Meet Sweetie. She is one lucky gal. When she was about three weeks old, she found herself in this predicament. Not good . . .
My farmer found her in this hole and thinks she was probably stuck in it for about two days. Her mama was lying right beside her but was helpless of course. This happened right in the middle of corn planting so my farmer was a little behind on checking the cows and calves.
After getting her pulled out of the hole, it was evident that she was in pretty bad shape. We took her to the veterinarian to be examined. She had an infection, a rectal prolapse and was dehydrated. They gave her an IV, treated her with antibiotics and fixed her prolapse. They also gave her a steroid shot to reduce the inflammation in the joints of her back legs. When she was stuck in the hole, her legs were scrunched underneath her and left her very weak and in pain. She came home to recover and received a couple of rounds of antibiotics as the infection persisted.
She needed to be bottle fed since she was away from her mother but she refused to suck the bottle. Each day, twice a day, we would try to get her to suck the bottle but when she wouldn’t, we had to tube her. Tubing a calf means that you insert a tube that is about eighteen inches long down their throat and into their stomach. The milk will slowly empty into their stomach. This is a last resort as it’s not a pleasant process for the calf but it is essential to get them the nutrition they need to survive.
Eventually the calf did begin to suck the bottle and became stronger each day. Once she was strong enough, we fostered her to a cow that had lost her calf. It took some work and patience but they are now a pair and are doing well.
In the picture below, you can see that she has lost the hair on her hips and part of her back. When she was stuck in the hole and fighting to get out, she rubbed the hair off and in places, rubbed her skin raw. Sweetie is still fighting some wounds on her back end and needs to be treated with a product called Catron which keeps flies and maggots away.
This is just one of the countless examples of how we take care of our animals. Using antibiotics responsibly is something we take very seriously. Antibiotics saved Sweetie’s life. Today she is thriving and will be going out to pasture very soon where she’ll spend the summer on the green grass with her new mom.