Too much of the vet lately

We’ve had a bad run lately with the vet. I elected to have the vet out a few weeks ago and check over the cows and the pigs. Apparently having the vet out here caused the cows to decide they like having doctors around and now I seem to have the vet out once a week. First a little bull calf, #28 started having issues and eventually bloated with gas till he was dangerously sick. The name for this condition is simply enough, called bloat. If you are curious, here is more information on bloat than you ever wanted to know.

We took the calf, who was none to keen on getting to the barnyard or on the trailer, to the vet hospital where they tubed him and put medicine directly into his rumen to help with the bloat. Unfortunately the medicine wasn’t enough and later that night the vet had to introduce a trocar directly into his rumen to directly vent the gas through his side.

Cow held in a head gate at a veterinarian
#28, in the head gate at the vet, waiting for the vet to begin working on him.

Despite the medicine from the tube, the trocar, and everything else that was done, #28 didn’t recover well and the next day the vet called and said he wasn’t going to recover and needed to be put down. So off I go to the vet with the trailer to get this cow, take him home, and put him down. He’s a young bull, about 1 year old and all we can do is bury him because we’ve given him medicine and now he cannot be used for beef. However when I pull up he’s standing there looking at me, ready to get in the trailer and go. The vet says that he suddenly started feeling better and to take him home and see if he lives although no promises.

So Miguel and I set up a convalescent stall in the barn complete with a fan for cooling and fresh food and water. #28 recovers well and as of Sunday is just about ready to go back to pasture.

Then Saturday, after more than a full day, I receive a call from a visitor who wants to take a tour. I’ve been going hard since about 5am. I’ve been covered in about every disgusting thing you can think of all day, I’ve just taken a shower and finally have on clean clothes for the first time since I got out of bed and frankly I’m beat. Not to mention I’m supposed to cook dinner that night for SWMBO and the kids. But they are here and want to see the cows. Ok, back to the barn for a quick tour. And thank God I did, because I find that #15, Love, has a huge case of bloat and won’t last long. I call the vet again, and have them start heading towards the farm. While they are coming I conduct an abbreviated tour for the family who was very nice. As soon as they leave, the vet shows and I wrangle Love to the barn and into the head gate where she gets her own trocar after a many failed attempts to get a tube down her throat.

Cow being treated for bloat
Love getting more attention than she wanted in the head gate.

Love was so bloated she barely fit through the corral. The vet had to get the gas off of her quickly so he used three needles directly into her rumen and it sounded like he’d stuck a needle into a basketball. Many psi were bled off of Love, who was thankful for the relief from the pressure and pain. She wasn’t long for this world if we hadn’t found her and treated her immediately. Thankfully I got up and gave that tour rather than being lazy. It just goes to show that getting up and doing what needs doing, especially when you don’t want to, is what it takes to keep your animals healthy and alive.

Cows in barn stall
The Hilton, where both of our cows are getting room service daily.

So we’ll keep an eye on both of these cows for the next few days and hopefully reintroduce them to the pasture with no problems. And while we’re hoping, let’s hope no more vet for a very long time.

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