Monday, 14 June 2010

The sad tale of the cow, the calf and the c-section


First a piece of very good news: it started raining yesterday! You may not think that's a big deal but when you've been toasting in temperatures soaring above 100 degrees F it's the biggest relief when the first storms hit us. The air instantly cools down and we can all breathe again.

Last week we were visited by a mother in great distress. It was a cow who had been in labour for two days but was unable to get her calf out. The owners put her on the back of a small truck and drove her to Animal Tracks. It was obvious that she was in great pain. Her eyes were wide open with fear and distress and the vets went to work on her straight away. It turned out that the calf was breach, meaning it was turned the wrong way inside her, hence she couldn't push it out. The neck of the calf was twisted back and without bringing it around there was no way it was going to come out.

C-section being performed on the cowSadly the calf was already dead inside the mother when she arrived for help but still, it had to come out. The vets worked relentlessly trying to bring it into a better position but without luck. At one point it looked like the only option was to cut off its head inside. You can imagine things looked pretty bad for the vets to consider such a hideous option!

After a bit of debating it was decided instead to perform a caesarean section on the mother and bring the calf out that way. First the owners had to agree to leave her behind for recovery and post op treatment, which luckily they did. The cow was anaesthetised and the c-section went smoothly. It broke my heart to realise that the poor mother was going to wake up to nothing but an empty belly and no baby to love and care for at the end of this horrible experience. I hope the other cows in the pen look after her and cheer her up. I'm not allowed in the cattle pen, otherwise I'd do it myself. I'm happy though that mother cow is recovering well and hopefully she'll be able to return home soon.



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