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i stabbed my cow
Posted by grady at 2008-05-03 12:27:27
little over two weeks ago my jess looked out the window turned and ran for the door yelling somethings wrong with mattie (her beloved jersey cow). cathy ,jess and i went to the lot mattie was in just beside the house. she was on her back with her feet stuck straight up. she was thrashing her head terribly and bawling. she had broke one horn off and it was bleeding. her stomach was enormious. we had been sitting in the yard looking at her about an hour earlier and she was eating hay looked and acted fine. the hay was the same bale she had been eating off for several days. for years the old men i hung around with had told me what to do with a bloated cow..i had my new stainless steel pocket knife in my pocket..we could'nt get to her left side. we tried to get her legs and turn her, she was thrashing too much..jess had a rope halter..cathy hooked it on her left front leg and i tried to pull her over from the other side....as she rolled over she came straight up on her feet..all this was happening rapidly..i had my knife out and ready. i had been told long ago to stab a bloated cow in the triangle between her ribs and hipbone on the left side about two inches down from her back bone and two inches from her ribs..this spot had varied some depending on who was telling you. my old friend cliff ervin had put his finger on a cow one time and said this is the best spot. mattie was up bawling and slinging her head and spitting out stuff. it's now or never..she started to walk away ..i stabbed her on cliff's spot..bounced off ..not hard enough..i stabbed her hard..the whole knife blade went in..i quickly pulled it out..in about three seconds she started quieting down..the gas coming out was keeping the hole open..you could see her stomach going down..jess put a halter on her and slowly led her around..the gass kept coming out..she kept getting smaller and quieter..cathy went in and called the vet.she told him i had already stabbed her..he was amazed ..in 30 years he had never done it nor seen it done..he said all the bloated cows were dead by the time he got there. we gave her a tetanis(sp)shot..the emergency 7 to 12 day one..and antibotics..washed out the wound several times a day with perioxide and betadine..she is doing fine. we are rationing her food right now..letting her get over the bloat and trying not to let her rebloat..let me tell you friends..if you have never done it it is one hell of an experience. in my 65 plus years i had never been in the presence of a live cow with the bloat..now..can you do this to a sheep or a goat for bloat??
Response by JWM at 2008-05-04 09:32:45
well, you can but I've never had to. I keep on hand therabloat, and on the very rare occaision, passed a stomach tube and administered meds.

Response by Carl Byerly at 2008-05-04 09:33:27
It's a good thing no one was smoking during the gas release or, as Baxter Black has said, someone would have landed over in the next county.
Response by jerry at 2008-05-04 11:30:38
i had it happen 3 years ago we were putting corn silage in the silo and so we had put some green corn out use to do it all the time 40 years ago , well first time but we did just about the same thing and she was fine,......
Response by cooley at 2008-05-04 18:18:20
i have had to do 4 or 5 calves that way. learned from my grand dad. only lost one. put screw worm salve on the hole to keep flys away.
Response by Brenda at 2008-05-04 21:29:26
Congrats on keeping your cow alive - you saved her life.

I'll never forget my Dad tapping a cow that had got a load of apples and bloated. Mom helped and when that knife blade sunk in and the "cider" blew, my poor mom gagged and gagged. She never again drank cider - can't imagine why! ;-)
Response by Dale Wagner at 2008-05-05 09:44:58
Used to pack a torcar (just sharp pointed rod with a tube around it) when ever we ran sheep on alfalfa. Some times you couldn't hardly run fast enought to stick them all befor you could get them off the alfalfa. In the spring when alfalfa starts to growing lush and is about a foot high, a cloudy day can really keep you on your toes. With a little breeze, when a cloud went by the sheep would bloat. Sun come back out and it would be fine. Those ewes would just pick the tips off and that was what caused the trouble.
Response by KM at 2008-05-05 10:03:44
Once had the milk herd get out and into some 3rd crop alfalfa up about 6 inches that had been froze the night before. We had cows falling everywhere. As I remember, we had 5 stuck and another 5 that were doctored with thera-bloat. Didn't loose any as I remember but is was a long night. Three of the cows were down when we stuck them. Maybe that was the start of all the global warming the night we bloated the herd.

Since that time we found a bloat-guard that is a powder form of the sweetlix block. A few gel caps of powder and they deflate.

Response by Don McAvoy at 2008-05-06 12:04:07
Saved a bull onetime because of a sharp knife like that. I ran him into a run upto the headgate and he went down before he got to the headgate. No options were available when then are on their side doing the death bellow thing! Done it several times when they are bloated so bad that you can't get a tube into the stomach. I have a large needle and a trocar also. Trocar is the best but sometimes you use what you have. By the way with a knife leave it in an give it a 90 degree twist; that get the most air out the quickest.
After the post on "punctuation" knot sure if any one will understand what I wrote.
Couldn't resist Don.
Response by Robert Cornell at 2008-05-07 12:26:00
Something that we have found that helps with bloat in our beef cattle is a little bit of vegetable oil mixed with the corn we feed. I don't know what other's experience is, but once a cow gets the bloat it tends to be likely to get it again.
Response by John at 2008-05-07 16:35:24
My wife tries to relieve me that way sometimes. I always get away. Her knifes too big.
Response by Kevin Morgan at 2008-11-07 06:22:38
About 9 months ago i read this article about bloat ,and downloaded it ,for future reference ,thinking that we might never need this info ,but just in case it was downloaded .Since downloading this article we have had two animals down with bloat ,a newly delivered milking cow and a 14 month old hiefer ,both went down at different times ,and the most awful weather conditions ,but seeing the article explained how to go about treating the bloat and especially where to put the knife into the animal it worked very well and quickly ,a very informative article and well worth downloading
Response by Abigail Bisson - Corvallis Oregon at 2010-11-01 14:39:22
Thanks for the info. We just had our bull come down with bloat. We walked him around until the vet showed up. They put a metal tube down his throat past his teeth and then slipped a narrower plastic tube through the metal tub into his belly. He sounded like a balloon releasing gas. They kept the tube in there while my husband and I applied pressure from both sides of his belly until he looked thinner then he has ever looked. Next time we are going to try a piece of PVC pipe to by-pass his teeth with a garden hose threaded down the middle. What a smell. Whwee By-the-way he had been eating apples before coming down with the bloat.
Response by buttergirl101 at 2012-07-17 12:24:23
well i had the same problem. we tried putting epison salt in a bottle with hot water to make him burp but that never worked so we tried to tie a stick to it an put the stick in its mouth and it was supposed to make him burp but that didnt work either so we had to stab it to it was put ur two fingers next to the hip bone and thats where you would stab it if that dosent work you can find out wher ur cow licks the most and and put oil/fat there and let ur cow lick that off and that should also make the bloating go down but just to warn you when you stab it the gas that comes out is horrible the smell is so gross
i hope that helps thank you
Response by Sara at 2012-07-22 02:06:37
Once in a while we will have something bloat. I keep Therabloat on hand, it really works fast, have used it for years. Sometimes I will just run them in the chute, if they are real bad, and run a tube into their stomach and release the gas. Never had to stick a knife in one, maybe I never had one that far gone. Glad you saved your good milk cow! Good job.
Response by Robert Fleming at 2012-10-07 17:58:32

How long will a cow last with bloat if nothing is done?
Response by Dale Wagner at 2012-10-08 21:34:56
The paunch gets distended by the gas pressure and presses on the lungs. They will turn blue just before they die. If you see the skin color turning from red to blue, stick them quick.
Response by Mark Ahlert at 2012-12-09 15:08:46
My mom grew up on a farm in Oklahoma. She told us they used an ice pick on cows that bloated. We were recently talking about this and I had to see if anyone else had used a similar cure.
Response by josh at 2012-12-27 17:45:20
Just did this with a 400 steer calf had about a 3in pocket knife and not sure i got deep enough... Any advice on depth
Response by Nancy Orr at 2013-02-07 12:14:40
I remember my Dad doing this. That's why I looked it up this AM to be sure I remembered correctly. I'm 72 so expect that was a pretty common remedy when I was young.
Response by mptclinics at 2013-02-08 09:14:39
Yes, goats can be done the same way, though I've never had to. I have had a doe recently though, that went through an unexplainable phase of bloating after her alfalfa every morning. I just started feeding her a dose of baking soda with her breakfast, and it solved the problem. She doesn't do it anymore, so she doesn't get the soda anymore. I keep it on hand though. In all seriousness, my hubby also takes a dose of baking soda water every time I make a bean dish for dinner. It's the soda or the couch for him, as far as I'm concerned! ;-)
Response by BV at 2013-02-09 19:06:15
Had a steer a few years back bloated bad,stuck him and it went down but an hour later it was bloated up agian that time I made the hole bigger ,cleaned him out with the shop vac stitched him shut ,each layer seperate, he mooed got up and was fine after that.Told the vet about it later and he said he never heard of that before but if it worked that well he was going to try it on bad cases .
Response by Eleanor at 2013-03-13 14:44:27
My Dad used to puncture the cows with a butcher knife when they had become bloated after eating too much green stuff after they had somehow gotten into the alfalfa field or something else. Then he went to a veterinarian seminar and learned that all you have to do is milk the cow and give it some of the warm milk. That's what he did after that and it was very successful. That was about 75 years ago!!
Response by Geoff at 2013-03-14 02:14:43
Josh _if their bloated you and you're hitting the rumen, you can't go too deep. It's a big balloon by then. Ice pick is probably too small of a hole to keep open.

Sometimes you need to figure if it's "gassy bloat or "frothy bloat". Frothy is .... foamy and blocks the esophagus so the animal can't "burp" off gas. I've not used therabloat but imagine it has a surfactant that breaks up the bubbles - corn oil, mineral oil etc will do the same thing in a pinch.

Vacuuming out the rumen contents can potentially stop their gut from working. The rumen needs the continuous culture in there to keep things working ---- like a sourdough starter. Sometimes a steer might get acidosis and have its rumen shut down (no gut sounds/contractions). You can tube a healthy steer and try to pump out some of his gut contents/juices and then put them into the sick one to "jump start" (reinocculate) his rumen.

We had some fistulated steers when I worked at the university (with ~ 6 in plug going into the rumen). You could reach in up to your armpit and barely come close to touching the bottom. Also, certain rapidly feremented feeds would occasionally cause the plug to blow out or spew all over. Animals grazing rape/canola were prone to that one.
Response by sharon at 2013-04-06 14:06:19
Holy smokes! I heard my 90 year old father talk about just this thing. When he was a boy in Wisconsin the cows had gotten loose in the alfalfa and they had to stab them to save their life. Good on you for saving your cow! Apparently another thing that they sometimes did was to put turpentine into the stomach although I think we have better interventions available to us these days
Response by sharon at 2013-04-07 18:46:24
Holy smokes! I heard my 90 year old father talk about just this thing. When he was a boy in Wisconsin the cows had gotten loose in the alfalfa and they had to stab them to save their life. Good on you for saving your cow! Apparently another thing that they sometimes did was to put turpentine into the stomach although I think we have better interventions available to us these days
Response by sharon at 2015-02-10 15:02:44
I have a weaned heifer calf that keeps bloating. Vet stabbed her and gave her antibiotics. 5 days later bloatef again. She's been debloated 3 times in 8 days. Vet gave more antibiotics yesterday. Does anyone know what else we can do. We would like to save her if possible. Is there any hope or not?
Response by T Payne at 2015-02-11 03:07:56
You could try putting about a half cup of baking soda in about 5 pints of water and getting it down her. I'd follow that with probiotic a half hour later. Stop the antibiotic altogether. It's killing all the beneficial bugs in her gut, which is a bad idea unless there is a known infection.
Response by gh at 2015-07-09 00:01:29
We had to do this late last night
He is still not up, bleeding both internal and external do they need stitching

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