Sick cow

More
2 years 11 months ago #554947 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic Sick cow
as per above post
Attachments:

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
2 years 11 months ago #554953 by Dr Spock
Replied by Dr Spock on topic Sick cow
Thanks for that. So you use the two together.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
2 years 11 months ago #554954 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic Sick cow

Dr Spock wrote: Thanks for that. So you use the two together.


this is how the attending vet set it up, neither of us having the proper sling.

It was a relatively short distance to move her closer to a paddock shed, out of the wind being an exposed location. I covered her with a canvas horse rug. I moved the tractor slowly while the vet walked with her.

For a ''needs must'' situation I felt satisfied that the cow's needs were met.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Ronney

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
2 years 11 months ago #554959 by Ronney
Replied by Ronney on topic Sick cow
Yes Max, in the past we have used similar set ups and it's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick when nothing else is available. When I first discovered cobalt deficiency, it was in a weaned calf that just wasn't doing. Called the vet in, did bloods on him and a cross section of the calves and cows - all were cobalt deficient. In the meantime we got the calf to the wood shed and fashioned a wool bale to make a sling and hung it from a never ending chain. Every 2 hours I would go out and lift him for 10 minutes and then let him down again. He survived.

I'm a bit puzzled by the fact that once you've got her up, she's able to stand on her own, move around and graze. Very odd! I should also mention that with a downer cow, they should be raised every two hours for approximately 10 minutes, extending that time if they are improving, and then being put down again on the opposite side to which they had been sitting i.e if on their left side when picked up, try to drop them on to their right when putting down.

I've got cobalt stuck in my head, it sounds so familiar and I could well be wrong because I'm no vet. I did a quick Google which wasn't helpful because the map didn't show Fairlie and I'm not too sure where it is in comparison to the maps. Apart from the fact that the biggest cobalt deficient area in NZ is the Central Plateau of the NI, the granite soils of parts of the SI can also be deficient and this is what I was looking for. Perhaps you can do that because you will know where Fairlie is. ;)

How was she today?

Cheers,
Ronnie

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
2 years 11 months ago - 2 years 11 months ago #554962 by Dr Spock
Replied by Dr Spock on topic Sick cow
I have had another conversation with the vet and ran the ideas you have all put forward past him. He pretty much ruled out everything - some for geographical reasons eg FE, woody tongue as she wasn't having trouble chewing/swallowing and wasn't salivating overly and he said he had checked her tongue when he visited. Mineral deficiencies he said could lay an animal low but not to the extent she is. He didn't feel the need to do further blood tests. He feels I've given her a good shot, done everything I can, have made her as comfortable as possible and says that I will be the best judge as to when I feel it is time to pull the pin.

I'm not lifting or turning her nearly as often as necessary as I am on my own and am already reliant on my good and patient neighbour to come and help with the morning and evening lifts.

She is very close to the house and I hear her mooing through the night. Last night her mooing changed and when I went to check on her she was lying on her side and unable to right herself. I managed to get her upright and prop her up with a bale of hay. She moves herself around in an attempt to get up.

Yes it does seem odd that she can stand and walk around okay but not get herself up. I think it is just that her muscles have become too wasted and weak. She manages to get herself down again at some time during the day/evening, often several hours after she has been lifted.

Perhaps the damage was already done in the early stages when she wasn't lifted (as per vet's instructions) and then consequently not lifted/ turned often enough.
Last edit: 2 years 11 months ago by Dr Spock. Reason: Added something

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
2 years 11 months ago #554963 by kate
Replied by kate on topic Sick cow
If she was down for a while she could have muscle damage from compartment syndrome.

Regardless of why a cow goes down, if she is unable to get up within the first 24 hours or so, her chances of ever standing
again are slim. When cattle are down for several hours, the muscles in their rear legs get severely damaged. These muscles
are still receiving the normal amount of blood flow from the arteries, which carry blood to the tissues from the heart, but have
limited venous drainage of the blood from the muscles.

When venous drainage is severely reduced, the blood pressure rises within the muscle. Muscle can't really expand to
accommodate this change in pressure, so these cells begin to die. In cases where cows have been down for several days, it
is not uncommon to see firm swelling. This damage to the muscle of the rear legs of cattle is called compartment syndrome.

In one study, 16 healthy cows were placed under anesthesia and made to lie on their side for 6 to 12 hours. Following
recovery from anesthesia, only eight of the 16 cows ever got back up. The rear leg that was down on the other eight cows was
found to have severe muscle damage. Cattle are just too heavy to lie on their muscles for any extended period of time without
getting up and down to restore normal blood flow in the muscles.


Full article here

Web Goddess
The following user(s) said Thank You: max2, Dr Spock

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
2 years 11 months ago #554967 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Sick cow

kate wrote: If she was down for a while she could have muscle damage from compartment syndrome.
...


Interesting, Kate. Years ago I worked on a steer who'd been down with his muscles compressed in a hole. One of his internal leg muscles died and the resulting mess burst out through his skin and I kept it clean for months until it all healed up. This was of course all under vet supervision. I'm not sure it would now be quite so acceptable.

Dr Spock, I'm sorry if you've already outlined it but what were the mineral level blood tests your vet did? A lack of copper can make them very unwell. Ruling anything out for geographical reasons is now dangerous! Diseases and parasites move as temperatures change and dairy cows get moved huge distances around the country and you wrote you don't know where she came from.
I think you could put her NAIT number into the NAIT database and get a history of where she'd been? I think that was supposed to be a function of the system by now.
If she came from somewhere else and was already infected, then she might have a liver full of fluke who are sucking the life out of her. Fluke can live for a few years.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Dr Spock

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
2 years 11 months ago #554968 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic Sick cow

Dr Spock wrote: I have had another conversation with the vet and ran the ideas you have all put forward past him. He pretty much ruled out everything - some for geographical reasons eg FE, woody tongue as she wasn't having trouble chewing/swallowing and wasn't salivating overly and he said he had checked her tongue when he visited. Mineral deficiencies he said could lay an animal low but not to the extent she is. He didn't feel the need to do further blood tests. He feels I've given her a good shot, done everything I can, have made her as comfortable as possible and says that I will be the best judge as to when I feel it is time to pull the pin.

I'm not lifting or turning her nearly as often as necessary as I am on my own and am already reliant on my good and patient neighbour to come and help with the morning and evening lifts.

She is very close to the house and I hear her mooing through the night. Last night her mooing changed and when I went to check on her she was lying on her side and unable to right herself. I managed to get her upright and prop her up with a bale of hay. She moves herself around in an attempt to get up.

Yes it does seem odd that she can stand and walk around okay but not get herself up. I think it is just that her muscles have become too wasted and weak. She manages to get herself down again at some time during the day/evening, often several hours after she has been lifted.

Perhaps the damage was already done in the early stages when she wasn't lifted (as per vet's instructions) and then consequently not lifted/ turned often enough.



Sorry Spock you are going through this by yourself. If she is healthy otherwise, how do you feel with continuing to lift her? I’m mentioning this as we had an Angus x jersey who was caught up in old head bails and dropped. OH had to cut the bail to get her out, but it was obvious she had damage.

Vet came out, gave the usual treatments and obs and as she was put in our house paddock, I covered her with a horse rug and kept up hay, water in a low plastic tub for about ten days. We noticed after a few she was dragging herself along, and then bingo, Mavis got up.

I never felt Mavis was suffering, she just needed to rest that back.

I’m sorry I can’t be of more help right now apart from sharing my experiences. Sending cyber hugs,
The following user(s) said Thank You: Dr Spock

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
2 years 11 months ago #554973 by Ronney
Replied by Ronney on topic Sick cow
Ruth brought up something I would have said when I came on tonight - the days are gone when geographical reasons were a cut off point. Hence my reference to the cow getting FE when I lived in Taupo. Unheard of at that time but with climatic change, it had happened.

Copper is also another problem that should be looked at as Ruth pointed out. It is an issue in the Far North but it was also an issue, although not such a large one, in the Central Plateau. Liver Fluke, which I hadn't thought of, can kill a cow slowly too, something else I know to my cost - and hers - and my first introduction to it.

Like Max, I too am sorry that you're having to deal with this on your own but glad that you have a good neighbour who has been giving you a hand. I seem to remember that Max posted about Mavis, and Ruth also posted about her steer. However, what happens from here on in is going to have to be your decision and that is not going to be easy. I'm still perplexed by the fact that once up, she can move herself around for several hours and graze, and then put herself back down. If her leg muscles were that stuffed she wouldn't be able to stand, let alone walk, for several hours especially as you've only been doing it twice a day.

If you decide to pull the pin, nobody is going to think any less of you and will understand why.

Cheers,
Ronnie
The following user(s) said Thank You: max2, Dr Spock

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
2 years 11 months ago - 2 years 11 months ago #554976 by Jaybee
Replied by Jaybee on topic Sick cow
It is quite possible that your vet's initial diagnosis of Johne's disease is the correct one, even though the blood test came back negative.

It's common, manifests as weight loss and diarrhoea with average age of onset 5 - 6 years, and can't always be reliably diagnosed from lab tests.

Edit to add: and according to Beef & Lamb NZ, Jersey cows are three times more susceptible than Friesians.
Last edit: 2 years 11 months ago by Jaybee.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
2 years 11 months ago #554993 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Sick cow
Have you tried drenching her orally with a mineralised anthelmintic drench? After the antibiotic, that would be my second method of attacking the problem, closely followed by a subcutaneous injection of calcium borogluconate. That requires a special injection apparatus because about 500 ml has to go in under the skin.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
2 years 11 months ago #554995 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic Sick cow

Jaybee wrote: It is quite possible that your vet's initial diagnosis of Johne's disease is the correct one, even though the blood test came back negative.

It's common, manifests as weight loss and diarrhoea with average age of onset 5 - 6 years, and can't always be reliably diagnosed from lab tests.

Edit to add: and according to Beef & Lamb NZ, Jersey cows are three times more susceptible than Friesians.


When the vet was out to check on the one I posted photos of, he noticed shedding and that belonged to my oldest and first cow Daisy. She was about 8 when I received her, and off the top of my head, I reckon she was 18 easy last year if not more, when the above occurred.

She had certainly lost condition and calved back in February 2020 when we least expected it. Had retired her and stupidly thought she wasn’t going into season anymore and had missed a couple of years and so she kept bully company when he was removed from the girls.

Anyhow out of interest, she wasn’t tested for Johnes, but I don’t recall any unusual sitting down moments with her which is the main point of this thread. She just remained herself, although losing condition. We knew she had dropped some front teeth so ensured she received supplementary feeding twice a day which towards the end, didn’t improve her condition.

Daisy sadly was PTS the same day as Twinnie (the one in the photo) died and both were buried together.

I just think in spocks case, it’s something else and if the cow is interested in eating and drinking, perhaps a little more time is warranted.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
2 years 11 months ago #554998 by Dr Spock
Replied by Dr Spock on topic Sick cow
The vet only tested for Johnes when he did the blood test and didn't think that further blood tests would prove worthwhile, perhaps from a financial perspective as much as anything. It's now going into her 4th week of not being able to get herself up. Is it too late to insist on further blood tests?
When I first noticed and became concerned by her condition deteriorating at end of February, I gave her an oral drench of Oxfen C (don't know if that is a mineralised drench). Her poos which had been quite runny, firmed up so I thought that she obviously had worms and the drench had worked. Her poos were good for a while but then got more and more runny and on the day she went down, not realising that she was 'down', I had used the pour on Eclipse. This was the same day the vet came out to her. Her poos improved dramatically after that day leaving me wondering if she had a worm burden that she couldn't shake and consequently her muscles have wasted to the point that she doesn't have the strength to lift herself up. Her poos possibly aren't now quite as firm as they were then. I don't know if I understand what the Johnes 'shedding' looks like. Is it similar to how it looks if the cow walks while pooing? I have seen that with her.

She was lifted on Saturday morning and stayed up standing until Sunday evening - close to 36 hours. I'm pretty sure I would have known if she'd been down and managed to get herself up again as I had draped a tarp over her and would have expected it to have dislodged had she tried to get up. She looked quite stiff when she walked. This morning I was awakened by the moo that says she is lying on her side and can't get herself back up into a sitting position. As it was too early to call my neighbour, I struggled for some time and eventually (not without some damage to my own ribs) got her back up into a comfortable position and she proceeded to eat her silage like nothing had happened.

Fortunately I have been on leave from work for the last 3 weeks and this has made tending her easier.
The following user(s) said Thank You: max2

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
2 years 11 months ago #554999 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic Sick cow
At the end of the day you can only do what you can do to support her as long as possible and let whatever ails her take its course. Time can be either your friend or enemy and if the latter, sooner or later she will let you know what to do.
One of our vets was strongly urging euthanasia for the second born of quad kids, as she collapsed in the front legs. I wouldn't do that for such a bright alert baby and supported her for 5 weeks, turning her regularly. When she "told" us she was ready to get up we supported her with a sling for a few days to get her weight bearing on her front legs. You wouldn't believe she is the same goat that lay helpless for so long now as she blats across the paddock at frightening speed.
That your cow stood for so long on Saturday/Sunday, I presume grazing, there is still reason to hope. A new blood test might show what her liver is doing now.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S
The following user(s) said Thank You: max2, Dr Spock

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
2 years 11 months ago #555014 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic Sick cow
Dr Spock, imagine having the runs but walking at the same time, with the obvious differences in location of anus, its projectile and can have a slight wave or curve pattern after its landed which can be lengthy with spaces in between landings.

Sorry for the description but trying to help, truly!

Whereas normal poo just plops....

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Time to create page: 0.154 seconds