This still fresh on my mind I must put down in words. It has been a frightful day, one of much prayer & hard thinking. A messy & frustrating day to say the least.
I woke this morning & noted my milk cow attempted to get up off the ground & she could not. I dressed quickly telling the family & off downstairs, grabbing my coat & boots & heading to the barn/stall. She was down. Knowing so little about cows being not yet a year owning a cow had my mind in a whirl. I did know it was not normal. The calf was bawling which was obvious to me he had not eaten & was very hungry.
We tried helping poor Ethel for several hours. We tried our new bucket with nipple to give the calf some nourishment to shut him up if nothing else. He would not take it..we got a little bit down him but it was by force.
I got out all my homeopathics for what I thought was milk fever or being lame. She got lots of herbs~nettle, plantain, echinacea, comfrey, oat straw, alfalfa.
Homeopathics~ phytolaca, arnica, mag phos, ipecac, every fifteen minutes. We managed to help her crawl bit by bit to get out of her stall into the sunshine which we praise God for it being warm & sunny today. Cold & rainy or snowy would not have been a good mix.
I read some more information & gathered some vitamins & minerals, C, Magnesium Oxide, & copper. I added to it diatomaceous earth, azomite, molasses, apple cider vinegar & managed to get her to lick the bowl clean. Now we are in a wait & see mode.
We got from the vet some Calcium gel which she seemed sickened by~she had that look in her eyes as if she would puke, but got it down. Most of it anyway. She went back to her hay & about three hours after her getting up laid down. In my panic, which is normal for a cow to do, but since she had trouble this morning I didn’t want it to be another episode. I sent husband to TS to get the recommended I.V. and Calcium Gluconate and will see how that goes! never having done such this should be interesting!
I write this so we can get a good source of help from other’s who have had to experience such an episode. How to prevent it & what to do in case it happens to someone else.
I sure need support & much of it is too far away to have someone else come help. Money is an issue at present as income is at a halt so this adventure is yet another trial we must go thru & on the other side use for future reference. We have had several of those the last couple years with dogs & chickens. Things we learned!
The I.V. not put in the vein but into the peritoneum (a layer of skin) not on the surface but more deep. The needle is proof it needs to go down into, not like a vein needle that stays more near the surface skin. The following are the instructions we were given by a friend who is a farmer that helped us to accomplish this task. A neighbor who has done intramuscular injection came to help & she is the one who did the needle jab & got it done right the first time. I told her I am so glad she came because I probably would not have done it so well. It helped having the confident person doing it. I know now I can do it if I had to again.
“If you can’t get her to a vet, you will either need to get someone to administer the calcium gluconate for you, or do it yourself. If you are going to do it, go to Tractor Supply and buy 4 bottles of calcium gluconate and an IV set. Lay the cow on her left side. Push the IV needle quickly and forcefully into her right side behind the ribs and a few inches down from the spinal processes. The needle needs to puncture her peritoneum, not just her skin. Open a bottle of calcium and connect the tube to it, then hold the bottle up high so the solution flows into her side. It will take a few minutes, don’t rush it, but you need to make sure it is flowing. Give her a second bottle, then watch her for an hour or so. She should regain her strength in a while. If she isn’t making any progress in 2 hours, I would give at least one more bottle of calcium, maybe two. You can’t overdo the calcium.
We do not know what was wrong with our milk cow, I was told if she had milk fever she could not have gotten up on her own without the I.V. but she did get up after I gave all the above vitamins, minerals & homeopathics. She was standing while we did the I.V. because how do you make a cow get down once she’s up. I did not want her back down in case she couldn’t get back up. I know standing is a good sign. She is still doing great two days later with no signs of having been down for the several hours giving me a new awareness of fear!