and was stiff as a board with her head held in an abnormal position. A small army of people had to be called to assist in getting her from the muddy field and to a stall, in the barn, a distance away. Thank goodness for ATVs with small trailers~! The prognosis was poor. Because of her multiple symptoms rabies, distemper and Vit B deficiencies were soon suspected. The rest of the herds were quickly checked and all calves accounted for and in good health. A friend sped to my vets and got a bottle of thiamine hydrocloride immediately. I eliminated the possibilites of rabies and distemper quickly. Vit B deficiency was a real possibility since the twins did NOT recieve colostrum from their mother after birth, since she had none. Time was of the essance.
The vet thought the calf might even have a type of cattle meningitis as well because the calf was unable to hold its head in a natural position and her spinal column was swollen. Having experienced spinal meningitis myself, I immediately developed a plan. I would give her 5 full days to pull out of this health crisis, since I knew it was possible as I had done the same thing myself. If she didn't make some progress in that time, then I would do the humane thing and euthanize my beloved calf to prevent any more suffering. For the casual onlooker, the calf looked like it should be euthanized immediately. However, I knew once I got her body temp from 94 degrees up to the normal cow temp of 100 that there would be some positive changes almost immediately. Injections of Vit B, Baytril, dex and pennicillan provided the support to reduce the spinal column swelling, help with any infections and give a boost to her systems.
She was drinking a quart of water at a time, more than 6 quarts a day. She finally peed. Whisper is starting to look like a 3 month old calf again. Today I put her familiar red water bucket at calf level where she can now drink from it. I realized she COULD see a little, maybe only shadows, as she was walking towards some new items I had brought into the stall. I still haven't heard her moo to the herd. Occasionally a cow or calf will come up to the stall next to her and spend a few hours chewing their own cud. I am sure it gives Whisper some comfort to hear and smell her family. I remember how lonely I have been when I have been a patient in the hospital. This calf is greatly benefiting from my lifetime experience with absurd illnesses and diseases. All her injections are decreasing, as of this morning, with only her injections of Vit B continuing for awhile longer. I will continue to document her progress and look forward to the day when her vision returns and she can join the herd in the big fields again and play with all her siblings. Do we know what caused this horrible incident. Yes we do. More about that at the next update.