Saturday, August 15, 2009

Poor Lorray...

Lorray this morning, still a little bloated on the left side but getting there...

Yesterday was rather eventful. We were supposed to have a nice day at home fixing the chookhouse fence when I went and checked on my bovines... Sausage was fine, so was Lavender (well as well as she can be with only three weeks to go in her pregnancy...)

Went and looked at Lorray and I got the shock of my life. She had not been eating, was throwing up a bit all the time and was frequently urinating as well as pooing. Her left side of the stomach was blown up like a balloon. It was still spongy but not looking good at all.

AHHHHHH Bloat!!!! NOOOOO. Was all I could think of at the time. Went inside and did more research and sure enough it was what she had... Have to act fast as they can die within a couple of hours of it getting severe. At this point I gave her the last of the medicine from another lot of bloat that she was treated for (but was actually pregnant, yes rather embarrassed about that one still but the vet surely should have known if I didn't???) That didn't work either as she was busy trying to kick the sides of herself and was not eating or drinking at all. She ballooned just a bit more.

Called the vet and they came out straight away. Still 1/2 hour from Warwick but they got there and passed a tube down her nose into the stomach. Air came out which was great to hear. The wind off course also picked up at that stage so made dealing with her a little more difficult. The vet then gave her a drench through the tube straight into the stomach to start working which was a great thing to do. She also got a shot of Penicillin and I have to give her another two shots over the next two days. That should be fun... Not!!!

I have to now give her more of the drench on her lucerne hay every day for three days and the shots as well. She is gonna love me after all this is over but within an hour of the vet leaving, she started looking better. This morning her tummy is still up a little bit but nothing like she was. During the night she also passed proper consistency poo and there were bigger wet spots around as well. Gums are also looking good still. Vet was happy all around and didn't have to put in a cannula which I was rather happy about as that usually has other problems associated with it later when it comes time for healing of the wound.

Total cost of the experience: $281.00 But so worth it as she is ok and getting better each hour. I have her in the cow yard for the next few days and can't use her milk for 72 hours after the last penicillin shot tomorrow but it is a small price to pay... Poor thing.

The other thing that the vet has said that due to there actually not having been any chance in feed that she seems prone to bloat. This is not good. Allot of material that I read over time says to cull those animals and I will certainly not do that but it has made me think of other options.

At this point I am very undecided what we are doing about the cows. Sausage is constantly getting into the orchard and the veggie gardens. Even my flower beds are not safe from him. Nothing stops this little guy. With the new calf due in three weeks that will only double my trouble I believe. They are costing us a fortune in replacement trees and shrubs like I never thought would be possible. Just something that I am thinking of. Though I love to have that time with Lorray when I milk her and watching their antics in the paddock. Lots more thinking to do on that one. But what if I can find someone that will let me buy a share in a cow and I can still have my raw milk. But what if I can find the right butcher to only buy grass fed beef... Will see...

Cheers Damaris


Ann at eightacresofeden said...

It is a bit like a trip down memory lane reading your problems of your with cows! Bloat is so common at this time of year with the changing of the seasons. Then after calving there is milk fever to contend with! Cows are hard work whether you have one or two or a big herd as we did! Has your Loray been on dew ridden or wet pasture? This commonly causes bloat. A good preventative is to feed some dry hay before allowing her to graze wet green pasture. You can also sprinkle dry bran onto the hay which helps to reduce fermentation caused by the wet food.
I'm so thankful to live next door to a dairy farm that my children work on. I would miss our raw milk so much if we ever moved away.

Damaris said...

Hi Ann, No there have been no changes here for a long time. We are feeding them Lucerne hay. Lorray also gets grain and cotton seeds at the time of milking which is only once a day now at night. The vet has said that she is just prone to it... Will give the dry bran a go though in spring when we have new growth or after lots of rain. Thanks for the tip.

Cheers Damaris xo