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TLC Farms

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Hi, if anyone can provide some information it would be greatly appreciated. Here's the problem:

We have a cow who is heavy with calf, should be less than 1 or 2 weeks from calving. Apparently she has broken the knee on the back leg. Everyone that I have talked with has basically stated that you might as well give up on her and the calf both.
After talking with a vet on the phone we have attempted to induce labor on her by giving her 6cc of Ludalice(not sure correct spelling) 12cc of Dexamethazone(excuse the spelling). She has been getting Twin Penn for infection and Banamine for pain.
She is still eating good and drinking plenty of water. She will get up and move around some but spends most of the time laying down. We have moved her to a hold pen with plenty of shade and cover.
The leg has swelled considerably and I have questioned whether we should try to wrap it to try and reduce the swelling or even try to put ice on it. The ice would probably help if she would be still but she turns alot even without getting up.
We have kept her watered down to keep her from getting over hot.
We started all of this monday afternoon when she went down, but she still has not started to show signs of labor, nor has she shwon signs of giving up. She is still quite spirited but will let either myself or my husband come up to her and give her water or food.
From what I understand a cast would not hold on the back leg.
I hate to lose both her and the calf and would like to try to save either one or the other so if anyone has any suggestions................
 

sw

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Sorry to hear of your dilema. First off, Lutalyse will not induce labor, at this point in time the calf is producing the progesterone that is maintaining the pregnancy. Talk to a different vet if possible, I think you need a shot of oxytocin and estrogen to induce labor. My idea would be to leave her alone and keep feeding and watering her and try to make her comfortable. I have seen cows make some incredible recoveries from broken legs, especially young ones or calves. As a last resort, take the calf by c-section and save it, that will also reduce the stress on the cow and reduce the amount of weight on the bad leg. Good luck
 

alabama

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Try to have the calf naturley if you can and get that first milk in the calf. if momma can't raise it then she goes to the kill plant and the calf gets the bottle.
Sorry and I know this is hard but good luck and please let us know how it goes and what you do. Thanks.
 

the_jersey_lilly_2000

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I Have a Brangus Bull, he's 5 years old now, a couple years ago neighbor bull got in our pasture and they were fightin (as bulls will do) When I found him he was down and I made him git up. front left leg was broke. This is a bull I raised from 2 month old calf. I was heartbroke..he's a big ole sweet baby. I started calling vets. (mine was on vacation of course) and I couldn't get any of them to even come out and look at him. They all wanted me to bring him in to them which I couldnt do because it was a front leg....he barely could walk any at all. After cryin n stewin over night about it..I finally told my husband..I'm not givin up on him..got too much work invested in makin him a big ole baby. I could walk up to him in the pasture and pick up his foot (like you would a horse) on the broke leg n he just stood there. So after 3 hours of slowly makin him hobble to the corrals, I started him on 2 bolis asprins crushed up in his feed morning and night. helps with the pain and helped reduce the swelling some. After 3 weeks of this I went out one evening to give him his asprin.....he's pushed the gate over n was gone. So I figured ....ok..he's well enuff to do that he can stay out.
2793aabd.jpg

Note how he's holdin his leg at rest. It took him about 3 months or so to finally quit limping. But I"m still using him today. this pic was taken right after he rejoined the herd.
 

alabama

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Nice looking bull. I am glad he is dooing fine and breding cows. How do his calves look?
 

alabama

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TLC Farms: welcome to the ranchers net. I see you are from alabama. What part of our grate state is your farm.
another poster "Mike" is also from Aabama.
 

TLC Farms

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We are located in Dallas County......Orrville, Al.
Thanks for all the info......
I am hoping something good will come out of the situation. Unfortuantly she is my favorite and I really don't want to put her down.
Checked her little while ago....no change.....still doesn't seem to be ready to calf yet.
Question now is, with all the fluid she has on her and with her laying down so much what is it going to do to the calf. Someone told me that we needed to get the calf out before he drowns, but if we do c-section won't it kill the cow?
I have talked with several other farmers in this area and have two that have had cows to break a leg and are fine today, but neither of them had the break right at the knee. The way her leg is when she does get up she pushes up with her knee and the bottom part of her leg just kinda dangles there. It appears to be the joint that is affected. Would taping or wrapping the knee help her any?
 

alabama

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TLC Farms said:
We are located in Dallas County......Orrville, Al.
Thanks for all the info......
I am hoping something good will come out of the situation. Unfortuantly she is my favorite and I really don't want to put her down.
Checked her little while ago....no change.....still doesn't seem to be ready to calf yet.
Question now is, with all the fluid she has on her and with her laying down so much what is it going to do to the calf. Someone told me that we needed to get the calf out before he drowns, but if we do c-section won't it kill the cow?
I have talked with several other farmers in this area and have two that have had cows to break a leg and are fine today, but neither of them had the break right at the knee. The way her leg is when she does get up she pushes up with her knee and the bottom part of her leg just kinda dangles there. It appears to be the joint that is affected. Would taping or wrapping the knee help her any?

Dallas County: You are close enough to Auburn to get help from them.
Call Dr. Bob Carson at the Auburn Vet School and tell him that you want to save the cow. I think you may be too far for them to visit your place unless they happen to be working the state ranch at Marion Junction.

Your best bet may be to load the cow and take her to Auburn and let doc Carson fix her up. Give him a call at 334 844 4490. You may have to wait for him to call you back. If he is not close by then you could ask for Dr. Wolf. He is good to but I don't know him as well.

Weather you go to them or they come to you. You will still have to catch the cow so you might as well load her up and make the trip to Auburn. But call first. Doc Carson is the most levelheaded vet I have ever used. He will tell right up front what your best bets are.
Good luck.
 

alabama

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Please let us know how it turns out. We could all stand to learn somthing from this.
 

TLC Farms

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I called and he was at lunch so she is going to have him call back. Will see what happens.
It's hard to believe that in all the advances that medicine can make someone has not been able to come up with a brace or cast or something that you can use on a cow. Seems such a same that you would first think to put an animal down just because a broke leg.
Is it that difficult to find material that will hold a leg together and support the weight of a cow????
Of course she is a big, big cow......plus being heavy with calf.....just doesn't seem right to not be able to do more to help her.
And to top it off she is just a two year old heifer, this being her first calf. If she makes it through this the bull might not be able to get near her next time.
Anyways will keep posted what happens, keep your fingers crossed that maybe turn out good.
Thanks to everybody who responded.
 

Faster horses

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How did she break her leg in the first place? I if it is in the back it would be her hock that you are calling a knee. A hock injury is doubly bad.

Gosh, we hope the very best for you. To echo everyone else that has posted, let us know how this turns out.
 

TLC Farms

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from what we can figure......on Friday afternoon went to check cows and she was laying down.......after getting close to her she got up but seemed to have trouble doing so. She was walking some and looked to be limping a little. Looked at her foot thinking she might be getting touch of footrot. Her toes appeared to be spread apart and some slight swelling higher up on the thigh area....but not in the foot or leg itself. Figured on watching her to keep an eye on that leg.
Staurday morning went out to check her.....still laying down, but would stand when you got near her. Would not let you get real close but close enough you could visually see the foot. swelling in thigh area seemed to have gone down some but the leg and foot looked a little puffy. Gave her shot of Nuflor just in case it was a case of footrot. Kept checking that day stayed pretty well the same
Sunday morning went out and checked her. Again she was laying down, but this time she didn't get up when you walked up to her. She would pick her head up when she saw you but would then lay her head back down. Gave her a dose of twin penn and I believe we also gave her a shot of banamine for pain. That afternoon checked her she was standing up eating. Was limping really bad but thought that maybe feeling better since she was actually up.
Monday morning checked her back to laying down, leg was swollen from foot to thigh, would try to get back up and move. She would struggle to try and get up. Took three or four times for her to actually do it. When she went to walk she would barely put any pressure on that leg and when she did it was like the leg would try to fold up on her.
Had to go to work and was not able to get back to check her till that afternoon. She was laid in a ditch area in the middle of the field, no shade, and it was 94 outside. Didn't look like she had moved in awhile, nor had she had any water. We started try to cool her down, got her to take some water and kept her cooled off till that night. Leg was really swollen, and she was real anxious. Thought she might also been trying to go into labor at that point.
Tuesday morning had to get her onto a trailer and get her moved to some shade. Got her put in a smaller holding pen that has a shaded area and that's where she has been since.
The only thing we can come up with is that she must have pulled a muscle or sprained something trying to get up orginally. With her own weight and the weight of the calf apparently she got up wrong and snapped the leg.
Like I said before she is a really big cow.(we call her Big Momma).
Will definetly let ya'll know what happens.
 

alabama

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It sounds like the farm was named right "TLC". If I were a cow I would want to live there.
She sounds like a nice cow. I hope when you check her next she is up nursing a 76 pound bull calf. :D
 

TLC Farms

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That would be nice. And I think that she would feel alot better once the calf is out. Just hope that both of them make it.
 

alabama

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If you can get then over to Auburn I am sure that they will make it. They have plenty of soft hearted young lady vet students that will give them plenty of TLC.
If you have never been to the vet clinic you will be amazised at what they can do. I learn somthing every time I go. They test all my bulls for a breding soundness exam (bse.)
The vet school comes out to my place late in the year to preg dheck and help me work all the cows. they bring 5 vet students and an instructur. This is great help and good to look at too and all I pay is the cost of the meds and a doller a mile travel. I am 35 miles away so that is $35 plus meds. Way too cheep and good for me as well as the students that have never worked cows in a home made working pin.
War Eagle.
 

TLC Farms

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Well, I am still waiting on Dr Carson to call back. I hope that he does. Have never been there, but sounds like a pretty good deal. Have any idea what they would charge to help with this situation?????
It would probably be worth the mileage charge to have them come over and work our cows.....last time we worked them the vet we used have to give us a rough est of how far along the cows were. Of course when I say rough I mean really rough......cows that he said were 5 and 6 months along have calved where as the one that he said was 7 or 8 months (which of course is the cow with the bad leg) still has not calved, nor does she look like she is in any hurry to do so.
It breaks my heart to just see her lying there, but I tell u, let a dog come near and she is ready to go after them(she just can't get up to do it). Had a puppy come in the pen yesterday, if there is such a thing as the evil eye she was giving it to him. She was trying to get riled up, tried to head butt him and everything. Even though she is down she's still got quite a spirit.
 

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