Calf Treatment: Saving Lucky La Moo


A photo of Sandy Bates BellAfter caring calf treatment, Lucky La Moo has survived her health crisis and is back to her sweet self. It started almost exactly a month ago, we noticed late one afternoon she was straining while trying to defecate. By that evening a part of her rectum was hanging out. My cowboy was calm, separated her from the herd of misfits and valiantly disinfected her backside area and placed it back in. I could barely sleep that night because I knew there was an underlying condition causing this and that she was going to have a rough time surviving it. By the next morning, she had a prolapsed rectum. It was a horrible sight. I thought she was going to die.

Sandy and Lucky La Moo the calf

Our vet made a barn call and said he had seen this over a hundred times. He even said it was common after weaning (and we had weaned her just a few weeks before). We have weaned four others and never had anything like this happen, but there is always a first for everything. Instead of feeding her for almost 4 1/2 to 5 months, I weaned her at 3 months according to a very famous bovine care book. Another farm lesson learned, don’t always listen to the experts and follow your instincts sometimes.

The vet gave her an epidural (to stop further straining), an antibiotic injection and then corrected the condition with minor surgery and stitches. Her back legs were paralyzed for almost 12 hours. It would be touch and go for the next few weeks while her intestinal illness waged a bacterial war inside her. He told us not to get our hopes up too high.

Sandy bottle feeds Lucky the calf

Lucky’s backside got better but she was dull and seemed to be getting weaker. We fed her milk replacer, scour ease and electrolyte gel but she was just not getting better. We called the vet after two weeks and had him come back out again. He was surprised that she was still alive. He said we must be doing something right as many calves do not survive the intestinal illness and infection. He gave her another round of antibiotics and this really seemed to help her fight off the internal infection.

Nebraska Dave
4/21/2010 2:15:41 PM

Sandy, I remember the many experiences Dad had with animals in my farm teen years. It seemed that something was always in crisis with one species or another. Farm life can be a never ending experience of learning how to care for the creatures that inhabit farm life. I am certainly glad to hear that Lucy La Moo has recovered from a rough start in life. She is a cutie for sure. I always loved the young animals of the farm. It’s just too bad they grow up so fast. I hope all your animal experiences this year turn out just as good as it did with Lucky.

Almost Country_1
4/20/2010 8:54:27 PM

So happy to hear she's doing better, Sandy! REally, the things that can wrong with livestock make me think twice--and glad that if I ever get to that farm, I'll have a community like this one to turn to for advice! Colleen

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