You may have seen the picture on our social media- This is what homeschooling with 5 kids on a farm looks like some days. This is Dolly, headed to the vet for a retained placenta. This was my first time driving a trailer, but it went okay, since I didn’t have to back up. 😂 I did come home and practice after we unloaded Dolly.
The vet cleaned her out, which was really crazy. Cows have a *lot* of placenta, and goo that comes along with it. Much more than people or goats. Anyway, because Dolly’s cervix had begun losing, the vet could only get her fingers in to hook around the tissue, she couldn’t reach in. But, with constant pressure and time, she got everything out. Then she bolused Dolly, and we came home.
She is doing good, enjoying the pasture with her calf, Huey.
There are several different schools of thought on retained placenta- the most common is that it is caused by a lack of minerals needed during pregnancy. We didn’t have these cows then, so we don’t know exactly what access they had to minerals. But they were very well cared for, so I’m sure minerals were offered.
The vet suggested this as well, after day 3 you can tie a jug about 1/4 way full of water to the hanging placenta tissue. This creates constant pressure/pulling, which helps the placenta eventually all come out. When you find the jug on the ground you can tell if it has the whole placenta, or if cleaning out is needed. This is essentially what the vet did with her hand-a constant, gentler, slow pressure. The difference is your risk introducing infection every time you go into the cow, but that is also a low risk if you sanitize properly.
hopefully we will have a head gate set up soon, so we can do more of this on our own on the farm. I did enjoy learning from our vet, she is really great. We are blessed to have her and her team so close by.
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