Need info - - emerg. calf delivery : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Young heifer accidentally bred early - -couldn't have calf, and had to pull.

Got heifer up soon after long ordeal, seemed a bit shaky, but started eating right away.

Local farmer advised giving shot of oxytocin and inserting boluses, which was done. When boluses were put in place, gloved hand came out full of manure.


Was the manure a normal part of an extended and then forced delivery process - - or could we have somehow created a tear in the wall of the uterous?

Any other suggestions for helping to insure the health of the heifer?

Would it be better to milk her or let her dry up?


-- John (, April 18, 2002


Sorry for double posting - - didn't think first one went through

-- John (, April 18, 2002.

I think you should call your vet- right away. There is only so much we can do on a forum like this one, as great as it is. Hope she's OK.

-- Rebekah (, April 18, 2002.

That is NOT good at all. Sounds like a vaginal tear at the very least.

You're SURE it was fecal matter ? Could it have been meconium (a calve's first bowel movement) or was it granular or filled with grasses?

If it were me, I'd break down and call the vet. A tear can be sutured. Otherwise you are undoubtedly looking at a infection that could cost your heifer her life.

I'd let the vet advise me on whether to dry her up or not . Chances are she's no good as a breeder with a structural weakness in that vaginal wall.

Maybe she can be salvaged and sold.

-- usedtobeacattlerancher (, April 18, 2002.

Which hole did you stick the boluses in - the upper one or the lower one? Are you absolutely, 100%, without a doubt sure?! Which way did the calf come out and did you use lots of lube? What kind of faeces was it - cow or calf?

Waiting for your reply with baited breath......

-- cowvet (, April 19, 2002.

PS.. Cow maure will look like the colour and consistency that they are pooping at present. Calf meconium will be in smaller pellets and usually are orange/brown in colour.

-- Cowvet (, April 19, 2002.

Cowvet- The manure looked like fresh manure looks. It wasn't meconium. My first thought as well was "wrong entrance area" - -took me by surprise. Hand "full" translates more accurately into my gloved hand was covered with a coating of manure material. Reached back in to make sure bolus pills were in right place, ( laughing) and there was some more, thought not as much on the glove that time.

The heifer is eating well and outward appearances seem fine.

Can I use a large syringe and flush her out with betadine water or something similar?

As to calling in the vet. Due to another recent vet emergency - and events following 9-11 which decimated my finances - - I had no money to pay a vet. Had to try to help her myself first, and was thankful to be able to pull the calf, and see the heifer doing so well so quickly. She is bright and alert and eating well - and I'm just going to have to rely on hard work here and nature to get us both through the rest of this, plus advice from those more experienced who are willing to share. I *could* take her to a sale barn like many farmers do their problems - but that isn't an option I'm choosing. I suspect at this point, a vet would just tell me, "do this - do that" so if I just know what this and that are, I'll do it!

Thanks again for the help!

-- John (, April 19, 2002.

John - hard for me to tell you what to do without knowing how bad it is. I am always so reliant on my own "hands on" clinical assessment for an accurate diagnosis and therefore treatment options and prognosis. Can you feel the tear, and if so how big is it? Is the tear nearer to the outside or closer to the cervix end? Cattle can be pretty forgiving with regards to rectal tears although they don't usually show signs of a problem for at least a couple of days (unless the tear is really huge). The very least I would do would be to cover her with an antibiotic for 5-7 days. If she looks bright and happy and is eating that is a good sign. If she deteriorates and looks in pain you will have to seriously consider shooting her for welfare reasons. If she starts to look sick then the prognosis would be poor. If it is a true recto-vaginal tear it may heal as a permanent fistula and no be condusive to a bright breeding career.

-- Cowvet (, April 21, 2002.

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