Jersey cow has a problem, can anyone help? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

My Jersey cow has been dry for a while. In March I sent her off to a friend's pasture to be bred by the resident bull. Ginny, my cow, was there two months, and I only hoped she was bred. The bull is a proven breeder of eight years, but my friend says he is a gentleman, and never does his duty in the daylight, so she has never actually seen him breed; yet all her cows always come up bred. After two months we brought Ginny home, and she seemed "settled." She could be three or four months bred.

Now Ginny has developed some kind of problem. It has nothing to do with her digestion; she eats the normal amount, drinks the normal amount, chews her cud, and all things are normal there. But she walks very slow, taking small careful steps with her hind feet. She doesn't favor one more than the other, has no limp, just walks very slow with her head down. It has been quite some time since she ran to her feed dish like she used to, or kicked up her heels and acted happy like she used to do. A couple of days ago I observed that she had passed a couple of thin strings of mucus that were caught on her tail and she had switched it, and spread it around on her behind. It had some blood in it.

Having had six children myself I equate what I see in my animals with my own experiences to a certain extent. I have noticed that soon after my bluetick hound is bred she acts depressed, and I really think she has morning sickness, for about two weeks. At first, I thought this is what was wrong with Ginny. Also, I could understand her walking slowly like she is holding her back legs together. I could visualize that the fetus is growing and maybe pressing on a nerve or something for a time. I'm not one to panic about things, and I try to let nature take its course, and I would rather use natural means to help than medical, to a point. But I don't want to lose my milk cow either, and even though a vet visit will cost me a small fortune, I will call him if need be. Has anyone seen a cow act like this? To look at her from the back she looks pinched in; she even crosses one hind leg over the other sometimes when she is standing. Yet she grazes fine, she lays down no more than usual, has no trouble getting up or down, and doesn't seem to mind getting up once she is laying down. It's just that once she is up she has to stand for a time before she starts to walk with those tiny baby steps. Then once she is going it seems to get a little better but never like normal.

A friend who has cows told me it isn't abnormal for a cow to pass some mucus once in a while, and I know Ginny did that during her last pregnancy, so I wasn't so alarmed by that. The way she walks just isn't right, and it has been like this for about a month. This morning early I went out to check on her, and she was laying down, and I got down beside her and talked to her and put my arm around her neck, like I do sometimes, and she acted normal, didn't have fever or anything. Her eyes and nose and ears are fine.

-- Lela Picking (, August 09, 2000


Did she just develop this problem since coming home or did your stud service notice it also? My guess is when she was last bred the weight of a large bull (probably at least twice her size) may have pinced a nerve in her spinal colunm in her lower back. If that is the case, cortisone shots, which you can get from your vet and give yourself, may help. I have had to use it and it isn't all that expensive. Call your vet and ask. I would also be concerned about her next calving in that she might not be able to stand up afterwards.

-- Ken S. (, August 09, 2000.

Lela will answer after Ken,possable he is right on also check her feet sometimes a cow will bring home foot rot.easily checked by cleaning hoof check for tenderness and bad odor in case of advanced case . hate to lose any livestock don.

-- don summers (, August 09, 2000.

could she have picked up a std from the bull? a dog of our once did and alot of the symptoms sound the same. our dog licked her self alot, is the cow rubbing her back half? i think ours got a type of yeast infection, can you get a clean sample of the mucus and get it cultured by your vet? let us know what happens!

-- renee oneill (, August 10, 2000.

leia, check her back hooves and see if they are swollen, check just above her hoof and if it is swollen it could be a iodine def. if you dont have her on a mineral trace put her on it althought iodine is not in the mineral trace. I had a older beef cow that done this same way and after a while on iodine she cleared up. good luck and GOD bless.

-- david jackson (, August 10, 2000.

Thanks to everyone who answered my distress message. I haven't called the vet yet. Ginny seemed to be much better on Wednesday, but then was back the same on Thursday. The cows have had a mineral block, but I'm getting a new one. I also put vinegar in the drinking water. This is now Friday, and she was walking pretty good this afternoon. There has been no more discharge. I don't see any swelling in her feet or ankles. I'm keeping an eye on her and waiting.

-- Lela Picking (, August 12, 2000.

You don't want to give her any cortisone because it will abort a pregnancy. I doubt that any vet would give you any without some kind of working relationship because a lot of these drugs are federally controlled. It sounds to me as if Ken is right about an injury from the breeding. Probably some back pain. Do try to look at the undersides of her hoofs to see if there is a problem there. Aspirin boluses will help if it is back pain etc. Good luck

-- teresa (, August 13, 2000.

Have you had this cow tested for Bangs disease? It can cause the abortion of the calf and is very dangerous to humans - causes a chronic stomach disease. If you plan on using the milk, I would surely have the vet check her if there are any signs of illness (especially the mucous).

-- lynne atencio (, August 13, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ