Anyone who owns an animal knows that injuries or illnesses never come at a good time. My friend received a call from her neighbor, while she was at a dinner engagement, that her cow was down. The term “down” is never good. My friend arrived home to find her cow on her feet (sigh of relief) but she was limping badly.
Lily (the cow) needed to see a vet but of course this happened just before the weekend and a vet visit for an animal this size isn’t simple. Lily would have to wait to be seen the beginning of the next week.
In the meantime, she needed antibiotics and a pain killer.
Sounds simple enough, huh? Not when you’re dealing with a cow who’s 8 months pregnant.
Lily had been put in a smaller paddock but she needed to be moved into a chute to be medicated. This had to be done once a day for 3 days.
One thing for sure, it’s not the owner’s prerogative to make up the cow’s mind – Lily had to decide that she wanted to go into that chute!
We set up the system and the biggest key to success? Patience!!
We “squeezed” Lily by moving panels so she could only move forward. Once she got to a certain point in the narrow passage, wooden poles were slid behind her so she couldn’t move backwards.
After much coercing, sweet talking, and grain, Lily was in place.
That’s when my job began!
First a few kisses to assure Lily that everything would be okay 🙂 I love cow’s noses and yes, I really did kiss her nose…several times.
Lily was very aware of what was going to happen next…
My friend is a professional and trained for this type medicating. However, a farmer also learns how to give shots because it’s too expensive to call a vet every time an animal has to be given an injection. You should see our refrigerator – looks like a small pharmacy. Most of my kids know how to give shots – it’s a necessary skill when you live on a farm.
The pain medication had to be given directly into a vein. A needle is inserted into the jugular vein in the neck. It’s important that Lily not move her head, thus the bars on either side of her head. A needle is inserted first and then the syringe is attached. Since two full syringes had to be given, this method insures one stick and not two.
The first syringe is attached to the needle …
and slowly pushed.
When that one’s finished, the second syringe is placed on the needle.
The antibiotic is given “im” which means intramuscular – into the muscle. This is a slower release into the body.
Again, this is injected slowly into the animal.
It’s important that all parties involved remain calm – including Lily. It’s amazing to me how much animals respond to the “energy” of humans. An up-tight, intense, loud individual typically causes an animal to become agitated, making the animal harder to work with. Working with animals this size takes good teamwork and this day was a very good day. Lily hardly moved at all and before long she was walking backwards out of the chute.
Latest report: Lily saw the vet on Tuesday and she was treated for a sore on her back hoof. She’s doing much better and is back with the rest of the herd.
Doesn’t she have the sweetest face? And a kissable nose, right?!
Thanks, Lily, for being such a great patient!