Proper care for non-ambulatory cows

259

Source: National Dairy FARM

PREVENT PLAN CARE

  1. Ensure cows are consuming a balanced ration to prevent metabolic disease and manage body condition
  2. Ensure cows are able to rise soon after calving
  3. Observe cows daily for any abnormal activities
  4. Ensure employees are trained in low-stress cow handling and that alleyways are properly maintained to prevent cows from slips and falls and for proper feet and leg support

The National Dairy FARM Program requires annual animal care employee trainings

PLAN

  1. Identify who is trained and should be called in a non-ambulatory cow situation The National Dairy FARM Program requires annual animal care employee trainings
  2. Have a team trained to properly move a non-ambulatory cow Refer to the FARM Animal Care Reference Manual for appropriate measures when using equipment to maneuver down cows
  3. Have a written non-ambulatory cow protocol The National Dairy FARM Program requires up-to-date written protocols for managing non-ambulatory cattle
  4. Have an identified hospital area
  5. REMAIN CALM

CARE

  • Provide deep bedding at least 6” deep – sand is best
  • Provide safe shelter from the elements and away from cows
  • Put feed and water in tubs that do not tip over and are within easy reach – check availability at least twice a day
  • Lift the cow using proper protocol or roll her onto her other side twice a day
  • Consult with your herd veterinarian about a proper treatment plan for the cow
  • Never drag cows

ASSIST THE COW TO STAND IF

a physical exam and initial treatment have been completed and she:

  • Is bright and alert
  • Is not severely trembling or twitching
  • Does not have evidence of severe disease
  • Does not appear severely weak
  • Appears to have normal and functioning limbs

COMMON CAUSES 5Ms

MILK FEVER:

Symptoms: dull/weak; trembling/twitching; temperature below
101F; cold, droopy ears

TOXIC MASTITIS

Symptoms: dull/weak; temperature extremes (high or low); sunken eyes; abnormal milk;
heat, pain and swelling of one or more quarters

TOXIC METRITIS

Symptoms: dull/weak; temperature extremes (high or low); sunken
eyes; watery, colored or cloudy vaginal discharge and odor

MUSCULOSKELETAL DAMAGE

Symptoms: abnormal angle and/or swelling to limb; suspect fracture or dislocation;
paralysis

MASSIVE INFECTION

Symptoms: dull/depressed; sunken eyes; temperature extremes (high or low);
difficulty breathing