stomach tube : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I have a sick calve I had to stomach tube last night .All by my self ! I'm so proud of myself I never did it and he didn"t die ! How often do you normally have to do this before they respond and get some strength back ?Anything special you have had good luck with giving them ? I did electrolyes . formula, and corrid powder .Today I will add an egg yolk.

-- Patty Gamble (, April 06, 2000


Patty, I'm proud of you, too!! Here's a chance for me to piggyback on your question. What books would everyone recommend for a wannabe like myself? My "country" homestead is about 2 years away still so this is sorta my classroom training. Specifically anatomy/medical info. Money is a definite consideration-I want the book(s) you think will serve me best. Now for what may be a really stupid question-how do you know if the tube goes in the stomach and not the lungs? TYVM

-- Cathy Horn (, April 06, 2000.


With our lambs we try to tube colostrum the first day and then move on to milk replacer. I've had lambs and kids respond right away and I have also lost a few. The woman who taught me about sheep told me she once had a lamb down for a week. She was just about to call the vet and ask to have him euthanized when he stood up and walked across her kitchen. Good luck! I'm sure calves are a bigger challenge than Lambs. No matter what happens just be proud that you did your best.

-- kim (, April 06, 2000.

Well I just got back from the barn , he was up and walking .He also tried to eat but wasn't sucking good so I tubed him again.I will try the bottle around noon , and if no go back to the tube. The tube needs to be placed on the calves left side of his mouth and slowly inserted .You can wait til they swallow and push slowly .If it goes down the calves right side you will hit the lungs and bye bye calve .They would drown.I don't suggest trying it by your self unless you don't have any other choice. Try to find someone who has done it before to show you.I worked for a vet so I have some back ground , I also have alot of people medical experience.I would suggest getting a animal medical book and any others you can find and read and read and read .

-- Patty Gamble (, April 06, 2000.

Patty, I used to work for a vet also & the way you described inserting the tube is correct. We would always blow into the tube after it was inserted & before putting any liquid in it. If the tube is in the lungs when you blow, the animal will cough & you will have to try again. Hope this tip helps. Jane

-- Jane Gauch (, April 06, 2000.

Hi Patty. Good for you. The first time I tubed a kid I was petrified. My good source vet at the University of Missouri told me to listen for the rush of air or even put the free end of the tube in a container of water and look for bubbles to be sure you aren't in the lungs. He also showed me how to measure the length necessary to reach the stomach by holding the tube just at the end of the rib cage and draping it along where the esophagus would be then to the mouth. If it's any consolation, I took a horse to a private vet years ago and lying in a stall was a dead horse. I asked what had happened and the vet told me they had tried to tube the horse, gotten in the wrong place, couldn't tell it and the horse died of inhalation pneumonia. If a graduate veterinarian with several years in practice can have a slip like that, you can forgive yourself if you have one.

Keep up the good work.

-- marilyn (, April 06, 2000.

Wow! I just printed out this thread. It is something I definitely want to hold on to. I've wondered how you tube feed larger animals and this gave me the answer. Since we breed great danes, my husband tube feeds the puppies goat's milk as a supplement to mama's milk because it really helps them and does not stress the mother as much to produce so much milk when she has a large litter. It is done pretty much the same way. I wondered if it was different than larger animals. When you tube puppies, you wait until they give a little whimper once you have it in because they don't want it, that is the way you confirm you are not in the lungs. If it is in the lung, they can't whine. We haven't lost one yet and he's done one heck of a lot of tube feeding. He tube feeds each puppy two or three times a day until they start to wean which is at three weeks. The other big concern you have to watch for with puppies is to be sure you don't push it too far and perforate the stomach which would be fatal also. Thanks for the info. I won't have sheep for another few years but I'll be ready. (Or should I say hubby will be ready since I let him do the hard stuff. LOL)

-- Colleen (, April 09, 2000.

In reference to Cathy's question above about good books, I can recommend RAISING SHEEP THE MODERN WAY and CHICKENS IN THE BACKYARD (I think thats the title). They are both easy to read and full of great info for small scale farmers. When money is an issue I always get the book from the library first, read it and decide if it is worth buying.If the library doesn't have it in-house they always inter-library loan for me. That way you don't spend money on a book that doesn't really have what you need. In fact, I do this even when money isn't an issue - I hate to waste my money.

-- Vaughn (, April 09, 2000.

I haven't had to tube a calf yet but quite a few lambs. As someone else mentioned, if they are newborn we always start with colostrum either taken from the mom or if that's not an option I have substitute available. But we always use a product called Nutri-Sheep with either right away. It puts a big plus in the weak ones right away. I should think they have something along those lines for cows. I get mine from Mid States here in Ks. but they are wool folk. My son is a cow vet in Ms. I will ask what is available for calfs and supplier. I know right away when I have the tube going the wrong way. They will fight if they have any strength at all but I also find the sound is a good indicator.

-- Susie Goodart (, April 11, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ