After lunch, I put two more 20 oz bottles of Gatorade into our sick cow. I also made up a 20oz batch of colustrum. Since her belly has quit working, I figured that a bit of starter milk might get things moving again. While I was administering the fluids, I thought I heard her have a wet breath. In other words, fluid in her lungs. That would pretty much be the end of her if it were the case. Then I listened a bit more and determined that it was actually burping.
Burping is good. Burping is awesome! That means that the bugs in her gut are starting to go to work. A by-product of fermentation is CO2. Cows get rid of this CO2 by burping with nearly every breath they take. Usually you don’t hear it as it’s part of the exhalation but occasionally they do burp like a frat boy. This little lady was letting out some lady like burps, but burps none the less. It doesn’t mean everything is hunky dory, but if she’s burping to get rid of gas, that means she’s making gas. Making gas means fermentation, which means that her gut can start absorbing what we are putting into her. Burping also means that the stitches in her rumen should be holding and healing which both desperately need to happen.
To top it all off, she had a small stool that was closer to normal than anything I’ve seen yet. Up till now she’s been pooping nothing but water. Now if she’s passing what is still in her GI, and starting to make normal stools, she is at least doing better than yesterday.
For a prognosis, I’d say that at this point, I’d say we can slow down on digging the hole rather than stop digging altogether, but some signs are improving. She has a LONG way to go and an obscene amount of care to get there. But at least some signs are positive.
On the down side, she is not standing, eating, drinking, or doing much besides laying around. She is weak but I’d be too after effectively not eating for four days. Hopefully the electrolytes going into her will give her a bit of a boost and be a bridge till we can get her gut healed and her eating.