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Dr-Bonk, Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 229
Experience:  Five years as a veterinarian performing farm calls for livestock, including herd health checks, vaccinations, and pregnancy testing. Also operate a small cow/calf operation.
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Alert but down cow-gave two tubes of calcium and magnesium

Customer Question

Alert but down cow-gave two tubes of calcium and magnesium - has calf that is approx 3 weeks old. Open grass fed beef cattle. Can't get her up.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is the matter with the beef cattle?
Customer: Will not stand up back legs seem numb
JA: Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: One small abrasion but nothing big
JA: What is the beef cattle's name?
Customer: Has movement in both back legs but not a lot - angus
JA: Excuse me?
Customer: The cow is an angus cow
JA: Anything else I can tell the Veterinarian before I connect you two?
Customer: Not that I can think of-just need advice on how to get her up so she doesn't lose muscle function or get nerve damage please
JA: I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  Dr-Bonk replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I'm Dr. Bonk. I'm sorry to hear about your cattle troubles. Down cows are a tricky business. Is she eating and drinking? Is there any thrashing of the legs? Any fever or abnormal vaginal discharge? Any muscle tremors?The best thing to do is lift her with a tractor. This will not only help you to figure out what is wrong with her, it will also give those legs some relief from the pressure. The best way is with a wide (1-2') strap just behind the front legs and another narrower strap passed between the thighs and udder offer enough support. If you get her lifted, you will be able to get a better idea of how much she can use he legs.Some causes for down cows are hypocalcemia, which you have already treated for. Sometimes, this requires several treatments, but as long as her appetite is good and you haven't noticed any tremors in her muscles, causes of this are lower. However, some low grade hypocalcemias won't show the typical signs, just some muscle weakness. It wouldn't hurt to put a calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium solution IP, which is intraperitoneally, or into the abdomen. This is done with a needle and IV line. This offers a slow absorption of the minerals.Other causes can be metritis which is inflammation of the uterus. This can take some time to develop after calving and affected cows can run fevers, have abnormal vaginal discharge, or no real outward signs at all besides just being sick. It is best treated with a prostaglandin injection that helps to clear and contract the uterus.An injury to the back or pelvis isn't out of the question either. Unfortunately with this one, there is no real treatment besides supportive care. Lifting her several times a day for 10-15 minutes each time helps to restore circulation and function to the legs. Changing her lying position several times a day will also help. Provide adequate food and water within reach. There is some benefit to antiinflammatories, mainly steroids. You can also give electrolyte drenches. No matter what the cause, it is a long process. If you can't find anything specifically wrong when you get her lifted and none of the conditions I've described quite fit, if would be best to have a veterinarian take a look at her to help determine the best treatment.I hope this helps. Please contact me with any further questions you may have. Thank you and good luck!
Expert:  Dr-Bonk replied 1 year ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?