Cow down with back legs straight out

Help Support CattleToday:


Jun 6, 2016
Reaction score
When checking our pastures, which we do each morn., we found #6 laying down on her belly with her two back feet straight out, we finally got her to sit upright, but an hour later was back to the original position, we didn't have a bull in there, so have no idea what happened. She would crawl on her belly for a ways, , but could not get herself up.....Got some steroids from the vet, and for three days gave her a shot ,and turned her to sitting position, however, she could not get up. So we had to put her down, could she have slipped and broke her back, or could another cow have jumped her, causing this? She was a 8 year old cow, and raised nice big calves, we have never had this happened and are sick to have had to put her down,, but we just didn't feel she would ever get better?
Sounds like a injury..hard to tell how it happened, most likely nerve damage. a fall,,,another cow riding her.. They don't ride em like a bull.they will jump on them with their weight and most of the time off balance..if you got em you gonna lose em now and then...only way not to,is not have em
I had a similar deal happen with one of my Jersey's. From what I could tell/see, she had been 'bunted'/knocked by one of the more dominant cows (she was @ the bottom of pecking order) and appeared to have slipped on some slick ground. By the looks of her, it looked like her pelvis or a hip had been broken. I lifted her with the loader & some straps, to no avail. I shot her on the 3rd day.

She is one of the 2 Jersey's I had, and they both had horns. Both of them were at or near bottom of pecking order within the herd of beef cows.

Sorry to hear of your loss, but it happens.
One thing to keep in mind,if you don't already know..the longer their down the chances of them getting up is slim...I know a man that had a gert cow down a few days.. he got a 55 gallon drum and laid her on a friend to help him. Rolled her back and forth on it,between her front and rear legs... The result was her running them outa the pasture...ingenious..
Other possibilities include selenium deficiency, milk fever and lymphoma. We had a similar situation about 5 years ago but she was bred and still had a calf on her. Vet gave her an IV, I don't recall exactly but think it was calcium, and drew blood to test for lymphoma (negative). We used a hip lift to get her up 3 - 4 times a day and she would roll over on her side to let her calf nurse. Did not turn out well. Probably should have put her down right away but she did seem to improve for a while.
Could be Leukemia and it can be spread...Its best to find out by a vet as to what you're dealing with...

Latest posts