How early for C- section?

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Alan

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I have a late bred cow, no doubt 3 to 6 weeks from calving, good cow and not too old. A few weeks after a freezing rain and she was on a hill I found her down and feet up, I turned her over and she was up in about a half hour. But in the the next few weeks I could tell she had hurt herself, hip I think. She went down again 3 days ago in the snow and I can't get her up, she eats and drinks fine...... my question is, she is 3 to 6 weeks out from calving, how early can I do a c- section and have a " great" chance of saving the calf? I say great because I don't want to do the surgery and have a maybe it will live. Cow is done, just wanting to try to save the calf....harsh I know, but hoping to get something out of this this late in the game, too bad she's a producer and only about five years old. She's a loss and if I do a c-section and get a dead calf more money lost. Just looking for advice and input, sorry I'm a hobby guy, but I'm not wanting throw money after bad.....

Thanks, alan
 

Nesikep

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Any chance you can get her into some shelter for a while? Have you tried hip lifters on her?

As a personal feeling, I'd like them to be within a month of calving, your odds only get better as you get closer.

However, could you just induce labor instead of a C section? A little dex ought to do it, not nearly as costly if you're just looking to get the calf out... who knows, maybe she'd even get up after that... I can't remember for sure, but dex I think has a very short withdrawal time, could probably salvage the meat from the cow even.
 

MRRherefords

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If it is three weeks then it may be okay. Any earlier than that and I doubt it. We had a preemie at six weeks it lived for three days and then died of pneumonia as its immune system was obviously far from developed.
 

bmoore87

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Alan":o9bzobrg said:
I have a late bred cow, no doubt 3 to 6 weeks from calving, good cow and not too old. A few weeks after a freezing rain and she was on a hill I found her down and feet up, I turned her over and she was up in about a half hour. But in the the next few weeks I could tell she had hurt herself, hip I think. She went down again 3 days ago in the snow and I can't get her up, she eats and drinks fine...... my question is, she is 3 to 6 weeks out from calving, how early can I do a c- section and have a " great" chance of saving the calf? I say great because I don't want to do the surgery and have a maybe it will live. Cow is done, just wanting to try to save the calf....harsh I know, but hoping to get something out of this this late in the game, too bad she's a producer and only about five years old. She's a loss and if I do a c-section and get a dead calf more money lost. Just looking for advice and input, sorry I'm a hobby guy, but I'm not wanting throw money after bad.....

Thanks, alan


I wait until as she starts to stop eating and going down hill before I would do anything to try and get her as close to term as possible. I'd agree on the 3-4 week range.

You can do an emergency csection yourself .

Good luck
 

skyhightree1

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Alan":6ks54ug5 said:
I have a late bred cow, no doubt 3 to 6 weeks from calving, good cow and not too old. A few weeks after a freezing rain and she was on a hill I found her down and feet up, I turned her over and she was up in about a half hour. But in the the next few weeks I could tell she had hurt herself, hip I think. She went down again 3 days ago in the snow and I can't get her up, she eats and drinks fine...... my question is, she is 3 to 6 weeks out from calving, how early can I do a c- section and have a " great" chance of saving the calf? I say great because I don't want to do the surgery and have a maybe it will live. Cow is done, just wanting to try to save the calf....harsh I know, but hoping to get something out of this this late in the game, too bad she's a producer and only about five years old. She's a loss and if I do a c-section and get a dead calf more money lost. Just looking for advice and input, sorry I'm a hobby guy, but I'm not wanting throw money after bad.....

Thanks, alan

sorry alan wish i knew enough to help you
 
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Alan

Alan

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Thanks for the responses, she seems to be pretty strong and alert, just can't get her right hind leg to give her enough support to get up. I think I would be a lot more comfortable with a c section than risking a hard pull on a natural birth and it would be fairest to her I think. Have the vet ready and a 30-30 for anesthesia. I'll give it time and see how things go.
 

milkmaid

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Alan I think if you decide to do a csection.... I'd give dexamethasone 12 hours before and prep the cow normally (clip, local anesthetic, etc). You have a much better chance of getting a live calf that way, than if it's oxygen deprived and stressed for 3 minutes until you find the uterus and get the calf where it can breathe. Euthanize at the end rather than close the cow up. It's how I'd do it...
 

TCRanch

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Alan, we had a similar situation. Our vet palped the cow but wasn't positive the calf was still alive so we declined the c-section & put her down. Did we do the right thing? Probably, only because I don't have any regrets and although we've had 2 preemies thrive (and due any day :) ) we didn't know for sure and were relieved when our vet agreed. It's a tough call and I wish you the best, either way.
 
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Alan

Alan

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milkmaid":2ibud4p2 said:
Alan I think if you decide to do a csection.... I'd give dexamethasone 12 hours before and prep the cow normally (clip, local anesthetic, etc). You have a much better chance of getting a live calf that way, than if it's oxygen deprived and stressed for 3 minutes until you find the uterus and get the calf where it can breathe. Euthanize at the end rather than close the cow up. It's how I'd do it...

You know me milkmaid, so a question, my thoughts were to put the cow down and then go after the calf. If I read you correct you are saying give a local and put the cow down afterwards, after the c-cection? My question, is there much risk to having the "calf" down and weak because of anesthetic? I know it happens but really hope to have your input on this. Just wondering about the anesthesia and the effect on I term calves.

Glad to see you still lurking!
Alan
 
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Alan

Alan

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TCRanch":3v3d8av9 said:
Alan, we had a similar situation. Our vet palped the cow but wasn't positive the calf was still alive so we declined the c-section & put her down. Did we do the right thing? Probably, only because I don't have any regrets and although we've had 2 preemies thrive (and due any day :) ) we didn't know for sure and were relieved when our vet agreed. It's a tough call and I wish you the best, either way.


Thank you for your thoughts, certainly a thought still for most in my mind
 

milkmaid

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For a local anesthetic no, it won't affect the calf... you're just blocking the area where the incision will be. It's how csections are traditionally done on a standing cow in the squeeze chute. (We don't do csections without anesthesia...) I wouldn't do sedation or general anesthesia since that would affect the calf in utero.

I'd try the traditional csection; remove the live, hopefully close to full term, unstressed calf - and then shoot the cow. Otherwise you're pulling a very stressed, possibly premie calf out, and we know those don't tend to do well. Disclaimer: you still might not get a live calf, but I think the first option at least gives you a chance of having a healthy live calf at the end of the day.

On the other hand - if you choose the terminal csection shoot-first-cut-second method instead - make sure to have ropes/chains available to tie the back legs. I shoot an embarrassing number of cattle on a very regular basis and the vast majority (99% probably) have post-death reflexes in the first 4 minutes that include violent kicking. Standing next to and cutting through the flank on a sporadically kicking 1200lb beast when you have a time limit is not a safe place to be. :eek:
 
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Alan

Alan

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Believe it or not, I tried to save the cow long enough for a calf, I decided this is cruel. So I went down with my my 30-30 to end it this afternoon. Here's what I found, she wasn't there at 8am, heifer, I have her by the wood stove but a ways to go...... but I think it was a sign. She's stronger than she looks in the pic, but a long road to go.



 

TCRanch

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Oh my gosh, Alan, I just got chills! Yay!!!! If you can get that little girl through the first couple months she'll be good to go. In our herd we currently have 2 preemies/subsequent orphans (one just calved 3 days ago), 2 orphaned at 4 months & an abandoned twin that somehow survived on her own for 3 days before we found her. All 5 are tough girls, fighters, awesome little mamas & absolutely worth everything we did to keep them alive/thriving. Sending you the best of luck!
 
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Alan

Alan

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I couldn't believe it, I gave the cow too much time and felt guilty for it. The cow was my first and only bottle baby and a real pain to handle, she could care less what I wanted, lol. She's gone now, but fed her at around 8 this morning then went down with the rifle at around 2...... ahhhhh change of plans, calf laying in muck, manure and two inches of water. Hustled to find some colostrum...... she, the calf, is strong and drank about a pint of colostrum without troubles. Good and bad news...... my wife loves her, she doesn't know the calf has stood up and I plan to feed the rest of the colostrum later..... bad news is my wife doesn't know she is not house trained! :shock: :lol: She may spend the night in the garage. It's a good day! Great surprise to a bad day and an easy newbie...... I.'ll complained when she's older. :lol: Better pic.


 
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Alan

Alan

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kenny thomas":3ivd71u3 said:
Glad you had at least some good luck with her. You said you had to find colostrum, did you milk the cow to get the real thing?

No the cow had been down for a week or so, I wasn't going to push her over and try to milk her out. but did buy a colostrum mix at a feed store. Calf did very well getting it in her system, so we'll see what happens.
 

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