This post is a little different then my previous ones, but I feel it is a very important topic to discuss. This is about homesteading and paying for vet services. Please be tolerant and hopefully learn from what we had endured.
It is a sad and scary day when you’re on the homestead and your 1200 pound milk cow goes down and cannot get up. Having given birth the previous day just fine and had passed the placenta without a hitch, worry strikes hard.
This is exactly what happened with out dairy cow MayBelle. She came out of the shelter and fell, then could not get up. I will share with you the post I put on FaceBook that day:
“Yesterday was a day of joy. Our cow had calved without problems. The baby boy was wobbly but able to stand on his own. MayBelle and T-Bone were doing great. After nightfall, MayBelle was eating hay with her baby not to far from her.
This morning was almost a tragedy…
MayBelle collapsed outside the shelter. My husband and I looked at her- her breathing was labored and she could not get up. Her inner eyelid covered part of her iris, obscuring her vision. Her udder was full but not hot to the touch. She had also delivered the placenta during the night. So, I called the emergency line to the vet’s office immediately since it was before office hours.
The vet came out about an hour later. He verified my fear that it was milk fever. He started an iv and began rocking her and rubbing specific areas on her body, attempting to stimulate muscles and blood flow.
Meanwhile her calf was becoming lethargic from not nursing, so we had to milk her into a bottle every so often to feed the calf. He was not fond of the rubber nipple that was designed for goats, but it helped get his energy back up.
The vet worked on MayBelle for 4 hours. He was able to get her color back to normal, her temperature under control, her breathing back to normal, etc. Basically he got her where she needed to be. BUT he could not get her to stand back up.
Before he left, he talked about possibly having to butcher if she was not able to get back on her feet. He said she was way past time on getting up. He ended up leaving as he had done all he could do for MayBelle, and he was overdue for another appointment. He told us to keep rubbing her and rocking her at least once an hour to keep her blood flowing. He asked that we keep him posted.
Right after the vet left, my hubby had to go inside. I was outside rocking MayBelle and talking to her. Yes, that’s right, I was talking to a cow- pleading for her to get up. That’s when she shifted her hind end. I supported her the best I could, readjusting several times in the cold mud as she continued to push her rump off the ground. Then she stood up! I hooted and howled in pure elation!! I just about cried and told her she was a good girl and that I knew she could do it!
MayBelle was able to get over and eat some hay. T-Bone was happy to be able to latch on, glad to be able to suckle on his mama and not a rubber nipple! So far it looks like she is out of the woods, but we will still keep a close eye on her to make sure she stays that way.
If you get nothing else out of this post, I seriously hope that you realize the need to get a veterinarian as soon as possible when you have an animal in distress. The vet had told us if we had waited hours, or even days, to call him after MayBelle first collapsed, then she would have most likely been a goner. Time counts when your animals are in need of urgent care.
Thank you for taking time to read this post. I hope you all have a good day.”
So, my overall message for every homesteader out there is- make sure you can get a veterinarian out in an emergency situation with your animals to prevent a serious tragedy from occurring. This situation cost us a whole $237.50. Yes, it is a lot of money, no we did not have the cash on hand. Luckily the vet took a credit card and our cow survived the ordeal. The loss of her would have not only cut out on hundreds of gallons of milk for our family in the long run, but we would have also had the cost of providing milk replacer for the calf for however long he needed to nurse, plus the expense of buying another cow who may or may not be in milk, or even bred to provide milk.
Whether you plan on surviving the apocalypse or are just being self sufficient, make sure you take care of the animals who are there to provide you milk, meat, eggs, fur, or the like. You need to keep your animals in the best shape possible to provide for you and yours.
Thank you for reading this article on The Patriot Institute. Let me know what you think! Talk to you later!