When it rains… Another bloated cow.

Bull cow being treated for bloat
#40, in the head gate, being treated for bloat. He feels much better at this point.

About 10 minutes after posting yesterday’s adventure this morning, I received a call from Miguel that we ANOTHER bloated cow. This time #40, a year old steer. The steer wasn’t in nearly as bad of shape as the first two cows, a sure sign we are getting better at diagnosing the issue early. Fortunately and unfortunately we are getting better at this whole thing and we had the steer treated and in the barn in about 30 minutes.

Turkey injector being used to relieve bloat in a cow
Relieving the bloated gas. Yes that is a turkey injector. The old axiom is, “If it’s stupid but it works, it’s not stupid.”

A small incision and our turkey injector goes in. Again the pressure was relieved and the bull felt immediately better. We made up a bed at La Casa Convalescence and left our new patient to recover beside #9 who is fully recovered but still enjoying her spa treatment.

This afternoon our bull was showing some bloat again so we hauled him back out to the head gate to have the pressure bled off again and this time he received a treatment of DSS surfactant. He is back in the barn on a very limited diet of roughage and water. I will check him again tonight and again in the morning. If he settles down till in the morning he should be ok. If not, we might have to install a trocar to keep the vent open and give his stomach time to settle down.

I’m getting too comfortable doing this vet stuff. I think ignorance was bliss. I kind of miss it.

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. 🙂