Retained placenta

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Anonymous

We had to pull the calf... big heifer at about eighty pounds ... I had fed mama too well, and she was fat. This has been a REAL learning experience... from getting the cow to let the calf suck, to hobbles, to haltering, to roping, to shots, etc.... the big question today is: It has been going on fourth day since birth. We have been giving Oxytacin? twice a day until she passes the placenta, but in THE BOOK it says that it can take up to ten days for it to pass, and it may come out in pieces. Because my cow is showing pretty passive interest in the calf, I am assuming that if she had passed the placenta she probably wouldn't bother to eat it. On the other hand, I have watched the other cows eat their placenta, and they don't leave a lick of it in place to leave any evidence that they cleaned out. The cow is bleeding out a little, and between being in a stall and hobbled, she hasn't really had enough exercise to help the process, I am sure. When should I get really worried, and what happens if she doesn't pass the placenta in ten days?

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Anonymous

An 80 pound calf isn't that big. The heifer being in good shape (fat) would only affect the calving slightly. She should have been able to have at least 7% of her body weight unassisted. (1000 pound heifer 70 pound calf).

Retained placentas come from nutrition deficiencies, likely selenium. Remember the post where I told you selenium suppliment in a deficient area would solve problems you didn't even know you had?

The shots of oxytocin are the right treatment, after a few days the cow will start to stink if she doesn't expell the placenta. Antibiotics will be needed at that point, and damage to the heifers ability to re-breed are possible. Be patient and keep in contact with your vet. He/she may decide enough time has elapsed to clean her out and use medication in her uterus, or she may clean on her own.

There is no substitute for good genetics, cattle that are big enough to calve, and take care of themselves.

Jason Trowbridge Southern Angus Farms Alberta Canada

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Anonymous

If nothing is hanging out she has probably passed it already. Keep an eye on her for signs of fever or going off feed, otherwise nothing else to do. If something is hanging out, tie it up in a knot so that it doeasn't drag or get stepped on, the weight of it will help it pull loose.

dunmovin farms

> We had to pull the calf... big
> heifer at about eighty pounds ...
> I had fed mama too well, and she
> was fat. This has been a REAL
> learning experience... from
> getting the cow to let the calf
> suck, to hobbles, to haltering, to
> roping, to shots, etc.... the big
> question today is: It has been
> going on fourth day since birth.
> We have been giving Oxytacin?
> twice a day until she passes the
> placenta, but in THE BOOK it says
> that it can take up to ten days
> for it to pass, and it may come
> out in pieces. Because my cow is
> showing pretty passive interest in
> the calf, I am assuming that if
> she had passed the placenta she
> probably wouldn't bother to eat
> it. On the other hand, I have
> watched the other cows eat their
> placenta, and they don't leave a
> lick of it in place to leave any
> evidence that they cleaned out.
> The cow is bleeding out a little,
> and between being in a stall and
> hobbled, she hasn't really had
> enough exercise to help the
> process, I am sure. When should I
> get really worried, and what
> happens if she doesn't pass the
> placenta in ten days?
 
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Anonymous

Thank you for all responses. The cow doesn't stink, hasn't gone off feed, her eyes were blood shot (I assume from the rough birthing) and are clearing up. I called the vet this morning and I am to keep giving the Oxytocin twice a day (10 cc a pop). If I am still not convinced that she has passed it, he will come out on Wednesday, and will do a flush. I considered going in rectally, and massaging what I could reach of her uterus, but vet says "YOU STAY OUT OF THERE!" lol.. not that emphatically, but he didn't recommend that I do that. Sometimes, all I have to go on for doctoring skills is what I learned from being a mother and having raised some rabbits. When I call my vet, I do what he says... and he is learning how serious I am about succeeding at raising good beef cattle.

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Anonymous

I use a mineral lick.... Krystalix for the selenium deficiency in this area. I will check with my vet, however, and see if these licks are doing the job. I use a salt block that has selenium also....and THIS particular heifer has spent a lot of time at the lick before calving. I wondered about the effect of her doing that, but assumed that she couldn't overdose on a lick. I have heard of some ranchers who give a vitamin a and d and e shot just before their cows calved, maybe something I should think about.... because of our situation this year, she was in a pen that was only two hundred by one hundred feet,(for about three weeks before calving) which didn't offer much exercise for her. She wasn't just in good, fat shape, she was fat and lazy... we won't be doing that NEXT year. And, I am seriously considering an angus bull for first calf heifers, unless I can find a red something that will throw a small calf for them.

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Anonymous

Oxytocin is only effective on the uterus for the first 24 hours. After that, you're only causing milk let down. Generally, I only go in after a placenta within the first week if the cow is off feed or febrile. At 7 days, it's rotten enough that I can peel each caruncle off the cotyledon without tearing. There are 220 cotyledons in a cow, they can hold a pregnancy with as few as 175, and will likely lose a few with each calving. I'm very careful not to accelerate this loss. There are antibiotics designed to be used in a uterus to help with the infection of an RP, which your vet will know about. Remember, the more you play around with her uterus, the more likely she is to get infected. I will generally give the cow a shot of penicillin and watch her temp. After 7 days if you're not sure, a rectal palpation by your vet will indicate the presense or absense of retained placenta. Good Luck V
 
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Anonymous

Thanks so much. The milk is letting down fine, and I am tired of giving her so many injections in a day. Don't anyone follow my lead, but I ain't gonna give that cow one more shot...at least not this week. At one point, she was getting five and six shots a day, and there isn't a place on her body that isn't sore from it. She is feeling good enough tonight that it was playing hell to get close to her, let alone restrain her....anyone that can put up that much of a fight is pretty healthy. This afternoon, she had a clear fluidy something coming from her backend. We smelled at it and there was no odor, so.... I think she is doing fine. Will still have the vet come check her on Wednesday to put a little more clear on my mind.

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Anonymous

Why/what makes you thnk she has retained anything?

dunmovin farms

> Thanks so much. The milk is
> letting down fine, and I am tired
> of giving her so many injections
> in a day. Don't anyone follow my
> lead, but I ain't gonna give that
> cow one more shot...at least not
> this week. At one point, she was
> getting five and six shots a day,
> and there isn't a place on her
> body that isn't sore from it. She
> is feeling good enough tonight
> that it was playing hell to get
> close to her, let alone restrain
> her....anyone that can put up that
> much of a fight is pretty healthy.
> This afternoon, she had a clear
> fluidy something coming from her
> backend. We smelled at it and
> there was no odor, so.... I think
> she is doing fine. Will still have
> the vet come check her on
> Wednesday to put a little more
> clear on my mind.
 
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Anonymous

I think Vicki is right and would advise following her advice.

Just watch your cow for signs of illness and leave well enough alone unless she runs a fever or shows other signs of infection.

I wouldn't even go in and check for a retained placenta at this point.

We keep an eye out to see if the placenta is passed, but with many of our cows we never see it and things go just fine. You just aren't going to see each and every placenta unless you move into the barn and stay awake 24/7.

> Thanks so much. The milk is
> letting down fine, and I am tired
> of giving her so many injections
> in a day. Don't anyone follow my
> lead, but I ain't gonna give that
> cow one more shot...at least not
> this week. At one point, she was
> getting five and six shots a day,
> and there isn't a place on her
> body that isn't sore from it. She
> is feeling good enough tonight
> that it was playing hell to get
> close to her, let alone restrain
> her....anyone that can put up that
> much of a fight is pretty healthy.
> This afternoon, she had a clear
> fluidy something coming from her
> backend. We smelled at it and
> there was no odor, so.... I think
> she is doing fine. Will still have
> the vet come check her on
> Wednesday to put a little more
> clear on my mind.
 
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Anonymous

I TRY to do what my vet says. After last night's rodeo, I feel like such a failure! I could'nt get the 18x1 1/2 needle subQ and called it quits on the shots. I have to get a better set up. I have to find some way to give a shot that my hands can handle. I was at my dad's one time when a calf was pulled and the vet put a bolus into the uterus. My dad is getting pretty feeble so I assume the vet was saving him the shot routine.... of course, Dad's cow hadn't torn up like mine did. I know there has got to be a better way, but for now, I just feel like a failure because I couldn't do all the vet said to do. Bummer!

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Anonymous

We took the hobbles off her last night (we had followed the directions from THE BOOK on how to make them from hay bale twine. I happened to notice some blood on them, and checked the cow for cuts on her legs...none, so I am assuming that she has done some bleeding out and passed the placenta. We took her out to some grass for a half hour grazing and she didn't miss a bite.

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Anonymous

I haven't found a placenta laying around. Her lack of interest in the calf and all these goings on... I just figured that she wouldn't have bothered to eat the placenta. She has been in the stall or in a small pasture since the calf was born, and there just aren't that many places to hide that amount of tissue (or membranes) I am not sure which the placenta is. She has been alone very few hours since she calved, but as Linda said.... I wasn't there any 24/7, so I don't know everything. I assume a lot... and you KNOW what that means.

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Anonymous

You do what you can, get help for others and get the vet for that you really can't get done. I'm sure V the V loves hearing things like that, but I feel that's pretty much the way it has to be. As Linda said in a post "When we assume responsibility for animals" paraphrased but it gets the point across.

dunmovin farms

> I TRY to do what my vet says.
> After last night's rodeo, I feel
> like such a failure! I could'nt
> get the 18x1 1/2 needle subQ and
> called it quits on the shots. I
> have to get a better set up. I
> have to find some way to give a
> shot that my hands can handle. I
> was at my dad's one time when a
> calf was pulled and the vet put a
> bolus into the uterus. My dad is
> getting pretty feeble so I assume
> the vet was saving him the shot
> routine.... of course, Dad's cow
> hadn't torn up like mine did. I
> know there has got to be a better
> way, but for now, I just feel like
> a failure because I couldn't do
> all the vet said to do. Bummer!
 
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Anonymous

I'm fairly good at taking responsibility for what I do... or don't do... and will take the consequences if I am wrong. Four days ago, I was ready to butcher 98% of everything I owned, so I guess I am just going through all the stages of feeling WAAAAYYYY tooo human and feeble.

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