Jersey Cow Is Down With Milk Fever
By Candi Johns
It has been a hard week on us all: My husband, my four children and me. It has been especially heartbreaking for my 13-year-old daughter. She is Faith’s person.
Faith (our wonderful Jersey milk cow) miscarried her calf Monday night. Our vet came out and delivered her calf. Faith was given a calcuim tube Monday night to help prevent milk fever.
Milk fever is common in older Jersey cows. Since Faith is 8 years old and has a history of milk fever, the tube was given to help her chances of avoiding it. I am not a doctor, but my understanding is that when a cow becomes fresh there is extra strain on her body for calcium. Calcium is taken from the cow ‘s system in order to give to the udder to produce milk.
Milk fever happens when there just isn’t enough calcium to go around.
We milked Faith Tuesday morning and night. She was doing fine, eating well, and looking good.
Wednesday morning when my husband went out to milk Faith she was down with milk fever. Because she couldn’t get up she was on her side unable to expel gas. The gasses were slowly building in her rumen and she was slowly suffocating.
We contacted the vet who came out immediately and saved Faith’s life.
They couldn’t move her. They couldn’t relieve the gas with a tube. Finally, Faith was relieved from her suffocating gas when our vet made an incision in her side. Our vet is wonderful. After he got her put back together and on her feet he said he “brought her back from the dead.” If he hadn’t opened her stomach, she would have been a goner.
After her surgery, it took a boat-load of calcium and three men to get Faith back on her feet.
Once up, she stood in the same spot for 8 hours recuperating. She hasn’t eaten since Tuesday. We praise God she has made it this far.
Faith is still not out of the woods, so we are keeping a close eye on her. The vet is checking on her and is pleased with how she is recovering. She’s drinking a little water and moving around more today, which is encouraging. It would be wonderful to see her eat something.
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
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