Bloated cattle part 1

Since someone turned the furnace up to 11 with no warning, we’ve had to dive back into bloated cattle all of a sudden. I already mentioned the issues I had with Vanilla. Yesterday we started the day off with another bloated cow. This one was also a steer that we’d purchased with the group in February.

Cow in head gate
Cow LF 37, a steer, in the head gate.

So with stuff still in disarray from treating Vanilla, it was time to do it again. Except this guy was at the neighbors so first thing we had to do was to get him back to the farm. This entailed corralling the horses out of their area and putting the cows in which meant herding them somewhere they didn’t want to go. Then sorting everyone out till we just had this guy. Then we had to get him onto the trailer through a loading ramp that was a few years past repair and he simply couldn’t figure out how to use. Eventually we got it done and we brought him back to the farm. Coming off the trailer it was easy to put him right into our corral and then into the head gate as you see here.

Cow in head gate
Waiting for treatment in the head gate

He didn’t seem to be in any distress, but he was definitely bloated. I tried one of our catheters to let the pressure out and maybe not have to put a trocar in him.

Cather inserted into rumen of a cow for treatment of bloat
Catheter inserted into the rumen

It’s pretty wild when a catheter is inserted. As the gas comes out the rumen deflates which also makes it move around. The catheter routinely moves around on it’s own as the guts squirm inside the cow. It’s a very visual look at what is going on inside and kinda weird to watch.

The popping sound you hear is liquid that is in the catheter bubbling as the air rushes out.

After letting all the air out, I turned the cow back into the paddock just off of our corral. That way if he bloated again I could put him right back in the head gate. It was blazing hot and there was no shade but I made sure he had water. It was only going to be for a couple of hours so I could observe him. Yeah right.

I ran to the recycler to drop off our cardboard recycling and just as I pulled up, Vicente called me and asked if I’d put the cow back in the pasture? Uh, no. Well he’s gone. Ugh, here we go again. Turns out he’d lifted the gate off the hinges and absconded. Fortunately he was quickly located in our main pasture in the only place that made sense on a 100 degree day.

Bloated cow in the water, cooling off.
Bloated cow in the water, cooling off.

I didn’t blame him, it looked like a good idea to me. However, while he wasn’t bloated in the holding paddock when I’d checked him 30 minutes earlier, he was bloated again while on the lam. He had to come out of the pond to be treated which was the last thing he wanted to do. So how do I get him out without stripping naked and jumping in? We will find out in the next post.

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