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HELP!!! Cow trouble!

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Well-known member
Feb 10, 2005
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Thursday morning, hubby found a young cow down that couldn't get back up. With some persuasion, he got her back on her feet. For the rest of that day and all day Friday, she was fine. Yesterday morning I found her down again, and this time she can't get up at all. It's like her back end is just dead. She had her calf a long time ago and is bred back already, nearly two weeks ago. Now I'm carrying food and water to her. At least she had the decency to go down in the corral so it isn't too far to carry water. Any ideas on getting her back up? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Hip lifts anda tractor. She may need an antiinflamatory, does she have a fever. I haven't had the best of luck with down cows, but some go on. Can you rule out milk fever or grass tetany (calcium or magnsium deciencies). Just some possibilities I can think of right now. Typically, I have seen milk fever hit last trimester as calf bone growth expplodes and she draws down the cows reserves,

Good luck,
Can't be grass tetany, they're still being fed hay and are on good mineral supplement. Couldn't be milk fever either. As for a fever, don't know, she still eats alot and drinks quite a few pails of water. She seems quite healthy, other than she can't get up. Which reminds me, it's time to water her. She should be done eating by now.
Had the same thang happen to a cow last fall. She'd had her calf and was bred back....then one day went out and she wsa down...couldnt git her back up for the life of us.....ended up haulin food n water for a week or so....and as time progressed she just got weaker and weaker ...ended up havin to put her down. Vet says sometimes it's kinda like when a cow does it when they give birth...just kinda delayed I guess....not a lot you can do
Shelly, I had a cow, a couple years ago, with similar symptoms. I thought it was milk fever, at first, but it turned out that it was a form of mastitis. If you can get a hold of her and make sure that the milk in all 4 teats is normal you can rule that out. The milk will be a semi-clear amber color if it is this type of mastitis and will probably stink.
The vet gave this cow some IV antibiotics and then we used some regular mastitis treatment on her. She is just fine to this day.

Good luck.
We had one do that too, but it ended up being rabies, so just becareful, make sure you don't get any saliva on your hands. It most likely isn't this but just be aware.
BRG said:
We had one do that too, but it ended up being rabies, so just becareful, make sure you don't get any saliva on your hands. It most likely isn't this but just be aware.

Your rabies diagnosis kind of got me thinking about cows that had similiar problems and died around here over the years. Can you give us a few more details? Was she one the fight to some degree?
Ya a little, thought we could save her because at the start she wouldn't drink so we tubed her a time or 2 before the vet recognized it. She was down and with some coaxing we got her up, but the next day was back down and then wouldn't get up any more. By that time the vet told us to put her down and take her head in to get tested and she was positive. Ended up taking several shots for it. Wasn't much fun. From the time she went down until she died was only about 4 days so I don't know how she would have acted if we didn't put her down.
My word,

does remind me of a couple of cows I had. It was like hip paralysis, but they were very aggressive. Had no idea this could be a problem,
We had that happen with a roping steer. He got sick, and down. A club owned him, and several of them worked on him trying various things~tubing him for one. It was decided to put him out of his misery. A vet wanted some of the hide for some reason and my husband skinned him. They did send the head in as a precaution. Yep, came back rabies. They figured a skunk must have bit him. Anyway, 7 people wound up taking the rabies shots~my husband, the vet and the vet's helper among them. At least they didn't have to take them in the stomach. It was pretty expensive. I think $500/each person for the series of shots. Would have been more but they got a volume discount!!

You cannot be too careful! I didn't remember the saliva being the problem, but if there was any break in the skin on any of the people, it was advised that they not take a chance.
I used micotil for three years before I knew it could kill you. Never thot about rabies, this board can be a real eye-opener.
A freind of ours had a yearlin with rabies,but when they noticed it,it was in the wild stage...We still use micotil,and lemme tell yaitll keep you on your toes....
Had an uncle that had a cow acting like she was choking, he reached in to see if he could feel something. He put her down and last minute thinking thought he would send her head in, postive, so had the shots. A month later he had a pup that acted like it got ran over, drug it back end, same thing rabies. A few more in the family had the shots too. We go through years of quarantine for rabies, seems like it goes in cycles.
Not up yet, calf is stealing from other cows. BTW, the rest of you are freaking me out with your rabies stories. She's not aggressive yet, just pathetic. If it's rabies, when should I see a change in her attitude?
Shelly said:
Not up yet, calf is stealing from other cows. BTW, the rest of you are freaking me out with your rabies stories. She's not aggressive yet, just pathetic. If it's rabies, when should I see a change in her attitude?

Shelly not all rabies cases go to an aggresive state-- instead they have the staggers, and loss of leg control and paralysis since it effects the spinal cord, look drowsy and sleepy..... I've seen both in horses and cows- but most were the paralysis type- I think one vet called it "dumb rabies"... I also saw one horse that was an absolute nut case- try to come thru a pole corral with its mouth wide open trying to bite you- slam into the corral so hard it would knock itself down-even bit at itself....One cow I saw ran around a large pasture chasing anything it saw-- it bellowed louder and deeper than any bull I'd ever heard... Only way to know for sure is have a vet do tests.....

I don't know about Canada- but in the states rabies is a reportable disease- altho like rancher said, in this area we have so many outbreaks that we're under rabies quarantine much of the time.... It was getting to be that so many animals (skunks, coons, bats ) were coming back positive that unless someone had been bitten or exposed it was just assumed it was probably rabies and they weren't tested....
Not sure if this is one thing that could be a reason as to why your cow is not getting up. Last fall Dad had one of his yearling bull calves go down in the end of nov and not get back up. He called the vet out and both him and dad decided that it was a thiamin deficiency. The vet also mentioned that he should get the water tested for nitrates just in case. The vet gave him a thiamin shot and appeared to be better. However before we realized what was wrong the calf had gone to long without thiamin and went down again. The bull was on a backgrounding diet and had been out on pasture with its mom all summer. Possibly check your mineral supplements to see if they are getting enough thiamin. Just a suggestion... could be way out in left field... I know it got dad really watching his supplements and he went out and bought a bottle of thiamin incase anything else showed signs.
Hope your cow gets up Shelly! Ive had a couple that went down on me this year.... we babied them along but then had to put them down. Had them tested for BSe and came back negative. Vet said sometimes this happens.
Still down. I think she's enjoying room service too much! I'm starting to lose hope that she will get up some day. She still has a healthy appetite and drinks her fair share of water. I don't know....I'm starting to think maybe we should just put her out of her misery.

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