Sunday, September 22, 2013
Bess knocked down a gate on one of the back doors of the barn and she and Weldon had a party in the feed room. She overate by quite a bit. (9/20/13)
In the 4 stomachs, food ferments as it digests. The stuff she ate, unlike hay and grass, was not high fiber, it was high carbohydrates (she ate the chick feed I had just bought for the guinea chicks coming the first week of October). It ferments fast and caused bloat (gas) that can't be expelled. Bloat can and usually does kill because the stomach expands so much that it crowds the lungs and they suffocate. When I went out to milk yesterday morning (9/21/13) she wouldn't come in out of the rain. When I tried to coax her in, I saw she was very bloated and wobbly on her feet. I started giving her water and baking soda with the turkey baster and called our vet.
The vet made a farm call yesterday afternoon (our vet is great!!). He gave her an IV of baking soda/water. When they have bloat, their body tries to neutralize the acid in their stomach by pulling the ph from the blood. Unfortunately this makes a bigger problem because now the blood is also acidic. So the IV was to try to neutralize the blood. She was also given a shot that is basically cow aspirin (anti-inflammatory and pain reliever) and I'm giving her more shots of that every 12 hours. And also an antibiotic. The vet said she'd go one way or the other fairly quickly.
So this morning she was standing briefly, but then laid down and now we can't get her back up. I've been getting water in her as often as I can. Finally this afternoon I got ahold of the vet again. He said he was surprised she was still with us and so that is a victory. Now it's a wait to see if she recovers. More injections (I hate that job) and forcing baking soda water and gatoraide down. And trying to get her up onto her feet and walking. (And let me tell you,if an 800 pound cow does not want to get up...she is NOT getting up!)
I realize she's a "farm animal" but we do like her (love is a bit too strong). We are praying that our troublesome cow recovers quickly. She seems to be constantly getting into scrapes, but probably most of that is because I am still learning (and messing up!).