Ok, i won’t even try to explain why we disappeared for 3 months. No explanation realy. Just kind of turned inward for a while. Well, it’s time to get back out there! Sorry to make the first new post in a while a depressing one. But we have a little Beltie heifer who is in bad shape. She was a bit more pregnant than we realized (several factors contributed, only one is important - our bull!!). Bottom line is that she was a tad too small to give birth to her little heifer calf. Sadly, the calf died during birth. Worse, we found the momma in pretty bad shape with the calf only half out. Without getting to detailed, we had to use a rope and a tractor to get the dead calf the rest of the way out.

Almost 2 days later the little cow (“heifer” becomes “cow” after first calving) is still hanging on - in much better shape really - she at some hay and drank water today!!

The core problem is that she suffered some nerve damage in her birth canal while pushing the little guy out. This is not all that uncommon, and can often lead to irreversible paralysis of the hind legs. Sad. The good news is that our vet got here pretty quickly and administered some anti-inflammatory drugs intravenously that helped reduce swelling in the nerve sheath (or at least in the tissues surrounding the nerves) which may allow her to regain use of her legs. So far we’ve seen her move her legs a little bit when we lift up on her rear half with the special cow clamp that farmers use to deal with this situation. It’s a pretty crazy thing that tightens over her “pin bones” (bony hips that stick up and out). You hook it to the tractor bucket and LIFT! Then lower a bit so her hind toes just touch the ground. Hopefully at this point she is standing on her front legs. (she did that) and then you massage her hind legs and try to get her to use them. She quickly became exhausted and we let her back down. That was mid-day today. Now she is comfortably lying down. Eating and drinking, as I said.

I’ve got to go check on her in a minute.

More on this soon....

AuthorDaniel Marsiglio