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  #1  
Old 06/15/10, 08:56 AM
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Missouri
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Swollen knee on cow

Is there anything a vet can do for a swollen knee on a cow? One of our Dexters has been limping heavily on a front leg with a swollen knee joint for months, and it hasn't gotten any better. I haven't called a vet because it doesn't seem like anything could be done for a knee other than surgery- but I thought I'd ask here before I send her off to freezer camp.

Is there any condition that a vet could help with that would cause a swollen knee?

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  #2  
Old 06/17/10, 06:42 AM
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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How old is the cow? We had a calf come down with joint ill last Fall. The vet gave us penicillen (sp?) and I believe it was a 10 day treatment.
If it's an older cow, than I would think it's an injury. It wouldn't hurt to call the vet. We are lucky as ours will discuss our concerns over the phone and that often saves a trip out.

I'm sure one of the others with way more experience will come along and help.

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Old 06/18/10, 05:08 AM
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Land of the Long White Cloud
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You have ignored this for months???? If you had called the vet out within the first couple of days it could have been no more than a course of AB's. Now...who knows. Either get the vet out to treat this poor creature or put her down immediatly! Oh by the way, freezer camp is not a good idea, as you dont know what is wrong you have no way of knowing if the meat would be safe for human or canine consumption. What a waste!

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  #4  
Old 06/18/10, 09:50 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Ontario
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valmai View Post
You have ignored this for months???? If you had called the vet out within the first couple of days it could have been no more than a course of AB's. Now...who knows. Either get the vet out to treat this poor creature or put her down immediatly! Oh by the way, freezer camp is not a good idea, as you dont know what is wrong you have no way of knowing if the meat would be safe for human or canine consumption. What a waste!
Thats over reacting! She has a knee injury! I would certainly still eat the meat=to my knowledge there is no disease that causes a cow to have a swollen knee....good grief!

Sometimes they injure the knee and it balls up with fluid....you can try draining it.....or send her to freezer camp if she is otherwise healthy!
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Old 06/18/10, 01:59 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Missouri
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She's just limping-- don't act like it's a federal crime! I haven't been ignoring her, just watching and waiting to see if it gets better or not. I've had enough joint injuries myself to know they often do get better after a while without treatment. Time cures a lot of ills. If more than one joint were swollen, I'd worry about disease, but it's just one knee joint on a short legged Dexter whose legs have always looked a bit weird.

After 2 months of watching/waiting, I decided she wasn't getting better and made a butcher appointment for her and the yearling calves. It's been about a month since that decision, and is now a couple of weeks until the day. I haven't seen anything here to warrant calling out the vet, or putting off the visit to the butcher. If she's permanently lame, I'm culling her.

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  #6  
Old 06/20/10, 06:58 AM
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Land of the Long White Cloud
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maria View Post
Is there anything a vet can do for a swollen knee on a cow? One of our Dexters has been limping heavily on a front leg with a swollen knee joint for months, and it hasn't gotten any better. I haven't called a vet because it doesn't seem like anything could be done for a knee other than surgery- but I thought I'd ask here before I send her off to freezer camp.

Is there any condition that a vet could help with that would cause a swollen knee?
Doesn't sound like 'just a limp' the way you wrote that. Maybe I am overreacting but if your child had a bad limp would you wait 'for months' before calling the doctor?
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Old 06/20/10, 09:38 AM
ozark_jewels's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valmai View Post
Doesn't sound like 'just a limp' the way you wrote that. Maybe I am overreacting but if your child had a bad limp would you wait 'for months' before calling the doctor?
No, I would not. But I also wouldn't schedule a butcher appointment for my child if I figured I would have trouble paying the doctor bills or that the doctor couldn't help after all.

It is a cow, aka livestock. We do our best to treat it well, and give it all it needs. We do this because it is right and because we expect something in return.

When an animal gets sick, I always have to do a mental calculation to see if the money I'll spend on calling the vet and treating the animal will ever be able to be gotten back out of the animal if it is healed. If the cost is far going to exceed the returns, I have to decide whether to try and treat(never knowing if its even going to work) or cut my losses and make freezer meat out of said animal.

Maybe watching her for months wasn't what you or I would do, but that doesn't make it wrong. A cow with a severe limp would be skin and bones after three months of limping, not worth even butchering, so I am assuming this limp isn't even that bad. In the dairy I've had cows that easily limped for over a month while getting over an injury(bruised feet are not at all uncommon on our extremely rocky ground), they didn't drop weight, they didn't drop milk production, etc.

Having had cows with wrenched knees and bruised feet before, that did get better all on their own, I can sympathize with the watch and wait decision.

Anyway, comparing a cow to a child is just a little over the top in my opinion.
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  #8  
Old 06/21/10, 04:28 AM
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Land of the Long White Cloud
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Ozark Jewels I work in the dairy industry and have seen many cows with bad limps for a prolonged period. The difference between them and this cow is that the ones I see have had their complaint (injury or disease) identified and treated as appropriate. The reason I am so riled about this is because (apparently) no attempt was made to identify the reason for a long term injury/illness.

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  #9  
Old 06/21/10, 08:45 AM
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Well, we each have to do what we deem appropriate for our own livestock charges.

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  #10  
Old 06/21/10, 04:44 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Missouri
Posts: 319

I've raised 3 kids, and yes, there have been times when we did the watch and wait thing on weird, non-urgent aches and pains on them. Lots of times they got better on their own. After a few weeks, I'd take them in to see a doctor or a chiropractor. Didn't do them any harm to wait. I see no reason not to treat the animals the same way. There have been lots of instances where a dog or a sheep or a horse was limping for a few days. I look at their feet, make sure there isn't a cause in the foot, and let it be for a while. Most of them get better. The horse that foundered never did get well enough to ride, and is a waste of space to keep (and yes, we called the vet lots of times on her) After that experience, I really don't want to keep any animals that don't stay sound easly. It wasn't a foot problem, which means it's a joint problem, which means it will probably never fully heal, no matter what.

I don't want to deal with that. I don't even want to call the vet out once for that. This thread was a last ditch effort to see if there was any condition that might be sucessfully and cheaply treated by a vet, but no one has given me any info to that effect, so I'm culling her. I don't need another money pit large animal.

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