeding it, taking the cast off won't be an issue.

Bottle fed calves see u as mother. They will allow u to what needs to be done. Just put a halter on it and tie it to something sturdy
 
Is that cast plaster or fiberglass? What's the plan to cut it for removal?

Compression of the cotton and the wrap is the only space for growth of the leg while it is on.
 
Is that cast plaster or fiberglass? What's the plan to cut it for removal?

Compression of the cotton and the wrap is the only space for growth of the leg while it is on.
It is fiberglass. We put a lot of cotton and wrap. The wrap was tight enough to keep the leg in place but not super tight. We check the top of the cast to see how tight it gets. But you never know.

My friend has a vibrating type saw that will cut the cast but not the calf.

I would really like a sedative. It was hard to get the cast on because the calf kept kicking. That's with me wrapped around it, my friend holding the leg and my wife wrapping and casting. It was tough because any movement moved the leg. My vet doesn't think we will need a sedative but I would want one….Easy to get a tooth knocked out by a trashing calf's head. I'll have another discussion with him.

I plan on following the three week plan above and keep an eye on it. Let's hope it is heeled when we take it off
 
@Dave Clarkson calves are amazingly resilient. Not as bad of a break as what you described, but I couldn't get this calf in when he broke his leg. I'll cowgirl up when I have to but by the time I had help, it was already 2 days into the break and the damage was already done. Lucky for the calf, he had a great mama that would park him in a shaded spot (it was summer) and go back to check/nurse him throughout the day, eventually moving him at night to be near the herd. By weaning, it had healed on its own and you could barely tell; no limp, just a slight crook to the leg. Sending good luck but I have no doubt your calf will heal - you're on it!
1684365578885.jpeg
 
@Dave Clarkson calves are amazingly resilient. Not as bad of a break as what you described, but I couldn't get this calf in when he broke his leg. I'll cowgirl up when I have to but by the time I had help, it was already 2 days into the break and the damage was already done. Lucky for the calf, he had a great mama that would park him in a shaded spot (it was summer) and go back to check/nurse him throughout the day, eventually moving him at night to be near the herd. By weaning, it had healed on its own and you could barely tell; no limp, just a slight crook to the leg. Sending good luck but I have no doubt your calf will heal - you're on it!
View attachment 30221
 
I took the cast off my calf today and it's obvious that the ends of the bone were in the same paddock but barely. It is healed but crooked as can be. Oh well, I tried.
Bone remodels to straighten it out, something to do with little electric charges on the stress side and unstressed side if my memory serves me correct. Maybe the calf feeling the support of the cast put more weight on it than it would have done otherwise??? A false sense of security.
You will be pleased with the results at weaning Silver.

Ken
 
Bone remodels to straighten it out, something to do with little electric charges on the stress side and unstressed side if my memory serves me correct. Maybe the calf feeling the support of the cast put more weight on it than it would have done otherwise??? A false sense of security.
You will be pleased with the results at weaning Silver.

Ken
That's interesting, I'll watch it a as the year progresses.
 
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