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Vicki, HELP!!!

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Anonymous

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I have a 17 month old holstein heifer who is due to calve in a couple of weeks or so. The problem is, she went down this past Friday or Thursday night. I discovered her Friday afternoon. I gave her a tube of calcium and that didn't help. I had my vet come out and she gave her 2 drips...one in the neck and another in the flank. She told me the cow may not get up as she's a bit thin. I've been watering and feeding her 3 times a day since I found her down. She's eating and drinking well, except for today, she didn't seem to interested in her water, but it rained quite abit last night and she may have drank some rainwater that puddled around her. She's wiggled herself around several times and is facing a new direction almost every time I go to check her, but is still lying on the same back leg. The vet told me what to feed her and I"ve been doing so. ( I forget what it's called right now lol). Anyway, I don't have a lift or access to one, so lifting her is not an option. I'm thinking about shooting her, but don't want to lose the calf too. Any suggestions?

Thanks, Tim

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Anonymous

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Ok....you're calving out a holstein 7 months or so before you should....and she's thin? She may have a fracture, likely on the down side, which would be difficult to ascertain without lifting her. I've lifted animals in a barn using hiplifters and a block and tackle arrangement, or outside using a front end loader and hiplifters. There's also a system called a bovijack.

Now why else could she be down? Is she ketotic? (can easily test urine to check) if so she may need dextrose IV. Low Phosphorus? Need a blood test to determine whether she's low in Ca or P. Thin or emaciated? Makes a difference...

IF you decide to shoot her, you can do an elective caesarian section just prior or just post shooting--and if post, you've got to be DARN fast. I'd personally freeze her, take the calf then shoot her. You might lose the carcass to salvage, but it's humane. Remember, if you shoot her, do a mental line from the inside corner of each eye to the opposite ear. Where the lines cross, the bullet should enter the skull. That should give you a humane shot which will instantaneously kill the animal. I've likely been a little too graphic here, and pretty hard on you. Sorry, but I can't stress the need to breed animals at the right time to calve so that there's not this kind of problem... V
 
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Anonymous

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Vicki, You were not too graphic. I appreciate the reply. I had the vet come back out tonight. No hope for her, so she shot her for me. She did it just as you described..one shot and she was gone. I didn't bother to try to save the calf. I didn't think it would be worth the effort as she had been down for so many days and I havent' seen the calf moving lately. Now that you mention a fracture, I did she one of the other cows knock her down about a week ago and her back leg stuck out behind her. that could have caused a problem. Anyway, thanks bunches for your reply.

Tim

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