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Offline braunvieh

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help -- heifer down
« on: April 05, 2009, 10:53:43 PM »
I tried searching for this topic but it brought back over 50 pages with those words so I thought I would just post instead.

Heres the scenario. My Dad had a Charolais heifer try to calve during night, missed seeing her. Next morning, calf was out to hips and dead, got him out fine but she is down. That was a week ago.
She is in the middle of a pasture, he hauls her feed and water. She will drink but will not eat hardly anything. Same feed she was always getting. She keeps getting herself on her side and cannot get her feet back under her but she hasn't bloated up yet but we can't keep her sitting up long. Yesterday she tried to get up for my Dad and got on her back legs but was too wobbly to get on all 4s. He said she would have with another hand there. Today, she has stayed sitting up for several hours (which is a record), but Dad said she had a a bloddy/gunky discharge (never before) and maybe a dropped ear. So he gave penicillin.

Any suggestions on injections to boost strenght? He feels if she can just get to standing she will make huge progress, but the concern is the not eating and the new discharge. He is pretty old-school so I am posting this as I know he will not take any further action unless I see to it myself.





Offline OH Breeder

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Re: help -- heifer down
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2009, 11:02:35 PM »
We had a down heifer after a long delivery etc. She had a prolapse and was treted for that. We made a sling and got her up everyday. It took two weeks to get her up and moving again. But we made sure she was up every day for circuation to her extremities. YOu can get to a point of no return with the rear legs. You need to get her up soon. As far as discharge or meds, I would place and call and ask your vet for some advice or a visit. We gave banamine as well for reduction in swelling and pain management, who I would ask the vet.
If you can get her into a barn and get her up. The sling we made was from boat straps. They were 8-10 inches wide. I had one at her front and one toward her rear. I used chains and come alongs.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2009, 11:07:53 PM by OH Breeder »
Life is too short....don't sweat the small stuff.

Offline kanshow

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Re: help -- heifer down
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2009, 11:04:33 PM »
Sorry to hear about your heifer.

We had a similar situation.   We have a hip lift and use that with a loader tractor to get the cow up.   I'm no vet but we were told to give a shot of Dexamethasone or another anti-inflammitory drug.  Our cow was then able to get up & down by herself, although was wobbley.  

Offline OH Breeder

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Re: help -- heifer down
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2009, 11:08:49 PM »
We had a down heifer after a long delivery etc. She had a prolapse and was treted for that. We made a sling and got her up everyday. It took two weeks to get her up and moving again. But we made sure she was up every day for circuation to her extremities. YOu can get to a point of no return with the rear legs. You need to get her up soon. As far as discharge or meds, I would place and call and ask your vet for some advice or a visit. We gave banamine as well for reduction in swelling and pain management, who I would ask the vet.
If you can get her into a barn and get her up. The sling we made was from boat straps. They were 8-10 inches wide. I had one at her front and one toward her rear. I used chains and come alongs.

Banamine brand of flunixin meglumine is  injectable non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. We didn't have time to order the lift, it would have taken a week to get it so we improvised.
Life is too short....don't sweat the small stuff.

Offline shortdawg

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Re: help -- heifer down
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2009, 11:13:07 PM »
I had one walk after being down 26 days. We picked her up with a boom lift everyday to get blood flowing to her legs. Her back legs were the pro lem-she could move her front ones fromn the start.
Eph. 2:8-10

Offline kanshow

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Re: help -- heifer down
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2009, 11:13:57 PM »
We ordered that lift several years ago when we had another cow go down.   Prior to that, we used some wide 10" straps.   I'd say use whatever works, it's important for them to get up.  

Offline braunvieh

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Re: help -- heifer down
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2009, 11:14:36 PM »
Thanks for the responses. I was thinking of giving dex and banamine but wanted to see if that was the right thing. We don't have a hip lifter but are checking with our vet, he has one he loans out.

Offline Dave

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Re: help -- heifer down
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2009, 11:24:00 PM »
The best thing to do is get a hip lift of some kind.  You can find them at farm stores like an Orshelin that clamp over the cows pelvic bones then lift her for 30 minutes 3 or 4 times a day. This helps get movement and blood flow back into the legs. This has worked several times for me. Also milk her out if you plan to try and graft a calf on her. Good luck.
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Offline Cowboy

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Re: help -- heifer down
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2009, 11:27:56 PM »
As usuall, I was typing my normally long response only to see several good replies as I hit the post button. All good advise, was saying mostly the same things as far as the hip lifters and getting her up goes, as well as pain killers.

Try getting her on a pretty good dose of Vitamin B Complex soon as you can, this helps with red blood cell regeneration, and will make a big difference in recovery time for the whole animal.

Main thing here is to not let her lose the will to live. Keep her trying to get up and keep her spirits high, once they give up -- it is all but over for them.

She needs to eat, whether it be normal intake or forced  via tubed energy. Dehydration and lack of calories will only make her slower!

Best of luck -- give me a call if you just need to talk abouth er-- I tend to be windy as most know!!! hehehe

Take care and good luck !

Terry
Cows are family too -- we treat em like they are !!

Offline PaddyO

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Re: help -- heifer down
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2009, 08:26:32 PM »
That is no good. Had an older cow do just that last year. We didn't have any lifts or anything. Anyway, fed watered her for about 3 and half weeks and finally gave up on her. We went to get cows off wheat pasture, cows ran by her and all be dang if she didn't get up and go with them. She was pretty "drunk" legged for about a week. So, moral of the story..... she could be fine.

Offline ba

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Re: help -- heifer down
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2009, 08:38:24 PM »
If you can access some old conveyor belting  cut to a usable length and
bolt together with loops to slide a piece of pipe through wrap a chain
 and get her up and to the barn where you can use a chain hoist or come-long.

Offline braunvieh

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Re: help -- heifer down
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2009, 08:59:31 PM »
We have gotten a hip lift and hope that helps with her progress. Usually they get up after a day or two, this one is still trying and we hope she comes around. Thanks to everyone for the advice.

Offline jbw

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Re: help -- heifer down
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2009, 09:07:29 PM »
If she won't eat, try giving her calf starter, stay on her with pen to thwart any secondary infections. If she likes the creep feed move it away a little farther from her, make her go to it. Grandpa told me he put his Hereford saddle on one and used that for his sling!{my saddle is not going on a cow} Good luck!!

Offline ba

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Re: help -- heifer down
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2009, 09:11:33 PM »
Forgot to  add you might want try probios or fast track to get her to eat more

Offline Shady Lane

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Re: help -- heifer down
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2009, 01:50:07 PM »
I think everyone has given you good advice so far.

I have been in this exact same situation before a few different times and I would agree that it is key to get her up as soon as possible.

Your hip lift should work well but what I have done in the past is made a sling out of used belting by bolting two pieces of flat iron to it on each end, cutting a hole just under the flat iron so a rope can go through it.

I also took a piece of 2x2" sqaure tube about 32" long (or thereabouts) and cut three holes though it with the torch and welded som 1" pipe sections in the holes like "bushings" to pass ropes through.

I then attached my two slings to the square tube at either end so that the tube held them apart and kept them from slipping around on the cow and lifted the cow from the centre portion with a front end loader and transported her o a barn where I continued to lift her for a few days with a come along in a gateway. Worked quite well and they all reccovered.
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