Another bloated cow, this time #9

Cow after treatment for bloat
Our patient, cow #9. She has been pretty sweet through this whole ordeal, causing little trouble

Yesterday I received a call from Miguel that we had another cow with bloat. This time it was number 9. She wasn’t as bad as the previous 2 and Miguel was able to walk her to the barn with not much trouble. After two trips around the horn with the vet, I didn’t see the need for a third. If only I had a large diameter needle. I called a couple of quick sources and couldn’t come up with anything then our new neighbor recommended a turkey injector needle. Eureka! I called United Restaurant Equipment Company and asked them to hold the doors open for me (it was 4:58 and they close at 5). I hauled tail down there and picked up my stainless steel turkey injector. With that, along with scrub , alcohol, and topical lidocaine already on hand I was able to introduce the needle into #9s rumen and bleed off the offending gas in just a few minutes. The bloat quickly subsided and after some additional work we put her in the barn under a fan with plenty of water but no food. This morning she was bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready for breakfast. We are going to hold her until this afternoon to make sure she is ok but so far so good.

This was my first time doing my own surgery on a cow (if you don’t count butchering) so I was a but nervous. Fortunately I had started the day by castrating the piglets we bought Sunday so I was already in home surgery mode. I sure hope the kids don’t need anything. I may be inclined to do that appendectomy on the kitchen table. 🙂

5 Replies to “Another bloated cow, this time #9”

  1. I’m impressed with your surgical skills Dan. Well done and I am glad to hear that you had positive results.

    1. Compared to the master stitcher, I’m just a hack who should have his toys taken away. When your kids want to get into home surgery, just bring ’em on over. If the cows aren’t sick, I’m sure I’ll need stitches again soon enough!

  2. I find your cure thought provoking. Not the trocar substitute, but giving her water but no food. I was taught no water (because it breaks down onto gases) and feed long stemed hay which pops the bubbles in the rumen. Interesting. I enjoy reading your articles, and am glad some of the youger generation are going back to living off/on the land. I suspect that will become increasingly important. Good job. Keep up the good work – and educating/humouring others with your writings. Kathy in Birch Tree

    1. Thanks for your thoughts Kathy. We did feed our sick cows some roughage, a fact I did not note in the writeup. You are correct that it is recommended for helping the rumen. As for the water, I just can’t see myself denying a cow who is already stressed water. Call me soft hearted or soft headed. I could be wrong but water seems to help things get moving vs. creating more problems, at least so far. Thank you for following our blog. I do hope our trials can be of help to someone else in the future.

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