Margo and I got a little closer this weekend. Sunday morning before church Mike was out doing chores and noticed…
If you’re eating it may be best to stop while you read this post.
… I’ll give you a minute to finish…
He noticed Margo’s cow pie had some white in it and was not a normal consistency. He did a quick google search which of course had her life ending in death as does any health question search on-line. We narrowed the possibility down to calf scours even though it seemed a little late in the season to have to worry about that.
Neither of us had ever dealt with scours before so I read about it on the way to church. From how she’d been acting I wasn’t too worried. She’s a spunky little thing and loves to eat.
Once we were home from church and two of three kids were down for naps we called it close enough and I bundled the third in the stroller while Mike was out catching Margo. By the time we got out there Mike had the halter on her and they were sitting on the hay. Lucy didn’t seem too concerned but she was watching.
Mike held the rope as I put on a couple pairs of gloves and stood over Margo. First things first, I removed the residual, um, fecal matter from her rump. Just in time for a new batch to be made present. It looked a lot like peanut butter. Right then I wasn’t worried about her getting dehydrated. It reminded me of the black tar-like poop in a newborns diaper… sort of.
Aren’t you glad you stopped eating?
After that passed and I cleaned her up again, the first pair of gloves was removed and it was time to take her temperature. As you can probably guess by now, taking a cows temperature isn’t as easy as sticking a thermometer under her tongue or in an infant’s armpit. Nope. This is a lift the tail and insert at the other end kind of operation. The thermometer said “digital” not “instant” so there I stood, calf between my knees holding a tail and watching the temperature rise.
102.1 degrees. Within the normal range for a cow.
I removed the next set of gloves before turning to look over the other end. Eyes looked good, bright and full of life. Horns, I didn’t feel any starting. We are going to check those again in a few days when she gets her tag. If she’s got horns they will be removed right away so it doesn’t get to be a super painful production when she’s a bit older.
My diagnosis is she’s a pretty healthy little calf and doing just fine.
*Disclaimer I am not a veterinarian. This is what we did on our farm and that doesn’t mean if you are questioning one of your animals health that you shouldn’t call a vet.*