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Old 06/05/13, 08:51 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 38
Old milk cow is bloated - panting bad

The old milk cow we were given, 15 years old, came back out from pasture completely bloated and she has just started panting excessively. She just urinated and pooped but she is standing, head dropped and breathing hard and fast. I read somewhere you have to stab them with a knife to relieve pressure? Is this true?

I've called the vet but he is out on four farm calls already... Called another guy and he is busy too! What the heck do I do? I was thinking about taking her to market on Monday since I won't have any other calves for awhile but I don't know if she will make it that long.
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Old 06/05/13, 09:18 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Zone 7
Posts: 10,837
A trocar is the device you need. If the animal is truly bloated she may die if you do not relieve the bloat. You should be able to find information on the internet on how to relieve the gas.
If they can do it,
you know you can!
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Old 06/05/13, 09:40 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Zone 7
Posts: 10,837
If they can do it,
you know you can!
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Old 06/05/13, 11:37 PM
BlackWillowFarm's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: West Michigan
Posts: 1,313
I don't have personal experience, but just read about this on the Keeping a Family Cow forum and it helped a bloated cow.

Take a stout piece of wood similar to an ax handle or broom and cut a piece long enough to fit the cows mouth like a horse bit. Leave enough room on the ends to tie a rope to each side of the wooden "bit" and fit it on the cow like a bridle, pulling the bit piece back far enough to force the cow to keep her mouth open. She will try to chew the wood and the action of chewing will cause her to burp giving some relief. It's helpful if you can keep her chin lifted high.

I hope this helps.
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Old 06/05/13, 11:41 PM
willow_girl's Avatar
Very Dairy
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Dysfunction Junction
Posts: 14,609
You can also try a drench of vegetable oil with a big squirt of liquid dish soap in it. About a wine bottle's worth is good.

Good luck and I hope she pulls through. Has she been out on lush pasture?
"I love all of this mud," said no one, ever.
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Old 06/05/13, 11:59 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,864
If she's still alive, you need to find someone with cattle experience who can pass a stomach tube or thin garden hose (with end cut off!). Poking a hole in the side is a high risk to cause infection, and won't help with the most common kind of bloat.

There are two kinds of bloat - gassy bloat with free gas, and frothy bloat, like suds, which is more common, and is caused by lush pasture or alfalfa. The froth interferes with the ability of the cow to belch up gas.

What was she eating?

When you pass the tube, if a lot of gas rushes out, it was gassy bloat. Frothy bloat won't come out the tube, but you can pour down the tube some oil and detergent as Willow Girl mentioned and try to break down the suds.

Here's some reading:
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