Monday, April 12, 2010

Lucky La Moo Wins This Round

Lucky La Moo has survived her health crisis and is back to her sweet self. It started almost exactly a month ago, we noticed late one afternoon she was straining while trying to defecate. By that evening a part of her rectum was hanging out. My cowboy was calm, separated her from the herd of misfits and valiantly disinfected her backside area and placed it back in. I could barely sleep that night because I knew there was an underlying condition causing this and knew that she was going to have a rough time surviving this. By the next morning, she had a prolapsed rectum. It was a horrible sight, I thought she was going to die.

Our vet made a barn call and said he had seen this over a hundred times. He even said it was common after weaning (and we had weaned her just a few weeks before) . We have weaned four others and never had anything like this happen, but there is always a first for everything. Instead of feeding her for almost 4 1/2 to 5 months, I weaned her at 3 months according to a very famous bovine care book. Another farm lesson learned, don't always listen to the experts and follow your instincts sometimes.

The vet gave her an epidural (to stop further straining), an antibiotic injection and then corrected the condition with minor surgery and stitches. Her back legs were paralyzed for almost 12 hours. It would be touch and go for the next few weeks while her intestinal illness waged a bacterial war inside her. He told us not to get our hopes up too high.

Lucky's backside got better but she was dull and seemed to be getting weaker. We fed her milk replacer, scour ease and electrolyte gel but she was just not getting better. We called the vet after two weeks and had him come back out again, he was surprised that she was still alive. He said we must be doing something right as many calves do not survive the intestinal illness and infection. He gave her another round of antibiotics and this really seemed to help her fight off the internal infection.

We did not give up on her either. We made sure that she drank large two bottles of milk replacer mixed with the electrolyte supplement that seemed to help keep her energy up. We had her segregated from the rest of her calf friends and her mom , but we decided it would be better for her to re-join the herd. We would just have to make the pasture trek to bottle feed every day. My cowboy had to rope Nandi the little bull calf that shares the pasture with her, otherwise he would fight for the bottle. Lucky was finally  feeling so much better on Easter that she even came up to watch my God son's Easter egg hunt.

Our calf box that we keep stocked with essentials came in handy through this crisis. I highly recommend having an emergency box stocked with powdered colostrum, milk replacer, scour ease and electrolyte gel. I also recommend having wound cleanser, clear iodine, medicine droppers, clean bottles and latex gloves handy.  We replenish it every time we make a trip to the tractor supply and feed store. Emergencies tend to happen when everything is closed and a few hours can mean life or death.

Lucky's voracious appetite is back and she is up to her funny antics in the pasture. She has really lived up to her name. We are SO happy to have you back Lucky La Moo! You really are one lucky little calf.


  1. sweet story! love a happy ending and a healthy calf!

  2. I have to say Tom that you and Dottie taught us well about the calf box. It has come in handy on several occasions. Thanks for being such great role models. Have a great trip to Marfa!

  3. I just found your site via the Networked Blogs app on Facebook. So glad to find you - there is a similarity in how we went "Green Acres" in our lives, although, it sounds like you definitely had more jet-setting in the past than I did. ;) (And that's cool!) This is a great story and goes to show that making the extra effort with our animals is worthwhile. Love your site!

  4. it's so nice blog and your photos really nice

  5. Hello on the ground! My name is Elissa and i live in Australia. I have a vision of sustainable humanity too, thanks for journalling your efforts! Work and housing really interest me, when i think about sustainability. You have chosen your work. I am a cleaner in an urban community, and I have chosen that, too. I think this modern world is not making some good improvements that could be easily made.
    If abbeys were to exist again, with their large gardens and specialties, the members of the abbey could work with their hands, intelligently and satisfyingly for those suited to it. The abbeys could be situated on the outer ring of a green-belt city, or large regional centre. Within the green-belt city would lie, at its centre, the town square, with cool verandahs housing retail, hospitality and l'ateliers. Then, high-density and specialty gulids offerring creative and sustaunable products and services, then, medium-density housing and large commercial buildings, landscaped with cycle ways, in the ring after. Then the abbeys and their gardens and grazing, providing food for the population. Healthcare would be preventative, and education, medical practicioners and aged-care institutions are available and effective. With Bio-regional planning, high-tech communication and high-tech transport services.


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