This evening my neighbour asked me to come and look at a "growth" next to the udder of one of her cows. It wasn't a growth, it was oedema running between the navel and udder. This isn't unusual pre-calving and often in first calving heifers, but in this case the cow calved two months ago and is at least on to her fourth calf. She is in very good condition, has an udder that the calf is obviously not emptying out and the calf is robust and healthy, as is the cow. I forgot to ask her actual breeding but largely Angus and by the look of the udder, Friesian too but probably not a lot.
I told the neighbour I hadn't come across post calving oedema but if she were my cow I would keep an eye on her and if it got worse, ring the vet, and in the meantime I would do some research. I could find heaps on pre-calving and calving oedema but nothing on post-calving, especially that far after calving. Gut feeling makes me think it's got something to do with her condition. Anybody got any ideas? This person has already lost one set of twins, one of another set and a cow which decided to calve in a swamp and eventually had to be shot. I know full well the terrible, paranoid feeling when this sort of thing happens and one starts to see trouble if anything seems even slightly out of the ordinary.
If anybody has any ideas I would be happy to pass them on.
Any chance the cow had an umbilical hernia which has given way?
My heifer has a small one and I was monitoring her closely after calving as she had oedema also in one side of her udder and it was visible down her mid-line to her umbilicus. It has resolved itself now.
Sorry not much help other than to say I had reason to google Oedema as well for a post calving cow. I see there is a spelling of edema as well on the first references, I presume this is one and the same thing or perhaps an overseas version of ''our'' thing?
Anyhow as I'm getting the vet back out to drain the Staph Aureus infection that has settled into puss ball at the top of one of another cow's 1/4, I will ask her to check out the (what I think is) extra large udder. I'm milking her out and she has a calf at foot and is generally healthy in prime condition.
Will be interested to hear what the outcome is.
Thanks for your replies. SB, that would seem to be a logical conclusion in a post-calving cow.
Max, oedema and edema are one and same thing - it's just that Americans don't always spell very well. And funnily enough the spell check puts a red line under the edema rendition of the spelling!
I've passed on both your experience and that of SB's to the neighbour and we would both be interested in what your vet has to say about your cow.
I crossed the road today to have a look at neighbour's cow and she's no worse than she was the other day and every bit as sprightly.
Here's a reasonable pic of Royal, which shows her "hernia" . Her swelling has gone, leaving just the hernia. It now looks the same as it always did so hasn't given way.
How did you/it go Ronney?
We gave our cow two doses of Metacam in no particular set order with no change. Apart a week in a new paddock with long, new grass and a new multi mineral lick lock, her udder suddenly lost its swelling and has returned to size.
We don't know if magnesium in the lick block had something to do with it, Daughter read up on it and one theory was Oedema's might be an indication of low mag levels.... ?
I haven't seen the neighbour Max since last time I posted. Her cows were grazing a road paddock yesterday so I had a squizz to see if I could see the cow but couldn't pick her out - nor could I see all of them. Will let you know the outcome though.
Stikki, that photo looks very much like the cow in question.