sick cow

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Hello! The other day while riding through the herd, I noticed one old thin cow off by herself. I put her in the pen and got her in the chute. She is getting quite thin; and her brisket is very swollen. It looks hard; but upon palpating it, I discovered it felt like a jelly roll- very swollen but soft and mushy feeling. She also has a very deep odd- sounding cough- I have doctored cows before with pneumonia; and this cough sounds nothing like a pneumonia cough. We are 300 miles from a large animal vet- so calling someone is not an option. I have isolated her and am treating her with a broad sprectrum antibiotic. Has anyone had any experience like this? Thank you very much!

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Your cow has brisket edema. This can be from low albumin--heavy parasites, liver failure, toxins--or heart failure. With the breathing you're describing, I'd pick the heart. She may have hardware disease (picked up a nail and it perforated etc) or valvular disease, cardiomyopathy or sarcocystis...lots of reasons. Hardware may respond to a magnet in the reticulum and penicillin, but NO guarantees. The others need specialized treatment but she will probably die.

Just a question--where the heck do you live that the nearest large animal vet is 300 miles away???

Good Luck! V

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