Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Freak Accident (warning graphic images) Long Story

Joe had a freak accident feeding the cows yesterday.  After setting down the round bale on the front spear, he went to back up so he could turn around and get the bale with the hay unroller on the back of the tractor.  But when he started to backup, he felt the tractor bump into something.  That something was a cow that was now straddling one of the arms of the unroller.  Joe said she was struggling and bawling, he was trying to lower the unroller but she had too much pressure on it for it to go down.  He said she then lunged forward and the spike of the unroller split her hide and some muscle from her udder to her last rib. At first, he didn’t want to bother getting her up, but relented and I was able to help him get her out of the field.  We had to get her through two more fields to get to the barn.  Hugo and Otoelene were in the first field and Pep, Draper, and Jessica were in the second.  So you know if the gate was open, instead of the cow going through the horses did.  Now Hugo is running around in a field he hasn’t been in before with two other horses he hasn’t been with before.  Somehow, running up the hill, he fell down.  I didn’t even think he was near the two strand electric fence on the far side of the field, but the next time I looked (I was still working on getting the cow), Hugo was on the wrong side of the fence.  I could see him panic and he dove back through and took back off running around with the other horses.  There was nothing I could do about any of that.  Joe had gone to open the gates at the barn and came back to help get the cow.  We finally got her in the barn lot.  Joe went to repair the fence Hugo dove through, and I went to go get what I needed to suture up a huge wound.
The pictures don’t do it justice.
 The bottom part was just one long flap while the top was split into two flaps.  There were also some torn muscles in all that mess.  I gave her what should have been a just sedation dose of a sedative but she decided it was a recumbency dose,
and lay down in the chute.  And of course, she shifted onto the wound where I couldn’t get to it.  The only thing we could do now was wait for the sedation to wear off and for her to get back up.  That took about 30 -40 minutes.   When she finally got up, I was able to start suturing, starting with the torn muscles.  Then I started on the skin.  The biggest problem was seeing the dark blue suture against the black hair.  I only had one pack of pink suture so I used that when I started getting to the more difficult area closer to the udder. But by that time the cow had had enough and started kicking.  I ended up leaving about 6 inches open.  I figured it would at least provide an area for everything to drain out.

Can you see the blue sutures? 
It should eventually heal.  If the sutures hold it will heal faster, but there is a good chance things will fall apart and we will be back to square one.  But at least we tried.  And Hugo is ok.


Shirley said...

Dang! It's a good thing you are a vet!
Glad Hugo is ok too.

Sherry Sikstrom said...

good heavens, lucky you are a vet!

C said...

I know someone who uses the term "rough day" in what I consider a casual way. You and Joe truly experienced a rough day. I could not see the sutures. I have done a lot of hand sewing in my day - but I just can't imagine the problems you faced in suturing that poor cow. And to add to the impossible complexity - blue sutures on black hair - ugh. I agree with the comments above. You being a vet has given this cow a fighting chance to heal. I hope all goes well.

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