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Has anybody ever seen this? (viewer discretion)

Bward

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In the 35 years I have been calving cows this is a first. This was a first calf heifer. At feeding time I noticed her with a kink in her tail in the hay line eating, while I was watching another calf to make sure it was actually nursing and not just sucking skin, hind leg etc. All was well so as I drove off to the house I notice the soon to calf heifer go off by herself away from the cows. I knew she would not be too long but so far there was no water bag. An hour later I go out and spot her in the hay line laying out flat. She is dead. Her uterus is about 5-6 feet behind her and I can't really comprehend for a moment just what I am seeing. If there is a uterus, there has to be a calf somewhere... then I spot it about 100 yards away up on his brisket soaking wet. The calf was never licked and I doubt the heifer even knew she had a baby. There was no blood anywhere, and with the speed she had it, (less than an hour) I doubt it was a difficult birth. Anyone ever see a prolapse like this before? :(
 

jigs

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I feel bad for your sorry luck, but am sorta happy that it is not a Hereford, otherwise we would see 4 pages of Hereford bashing!
 

Bward

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She goes back to herefords on both sides! no just kidding... She's Santa Gertrudis and her mother (6) had twins twice and we still have her. We haven't had a uterine prolapse here in over 25 years. A few vaginal ones here and there though....
Quite a shock to go out and find that. The calf is a firecracker and we are trying to get him onto a 6 year old cow that calved a dead backwards one a month ago. So far she does'nt hate him. And yes she is still making milk so she must have had some calves stealing from her to keep it going.
 

gcreekrch

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Joe Abel at Falkland BC had penned a prolapse heifer to sew her up in his calving corrals. As Joe was a low input rancher the corrals were constructed of a bunch of old cars pulled together and strategically placed. Well, this heifer was a Char x, a bit on the snorty side,

When Joe and his son had her captured, she decided the closed in surroundings weren't to her liking. She long-jumped the lowest spot and when her back feet hit the ground on the outside, her prolapsed uterus stayed there and she ran off across the field.

Joe's son asked if he should get the rifle and put her down. Joe told him to just let her go off in the brush and die and then they wouldn't have to drag her off the field.

She was on the feedground the next morning, wild and fit as she could be. :shock:

Joe said the vet's only explanation was that she must have pulled the arteries much the same as when you dehorn and that was why she hadn't bled to death.

I was told this story by one of Joe's closest friends who saw the heifer shortly after the incident. It happened over 30 years ago. Joe at one time ran around a thousand cows and was an old time cowman.
 

Soapweed

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Back in the spring of 1980, Peach and I were newly married and ranching without too many bells and whistles. We were nearly done calving, but still feeding hay. One morning we were making the rounds with a feedsled pulled by four Belgian geldings. A black baldy cow had a calf about three weeks old, but she chose that morning to have a complete uterine prolapse. Why she did it then instead of right after she calved remains a mystery to this day. She was standing by the windmill in pretty gentle lethargic fashion, so we hurriedly pitched off the rest of our hay and took the team back to the barn about a mile away. They were pretty broncy and apt to tear up stuff, so we took the little extra time to unharness. Then we got a bucket of hot water, some towels, a sewing kit, and I put on a sleeveless shirt since we didn't use plastic gloves in those days. Our plan was to just take the pickup back to the cow, rope her, tie her to the grille guard on the pickup, put in the prolapse, and sew her up.

Plans sometimes go astray. She was still gentle acting and lethargic, and we drove pretty close to where she stood. I quietly opened the door and got out, with rope in hand. It wasn't difficult to make an easy cast and throw the rope around her head. The moment the rope touched her neck is when she forgot she was gentle and lethargic. She spooked, bucked, and took off running. She swung wide, and the prolapse which was hanging in the dirt flung straight out with centrifugal force. It hung up on a barbed wire gate, pulled off completely, and fell onto the sand. My immediate thought was that we had just killed a cow. She took off running fast, being quite unencumbered by then. We followed for about a quarter of a mile, to where she galloped up over a hill and then fell down from the shock of the situation. At this point, it wasn't hard to drive up on the rope with the tire of the pickup. Even though there wasn't much hanging out of her rear end, I pushed what there was back in and sewed her up. Taking the rope off, we figured she'd be dead in a few minutes. We drove away and watched from a distance. Soon she got up and wandered back to where the other cows were eating hay.

The next morning she was still alive and well. She survived the summer, gave plenty of milk, and weaned a nice big steer calf in the fall. By then she was in good flesh, darn sure open, and quite saleable. She went to town.
 

Bward

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Great stories! I have heard of more than one cow giving herself a hysterectomy and living to tell about it. Its amazing what a cow can survive. The madder the cow, the better her chances, it seems.
 

balestabber

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the cows in those stories might have been under some kind of "stress" .
a hysterectomy can seem to calm a female down.they can handle stress alot better.and are alot easier to work with.
 

mrj

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We had a situation similar to yours, Soapweed. A few years ago, while checking cows, one with a total prolapse was found. One cowboy was trying to get her to to a corral and veterinary equipment, she went on the same type of flight. The whole mess fell off while swinging wildly. She healed and was sold. I don't recall what happened to the calf, but most likely it had died before the prolapse, given typical 'luck' on this ranch!

Do you suppose such weird things as this are at least a small part of what keeps ranchers interested in this tough 'career'??? Thankfully, this sort of 'excitement' is even more rare than the especially great moments!!!!

mrj
 

Bward

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NR. I do have some (heavy on the Hereford) Sim cross cows that I breed gert.
 

okfarmer

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Looks like a complete uterus and vaginal prolapse. When the entire uterus is expelled like that, large vessles directly connected to the major vessel (aorta) are torn and they would be expected to bleed out internally- quick, as you observed.
 

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