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Malpresentation

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Anonymous

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A frenchman up here told me that 'mal' is french for bad. I had one of these bad presentations in my cows the other night. I came home from work about six o'clock the other night and saw a cow out by herself looking like she was trying to calve. I looked at her and couldn't see any sign of water bag or feet. She drifted back to the hay pile after awhile and headed back out around 8 o'clock. Around nine she drifted back up around the hay pile. When she laid down I could just see the start of the water bag coming. Around 10:30 I checked again and she still was up by the hay pile. I could see though that she seemed to still be having contractions. I tried unsuccessfully to move her to the corral around midnight and finally managed to get her in on a second attempt at around 2 am. I got my plastic gloves on and found that the water bag was still intact. I could feel what i thought was a back leg, but it is tough to tell with the membrane and all that fluid in the way. I also couldn't feel any movement. I phoned an experienced cattleman I know who sleepily answered the phone and told me that if the waterbag was still intact, I shouldn't worry about it yet. He also told me that it was very possible that I was dealing with a calf that may have been dead for some time and she may just expel it naturally. In the morning, I called the vet, but he couldn't make it until afternoon. It turned out that the calfs head was stuck way down between its front legs and couldn't be pushed out. The vet had to throw a hook into the eye socket to pull it up.He said if it had been alive, he would have had to do a c-section. He figured it had been dead about a day although I'm pretty sure that at 8 o'clock the night before it was still irritating the cow enough to make her leave the hay pile. Anybody else had experience with this sort of thing? I've been kicking myself pretty hard over this one, yet, I'm not sure what else I could have done.
 

Cattle Rack Rancher

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The previous post was mine. Got taken offline for a few minutes. I did try to PM afew of you guys who were online first thing that morning looking for advice, but I'll assume your guess about waht was happening was no better than mine.
Thanks
 

Campground Cattle

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Cattle Rack Rancher":lt3wetpb said:
The previous post was mine. Got taken offline for a few minutes. I did try to PM afew of you guys who were online first thing that morning looking for advice, but I'll assume your guess about waht was happening was no better than mine.
Thanks

Was the calf on the large side I lost one several years ago like this but the calf was huge. Bought the cow bred like to lost the cow before I got the thing pulled. Now I know where you have been.
 

Cattle Rack Rancher

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The calf was probably around 90 - 100 lbs. The cow is not terribly big, however. That is the problem of using a Simm-Angus bull. Some calves are 70-80 lbs, others can be over 100. There is no consistency with these crossbred bulls. Next year, I think I'll go to an angus, herf or limo. I had a Simm-Shorthorn lined up and ready to go but I think I may just castrate him and send him to market.
 

txag

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Anonymous":3ucqz7sh said:
A frenchman up here told me that 'mal' is french for bad. I had one of these bad presentations in my cows the other night. I came home from work about six o'clock the other night and saw a cow out by herself looking like she was trying to calve. I looked at her and couldn't see any sign of water bag or feet. She drifted back to the hay pile after awhile and headed back out around 8 o'clock. Around nine she drifted back up around the hay pile. When she laid down I could just see the start of the water bag coming. Around 10:30 I checked again and she still was up by the hay pile. I could see though that she seemed to still be having contractions. I tried unsuccessfully to move her to the corral around midnight and finally managed to get her in on a second attempt at around 2 am. I got my plastic gloves on and found that the water bag was still intact. I could feel what i thought was a back leg, but it is tough to tell with the membrane and all that fluid in the way. I also couldn't feel any movement. I phoned an experienced cattleman I know who sleepily answered the phone and told me that if the waterbag was still intact, I shouldn't worry about it yet. He also told me that it was very possible that I was dealing with a calf that may have been dead for some time and she may just expel it naturally. In the morning, I called the vet, but he couldn't make it until afternoon. It turned out that the calfs head was stuck way down between its front legs and couldn't be pushed out. The vet had to throw a hook into the eye socket to pull it up.He said if it had been alive, he would have had to do a c-section. He figured it had been dead about a day although I'm pretty sure that at 8 o'clock the night before it was still irritating the cow enough to make her leave the hay pile. Anybody else had experience with this sort of thing? I've been kicking myself pretty hard over this one, yet, I'm not sure what else I could have done.

sometimes, for no known reason, calves will not present correctly. we have had the head turned almost completely back before and have had to go in and really wrestle. it can take a long time and lots of maneuvering before getting everything where it's supposed to be.
 

CattleAnnie

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I'm sorry for your luck, Cattle Rack. I had the same thing happen, but didn't get the heifer to the vet soon enough to save the calf, even though he did a section on her. Same thing, forefeet present in canal, head not turned back, was between forelegs - probably bent right up against it's belly. Dead calf, but hopefully the heifer will rebreed, and be worth something someday.

It's disappointing when these things happen, but seems like a person's got to just take these ones on the chin. Give your head a shake, and just keep on at it, eh?

Hope you're getting a beautiful spring in lovely Manitoba. Take care.
 

Cattle Rack Rancher

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Right now its snowing and the temperature is about -6 C. Supposed to warm up later in the week. I, personally, have been trying to tell myself that I did everything I possibly could but was just thinking maybe I had missed something that could help me if it ever should happen again.
 

Campground Cattle

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Cattle Rack Rancher":2ob1yqir said:
Right now its snowing and the temperature is about -6 C. Supposed to warm up later in the week. I, personally, have been trying to tell myself that I did everything I possibly could but was just thinking maybe I had missed something that could help me if it ever should happen again.

I know its hard to loose one ,but as old rancher used to tell me if you aint got em you can't loose em. I think it makes us appreciate the good days even more. But I do agree with you on these crossed up bulls.
 

A. delaGarza

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Cattle Rack Rancher":2odjii4j said:
The calf was probably around 90 - 100 lbs. The cow is not terribly big, however. That is the problem of using a Simm-Angus bull. Some calves are 70-80 lbs, others can be over 100. There is no consistency with these crossbred bulls. Next year, I think I'll go to an angus, herf or limo. I had a Simm-Shorthorn lined up and ready to go but I think I may just castrate him and send him to market.

I'm pretty sorry but, that's the worst thing of using crossbreds, but remember that the bull put on 50% and the cow the other 50% of the genetical tree.

Even I had use crossbreds in my commercial herd, I'm not defending the use of them when you could have the same or better beef yield and quality grades in a Normande, Braunvieh, Tarentaise or South Devon bull than with a Simmangus, Balancer, Limflex or any of the known Angus (Red or Black) crossbreds. From the breeds you did say you were interested in using I prefer Limousin but it all depends in the breed of your cow herd and on what you are expecting of your calves.
 
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Anonymous

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I am sorry to hear of your situation. It might have turned out better if the legs were showing, but in your situation, there you seemed to do about all you could. When I was younger, I worked on a dairy farm. We have a heifer that was bred holstein and was trying to calve. The feet were out, but the calf was backward and upside down. If the head wasn't up with the feet, or only one foot forward, we'd usually push the calf back and get it in the correct position. With the heifer though, there was nothing to do but pull it. Big heifer calf and it was alive. Probably lucky.
Again, sorry to hear about it and there wasn't much else you realistically could/should have done.
 

denglish

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Logically if the water bag is protruding and you have gone to the trouble of getting the cow into the crush you have to get into it and diagnose what is happening. Get your arms in and palpate the feet. Break the bag if you have to but feel the feet: if they are fore legs the dewclaws will be under and if they are hind legs the dewclaws will be on top (visualise what the body will look like) and you can go up the leg and find the hock, or if front leg the knee. You can figure out where the head is and try to manipulate it to correct position - you need to push the head back to realign it, and you need strength. Rather than wait all day for the vet you need to get some practise and get the live calf out because it will be dead quickly if it is stuck and the placental blood supply is compromised. Most farmers here get out the majority of their stuck calves. Particularly if when they ring the vet they find that he can't come for some time. Not a lot to lose.

Cows are pretty tough you know: I did a calving once about 9 at night after the owners had been trying to get the calf all afternoon (pet angus x cow) and discovered that they had pulled off the end of the bottom jaw with the teeth of the calf which was wedged tight in an impossibly small pelvis. Did a caesar in the very crook old race by putting a rope halter on head and cutting out a few rails. Retrieved the calf quicklywhich was fine except for the jaw, and then mum pulled the haler off the rotten post, chucked a tantrum and did somersaults in the race and ended up putting her foot through the uterus and getting **** all over a lot of her intestines. Washed the uterus and gut well with buckets of water from the nearby creek (all this done by car headlights) with some chlorhexidine and some salt to approximate normal saline. Pushed it all back, threw in some pessaries, put a drain in bottom, stitched back up, injected antibiotics: mother and calf did well and the calf became a handfed pet. I was astounded when checking next day how well the cow was.

There are some authentic stories of cranky old cows with total prolapsed uteruses that have jumped out of races and left the uterus behind jammed between two posts. And they have been counted in the next muster. I have many stories of how tough cattle can be and yet some others just lie down and die.
 

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