Unexpected medical patient. Part 2. Warning graphic!

We got the cow loaded onto our trailer and headed home. We had customers waiting for us when we arrived and all the guys busy doing stuff. Miguel, never one to miss a detail, immediately noted that the empty trailer wasn’t empty.

“I’ll tell you later. Let’s handle the customer.”

After selling some chicken and milk, I filled him in on what happened. We can shoot her, we can put her in the pasture and wait for her to die, or we can do surgery to try to clear her impacted rumen. After checking on everything, and everyone’s schedule, we all jumped into action. We’d try surgery.

I had to go make a pickup at a new customer I’d promised to hit that day. Lucy unloaded all the farm goodies from the truck and coolers, and Miguel unloaded our sick cow from the trailer and into our corral. Once everyone was back, we put our patient into the head gate.

Jersey cow in a head gate
Unloaded and in the head gate

Jersey cows don’t carry any body condition anyway. They always look like they are starving. But this cow had been unable to digest anything for four days. She was downright emaciated. She was bright eyed and pleasant though.

Shaving a surgical area on a cow
Shaving the area where we will be working

First step was to get all the gear out, make sure we had everything, and then shave the area where we’d be working. This was harder than it sounds because her rumen was very sunken in. A straight razor shaves a basketball easily. It doesn’t shave the inside of a bowl quite as well.

Once everything was shaved, washed, soaped, washed, and ready to go, I gave her multiple lidocaine shots to numb the area. This is the same stuff the vet (and your doctor uses) so she was getting the good stuff.

Once everything was numb, it was time to begin surgery. But that’s our next post.

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