Thursday, May 10, 2012

Uterine torsion night

Wow - I've seen two births in two days! This one was not as easy for the cow ... she'd been laboring since morning, but she wasn't dilating or progressing. She was tired and weak. Kris called the veterinarian to see what he thought was wrong.

Russ, our regular vet and friend, came and checked her out. He put on the long glove, cleaned her up, palpated her and immediately said, "It's uterine torsion." That means that her uterus has twisted and there's no way the calf can come out.

Russ let my sons and me feel her, too. I guess we'll all be ready next time we need to make a diagnosis.

Russ said that the new vet in their clinic - it was his first week - was coming. He said, "Don't tell him it's uterine torsion! We'll let him make the diagnosis."

Nick came with his fiancee Karen, who's also a vet. He felt around and made the correct diagnosis. We all cheered.

They told me how you correct a uterine torsion. You turn the cow around, while holding the uterus in place, and it effectively untwists her uterus.

It took some figuring deciding which way was the untwist direction. My dad went to get a long board to brace the calf/uterus part of her.

The vets gave her a bottle of calcium through a needle in her neck to help her in her muscle recovery.

Russ said to Nick, "Do you want to do the surfing?" That's apparently vet lingo for, "Do you want to stand on the board we're placing on the cow?" He did.

Note - the cow was right by the road. Kris said he didn't want to chase her into the barn earlier because she was weak. So, by this time quite a crowd had gathered. Friends, strangers, family members ... the uterine torsion show is on!

Kris, my dad, and the vets started turning her while holding the board in place. She didn't resist. 

Nick palpated her afterward and ... it had turned! We were all so happy.

Now it was time to pull out the calf. He went inside her and placed the chains around the calf's feet.

They pulled. She wasn't dilated, so it took a lot of gentle pulling, because Nick didn't want her to tear.

Then, the big, healthy bull was born!

They sucked out his nose and mouth with a bigger version of the snot suckers they use on human babies.


The cow bled a lot at first, but it stopped and she rallied. She licked off her calf and was standing and walking around.

So, a happy ending to the story! With all its twists and turns. Or, fixing them.


Ang said...

Love your birthing stories! So cool!

Badrar said...

Holy cow (har har), that is quite a story! What would happen to the mother cow if humans did not come to her aid? Would she die?

Carla said...

I don't know if it would ever untwist by itself. The vets said no one really knows why it twists in the first place - a medical mystery!

It WAS interesting! The vets were all so cool about it ... I was really stressed out for that cow!

Renee Ricks said...

Didn't she get an epidural? Geez! And...what a showoff! Walking around right after. I need a nap just from witnessing this in print! ;)

Karen Bastek said...

It was great meeting all of you last night Carla, thanks for writing about this great birth! Hope you don't mind if I share your blog!
Karen Bastek

Anonymous said...

karen, gerilyn here, a friend of both your parents inlaw from high school. this was AMAZING! but i am with renee! what a wonderful profession you and your husband have undertaken! they are so very proud of you and obviously with good reason! kudos to you all!

Carla said...

Renee - Ha! Yes, total showoff. And her third calf at that!

Karen - It was GREAT meeting you too, and of course! Share it with anyone!

Gerilyn - Thanks for reading! Not only were they good vets - wasn't that picture of Karen with the calf cute? - but they're really nice people. : )

Carla said...

Ang - SO glad you like these birthing stories too. My kids were with Kris tonight and called me - I thought that my son was telling me that a birth was in process and I was already in the car with my camera - but he was telling me they were going to be home late. I can't get enough! : )