Aborted pregnancy?

boothcreek

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Hi Everyone,

One of our Dexter Girls acted really weird back in december, walking like on eggshells and overall odd, maybe slipped on the ice and was sore so we didn't worry too much. After a couple days she was back to normal.

Now about 4 days ago we see her out on the pasture with something hanging out her rear that resembled an afterbirth, which made me go WTH? cause she isn't due until mid may according to my calender but heck I am known to make mistakes in my calculations.
I spend a good 6+ hrs combing the whole 60 acre pasture for a calf so we can bring it in for a few days to bond with mom in the coyote-free barn..... never found anything and am wondering all day why that dumb cow isn't checking on her calf(usually when you start going into their favorit calf hiding corners the moms get worried and come looking)....

Then just before it got dark, I seen the thing she had hanging out gone so I went to look for it to see what it was.

Found it and was surprised to find a calcified fetus about the size of a football, skull clearly defined and the rest just a rockhard lump.

Now I am wondering if thats why she was acting weird in december? Aborted her pregnancy? Fetus looks to be the right size for that timeline. Now she isn't acting any different then usual but I am guessing she is still clearing out her uterus cause she still has that milky brown rotten discharge.

How long will that go on for and do I have to be worried?

What are the chances that she was carrying twins and just aborted one and still has another since she is still HUGE?
 

jhm47

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I really doubt that she is aborting one twin, and the other might still be viable. Most likely she has aborted, and will return to normal heat cycles in 45 - 60 days or so. Abortions happen every so often in cattle. Had a couple in my herd this winter also. One cow lost a set of twins in January, and another cow dropped a dead calf about a month or so early. There are many reasons for this, but the most likely IMHO is that they get bumped by another cow at the feeder, or possibly slip and fall in an icy patch. Either of these scenarios could cause injury to the uterus/placenta and cause them to abort. It happens, and if it's a good young cow, I usually give her another chance the next year. However, if it happens again, she gets a free ride to town.

In your case, if the cow is shedding a foul smelling discharge, I'd give her a shot of a long-lasting antibiotic, like Excede or possibly LA200 to clear out any uterine/vaginal infection she might have. This will help her to breed back much more quickly, and also help to prevent her from becoming permanently sterile. Good luck!
 

redtailgal

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With a milky brown discharge, I would go ahead and give the antibiotic. I'd expect some drainage for 10-14 days. A harden fetus has been dead awhile, so I'd guess your right about something happening in december.

We dont have many slough a calf off, but it does happen, sometimes for unseen reasons. Like jhm47, we give two chances, and the second time there is not a fat little calf standing on the ground, the cow gets to go on a little ride.

I do suggest that you go ahead and rebred her when she returns to her normal heat cycles, rather than rest her too long. I've found it easier for them to catch if you rebreed right away.
 

boothcreek

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Well the vet wont give me an antibiotic without seeing the cow and wants a whoppin amount of money to come out to see a cow that wont go near strangers. I may have to make a road trip to Alberta, there you can buy livestock meds in the feedstores. Altho that doesn't solve the problem on how to give it to her, she does not stand still for shots and for our 3 cows we don't have handling facilities.

She stopped expelling that yucky looking ooze tho, which I guess is good. Currently also cranky enough to not let me have a close look either(other then the brief one I ghet for sneaking up while feeding lol) since we weaned her daughter off a week ago and I tried putting udder cream on her sore teats...... Poor girl couldn't get her daughter weaned cause she would chomp down on a teat and take her mothers kicks in the head but not let go.
Red got a heck of a persistant calf for a first baby. I hope that didn't make her touch sensitive on her udder permanently cause she is the only cow I milk and she was always awesome and never tried to kick.

Oh well, I guess I am watching her now when she comes in heat and hope for one next year. She is in with the bull 24/7 so I have no possiblilty to rest her for a few cycles anyhow.

BTW, this may be an unanswerable question but I am wondering if Penecillin allergies in Cattle are hereditary? Cause we know her mother is severely allergic to penecillin, and that was ugly when we found out.....
 

redtailgal

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Any allergy can be hereditary. I'd have some epi on hand for sure.
 
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