Oh yes, folks.
Awhile back we had a cow that had a prolapsed vagina. A pregnant cow, with a nursing calf, with a prolapsed vagina. First, the mere idea of this made me cringe in sympathy for this poor cow. Then I saw it. Yikes!
We were in the middle of work, so I didn't snap a picture of my own, but here's the gist:
If you're hurting in places you can't mention, then I'm sure you're quite normal. This sort of thing happens on occasion and during a cows pregnancy, can almost be normal. Sometimes when a cow lays down, you might see a little something poking out, but generally not quite this size. When she gets up, it gets sucked back in. I think generally the further along the cow is, the more apt it is to happen. However, once in awhile, in early pregnancy, like what happened with our cow, the above image happened.
This is not something ranchers like to see and take care of, because typically this means that as soon as her current calf is weaned, she'll need to be culled before she calves. If you keep her, you'll have to be there for the birth as there are likely to be complications. So, to save yourself the headache, you'll get rid of her before she calves. Also, once a cow has had this happen, she's likely to do it again, and become a migraine instead of a regular headache.
The vet came out and cleaned it up and put it back in. He also put sutures in to prevent a recurrence.
So, for our cow, she's still out with her herd-mates, nursing a calf that will probably weaned in the next month. After that, we will amicably part ways.
Last Friday, K calls me a few minutes after 5pm saying they had just pulled a breeched calf (meaning it's butt wanted to come out first), and the cow had a prolapsed uterus. She couldn't remember Dr. J's cell phone from the voicemail, and asked me to call him. I did, and left a message. It was close to 6pm when he finally got back to me, and I told him what was going on. He said he'd call me as soon as he was done with a horse he was working on. About half an hour later, he called me back and told me he was on his way. K and her brother had stayed with the cow in the barn. The calf survived, and is doing well.
Mamma obviously wasn't doing so hot because a vital part of her anatomy was hanging out on the barn floor. Not sure about y'all, but when K told me about the prolapsed uterus, I swear I felt a twinge.
Dr. J and K's brother were the two trying to push this poor cows uterus back inside her body, where it rightfully belongs. Some things we gals just don't want hangin' in the wind. Now, I stole the following pictures from another website, obviously, and I feel I should warn you about their graphicness. As you can imagine, this is a bloody and serious mess, and in the ranching world, is a serious emergency as a cow could easily bleed to death. So, I've given fair warning, these are pretty ugly.
It's definitely a two-person job. The goal is to safely get all of the uterus back inside, without puncturing it.
In our case, K's brother kept getting back spasms. You can see why, as it's not as easy position to push on something so heavy.
It's easy to feel sorry for the cow, as she basically has to lie there and take it. Most times, the cow is given a sedative. Also, as you can see, barn or field, it's a challenge to get it back in clean. (FYI, at this stage, this particular cow in the picture, they got about half of it back in)
It's also easy to see that Dr. J left my grandparents a bloody mess, literally. He had to basically shower before going to his next emergency. (Yes, he had a late night)
In the end, a cow gets sutured up, and gets lots of antibiotics to help ward off infection.
Just so you guys know, both cow and calf are doing well. Mama cow is still getting antibiotics, and has bonded well with her calf. We are keeping them in the barn at the moment, so we can easily get her in the head-catch to continue the antibiotics. This cow will probably not get culled from the herd. According to my grandparents, it's not likely to reoccur - not like the vaginal prolapse.
Oh and poor Dr. J had a rough night. After cleaning up after this bloody mess, he went to look at a horse that hadn't been able to pee for a couple days. Wound up having to do some special surgery that he's never done, as the bladder was so damn big and they knew there had to be a stone somewhere in there blocking up the poor guy. In the end, the pee came gushing out and guess who got hit? Yup, Dr. J. Poor guy.