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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Baby was about a 16-year-old Angus/Jersey cross. Solid black. Name was short for "I'm just a big baby". A couple of weeks ago I noticed she was out of sorts. Staying off by herself - which wasn't all that unusual. However, it was a cow born to eat. I swear she could eat a 50-lb bag of corn and ask what was for dessert. (Actually didn't eat as much as vacuumed up feed.) When she refused treats I called the vet.

Slight fever, slight conjestion. He gave her healthy doses of three medications. When she didn't improve after more than a week I called and suggested penicillin (sp?). He said that would be appropriate - 20cc each day for five days. She died on day 5.

I had one of the vets come out to post her. (This particular vet is not only a woman, but very petite, and likes to work with large animals. You don't see that much.) She found a piece of thin wire in her maybe 2" long (Hardware Disease). No doubt it came out of my shop as, to me, a 5-gallon bucket is a 5-gallon bucket. Reason she didn't respond to medications is the wire was still causing the infection from the digestive system.

She had in her a heifer calf about a week or so away from birthing. It had already positioned itself. Solid black (but might have been a dark brown) from a Romanola bull.

Four my's: My cow, my calf, my favorite cow, my fault. That isn't like 1 + 1 + 1 + 1, but more like 1 x 2 x 2 x 2.

I had Baby for about eights years as simply a brood cow. They were good ones for her.

RIP Baby. May she be a lesson to others.

(Vet suggested if I had another one I would treat with processed feed I put a magnet in her.)
 

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Sorry to hear that.

My grandpa always said,"If you're gonna raise'em, you're gonna lose one now and then." It's doubly tough when we lose the good ones.

We hate when these things happen, but they do happen, and as you said, we learn when we make mistakes.
 

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agmantoo
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We had another poster with a sick animal (Need Help W/ Sick Cow) that could have possibly had a similar problem. Making people aware of the consequence of dropping a nail here and a piece of wire there and not finding and picking it up is important. I collect a lot of recyclable metal but I make it a point to not store these items in the pasture. Your acknowledgment of what happened is appreciated and will possibly help others in avoiding such loss. I know it is a good reminder to me. Only the treasured ones seem to depart under these situations, you ever notice that?
 

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Hardware is part of having cows. There is wire, staples and crap all over they can find. It's a wonder that it doesn,t happen more often.
 

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Chief Bottle Washer
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That's sad, sorry to hear about it.

Don't be too hard on yourself though, these things happen. Allen W is right, it's a wonder it doesn't happen more often. They are like kids; manage to find the most dangerous things with no problems at all.

It's a good lesson to all of us in the business.

Thanks for sharing.
 

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Good job!!!!!

Good job in reviewing what went wrong. When ever we lose a critter, we spend time looking back. What could we have seen sooner, done sooner, etc.

If you dont know what you did wrong, you are doomed to do it again.
 

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Ken,
Thank you for sharing what happened in your case. I'm the other poster AgMan was talking about. I lost the first cow I ever owned the day after Christmas. Several people asked me if she could have gotten some wire off of my baled hay and ate it. I said no because all our hay had twine on it. Laying in bed the other night (I can't stop reliving it yet) it came to me that my husband had an old pallet leaned against the back of the barn. That pallet is down in the mud now and I guess she might have got a nail out of it and swallowed it. We scrimped and saved to buy that cow and its tough to think we might have been what killed her. Its tough not knowing why for sure. All I know is I really miss my cow..... thanks again for this post.
 

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OH Ken! That's so sad. I lost my cow this year too. It's crushing.
Can I ask for a little clarification? Are you saying she didn't have a magnet? I often wonder if cows with magnets can get hardware disease too.
I pray your heart heals quickly.
Trisha
 

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Cows with magnets can get hardware if they swallow something sharp that's not got iron in it - like aluminum or glass. Some magnets get passed out of the stomach or corrode with time so they don't function effectively.(to check if your cow's magnet is still in place and working, you can pass a compass along your cows side low behind the left elbow and see the needle move towards the cow) And rarely, a cow can swallow a wire that will have the magnet on one end, and still be long enough for the other end to enter the chest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
No, this cow didn't have a magnet in her. She was somewhat of a personal pet and would come up to be supplemental fed.

I am pretty well 100% convinced the piece of metal come out of my shop. Now I bump out buckets then look inside for any I'm using to handle cattle feed.

As noted above a magnet wouldn't have any effect on aluminum. I use both solid aluminum wire and the poly-wire with the small aluminum wires in it. Always a chance of a small piece being left out in the field.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The vet bill for the posting came to $103. However, had tissue samples been sent off for testing it would have been A LOT higher.

I've satisfied I had it done. Closure more or less.
 

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Mary, thank you for that information. I have a young dairy cow that I bought this year. I appreciate the info on how to tell if she has a magnet already!
Ken, I am really sorry you had to go through this. I also thank you for posting it for us to read and use as a reminder and lesson.
God bless you.
Trisha
 
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