What a weekend! Not one that I care to repeat anytime soon.
It started off great. Got my porch all cleaned off and rearranged. Flower beds got weeded and I got even more cherry jam made and canned.
The guy that is putting cattle in the south pasture at the farm was out putting up an electric fence and was about to release the cows out. He told us that we could put Chewy out there with the “big boys” if we wanted to. We thought it would be good for him to eat better grass out there, as well as to learn how to be a cow, instead of dog, or whatever it is he thinks he is. D sent him out, Chewy was acting normal, and mooing excitedly, and we thought all was well. About an hour and ½ later we went out to see how he was getting along, and he was down by the gate, barely alive. I immediately thought bloat, because D and I have been noticing he’s been...round..lately. Dr. Deewall, our vet, just happened to be eating pizza at Dave's, and was able to talk us through what we needed to do. Basically you either stick a needle into the stomach and release the pressure or you stick a tube down into his stomach and release it that way. We had a crew of 6 people out there helping us, and I finally came home around 2am. D never went to bed. He actually went and clocked in at work and rotated between working and going out and checking on him. We later found out some of our family was doing the same thing, so it seems he was never left alone for too long.
Kelly, the vet, called the next morning and told us she was in the area. She wanted to check on him, tube him and pull out what was in his stomach and give him some antibiotics. He started doing this really weird “cude chewing” motion that we blew off. However, when she was checking him, she realized that he was blind, and the weird “cude chewing” was actually a neurological “tick” meaning something was wrong with his brain. =( He was walking in circles, stumbling, having weird ticks, not responding to us and acting like he had no idea what was going on.
“I am concerned this little guy may have rabies.”
With those words my blood started to turn cold, and I suddenly saw in my mind all the times my boys played with him, letting him suck on their fingers, wiping slobber all over each other. All four of us, as well as all those people who were helping us, had been exposed and would need a series of shots.
She told us if there was no improvement she would come back over the next morning, put him to sleep, and send his brain off for testing.
We kept checking on him..from a FAR distance...throughout the day, because if he died before the next day, Kelly was going to come over so she could get the “sample” she needed. We went out about 5:30 and...there he was, standing, walking normal, and as we poked our heads in, he LOOKED STRAIGHT at us!! The “ticks” were gone, he was walking, not stumbling, he was responding to our voices and perked up when I “baby talked” him. I ran and got some water for him and he took a couple of sips of water. D went back out there at dusk and gave him a big pile of hay and a bucket of water, and this morning, most of the hay was gone.
He is still blind, though the vet thinks he’s at least seeing shadows, since he looks at us when we come into the barn, and since he’s eating and drinking, and IMPROVING, it’s not rabies! I feel as though we have been blessed with a mini miracle. We were so scared and I lost count of the number of times I prayed to God for the strength to get us through this.
What happened?? Well, either the dumb ass chomped down on the newly installed electric fence and got the crap shocked out of him,(he chews and bites on EVERYTHING) or he ate something very nasty out in the pasture.
He’s on Penicillin and Thiamin for 3 days, and Dr. Deewall thinks some of his vision may come back, but it’s hard to tell. He’s locked up in a small part of the barn and he has learned really fast where things are at. It’s sad though when he “over shoots’ something and runs into the wall. We’re keeping him in the barn for a while to see how much comes back, with hopes that sometime soon he can go back out into the lot. If not, we’ll figure it out as we go, I guess.
Things I have learned through all this:
Rabies is still alive and well, and very much still a threat and cattle have surpassed cats and dogs with being victims. Most often it will come from a bat, skunk or raccoon bite, and you may never see the bite mark. And the rabies virus can take a long time to show up.
Family and friends and people you hardly even know will come together and help you out when it comes to livestock.(I'm still not sure what it is about the words "down calf" that makes people come running, but we are very thankful they did!" We had people volunteering to help and give us whatever we needed.
Our vet ROCKS!!
We need to have kit together and ready to grab for things like this, just in case, instead of having to make do with whatever we can find.
God does answer prayers.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Posted by Becky at 12:14 PM