rwilliams296

Chirping
Mar 5, 2018
33
37
74
Anyone out there with experience dealing with a down cow? I have a 2 year old Dexter heifer that has been down for 8 days due to complications with her first pregnancy. Her calf was large, coming breach and by the time the vet got out here the calf had died and had to be removed by fetotomy. She has been through a series of antibiotics, 2 tubes of a calcium/potassium/vitamin supplement and has one more day of steroid injections. She is now losing patches of skin on her hips and tail bone. Not just hair, actually losing skin. Could this be because of the steroid injections? We are treating with Neosporin w/pain reliever and some of the older lesions are healing up, then a new one appears. I can tell that she is moving around some because she'll be in a different position from visit to visit. She has actually attempted to get up a few times, especially when we begrudgingly inflict a little pain, like at injection time. She seems to be trying to use her hinds legs more than her front legs. The vet says he has seen cows be down for 2-4 weeks. I would love some feedback from anyone else who has been through this experience. Thanks
 

Attachments

JadeFarms

Crowing
May 3, 2019
2,219
3,569
257
Florida
I can’t help you with the cow, but I recommend posting her on the website Backyard herds. It’s the sister website of BYC.
 

Overo Mare

<< A Drama
Premium Feather Member
Aug 26, 2019
5,691
50,641
776
Smalltown Virginia, USA
Did your vet tell you that she should be getting up every single day? With large animals, they cannot stay down for long periods of time or they will suffer nerve damage.

Do you have a tractor? I've never had one down for longer than 7 days. That particular cow I put down. During the care process I would get them up using a tractor and a sling every day though. Every day she's down, her chances of getting back up get smaller.

Join the Backyard Herds forum and see what they have to say.

Good luck!
 

cassie

Crowing
11 Years
Mar 19, 2009
6,410
2,892
401
You have got to get that cow up. That is a must. You can rig a blanket sling. It is essentially posts dug in the ground and a blanket is put under the cow to support her. It is held up with ropes secured to the posts. I have known people to do this with horses because a down horse, even more than a down cow, is a dead horse. Look around on the internet and you might be able to find directions on how to make one. You can also use a tractor. Whatever you do, that cow has to get up. Even being up half and hour at a time makes a big difference. That loss of skin is probably due to the heat generated by the urine and manure under her.
 

rwilliams296

Chirping
Mar 5, 2018
33
37
74
Did your vet tell you that she should be getting up every single day? With large animals, they cannot stay down for long periods of time or they will suffer nerve damage.

Do you have a tractor? I've never had one down for longer than 7 days. That particular cow I put down. During the care process I would get them up using a tractor and a sling every day though. Every day she's down, her chances of getting back up get smaller.

Join the Backyard Herds forum and see what they have to say.

Good luck!
We tried lifting her with straps using the forks on our tractor. She just hung there like a wet noodle. Told the vet what we tried and he said that straps weren't a good idea..could cause too much trauma on her internal organs.
 

Overo Mare

<< A Drama
Premium Feather Member
Aug 26, 2019
5,691
50,641
776
Smalltown Virginia, USA
We tried lifting her with straps using the forks on our tractor. She just hung there like a wet noodle. Told the vet what we tried and he said that straps weren't a good idea..could cause too much trauma on her internal organs.
Yes, something wider like what Cassie mentioned is best.

She most likely already has nerve damage. As long as she's still fighting, don't lose hope! She needs to get up though. Google cattle/horse slings. They aren't too hard to make.
 

rwilliams296

Chirping
Mar 5, 2018
33
37
74
You have got to get that cow up. That is a must. You can rig a blanket sling. It is essentially posts dug in the ground and a blanket is put under the cow to support her. It is held up with ropes secured to the posts. I have known people to do this with horses because a down horse, even more than a down cow, is a dead horse. Look around on the internet and you might be able to find directions on how to make one. You can also use a tractor. Whatever you do, that cow has to get up. Even being up half and hour at a time makes a big difference. That loss of skin is probably due to the heat generated by the urine and manure under her.
Thank you, I'll definitely conduct a search for making a blanket sling. We are doing our best to rake away and replace the hay we have placed around her for bedding when it gets soiled.
 

cassie

Crowing
11 Years
Mar 19, 2009
6,410
2,892
401
We tried lifting her with straps using the forks on our tractor. She just hung there like a wet noodle. Told the vet what we tried and he said that straps weren't a good idea..could cause too much trauma on her internal organs.
You have GOT to get that cow up. Surely you can find something on the internet on how to rig a blanket sling or something.
 

LooneyTickAcres

In the Brooder
Jun 29, 2020
7
5
11
SE Missouri
If you have or can find small square bales of hay, hoist her upright and set bales underneath her so she isn’t 100% down. It will allow her to rest, but also help her to start using her legs. Make sure she can’t roll off using some posts or fencing. Ruminants who are down for too long are very high risk of pneumonia. The longer they are down, the least likely they are to survive.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom