Monday, February 8, 2016

Goodbye Old Friend

It was bound to happen here on our little farm.

Last weekend my dear Molly died. She died from what I now suspect was a LDA, aka "Twisted Stomach".  She hadn't been acting right and was hardly eating or drinking.  She was quite bloated, so I called the vet out.  Now I'm not going to go into detail, but this new vet really disappointed me.  She tubed her and pretty much told me she didn't know what was going on and to just treat the symptoms.

For an entire week it was ups and downs.  I truly didn't think she was going to die.  Nathan and I quickly learned to doctor her ourselves.  We tubed her for bloat, drenched her to give her nutrients, force fed her probiotics to try and get her rumen working again, and even gave her iv's of calcium and glucose.  For the first five days she would get up for us, would drink water and things were moving through her system.

On Friday morning she wouldn't get up.  She just laid there groaning.  I didn't even know a cow could groan.  I just started crying. I knew that she most likely would never get up again.  We had to leave the farm for the night (which just killed me even more that I couldn't be there for her).  Nathan gave her a very high dose of pain meds, which helped tremendously.

I sat beside her and gently rubbed her neck.  "I'm so sorry Molly" I kept whispering to her over and over.

I could tell that her pain was easing and she had stopped groaning.  She had water and food all within her reach in case she decided to keep fighting and make a miraculous recovery.  I couldn't look back when I was walking out of the barn.  When we returned to the homestead, Nathan went out to the barn.  She was gone.  She had probably died shortly after we left.  I imagine the pain medication put her to sleep and she just quietly passed.

Later, after discussing my week long fight with another vet (who was unavailable during that time) and on several online forums, I concluded that what I had thought was just bloat was most likely caused by a twisted stomach.  Food can't get into the stomach, so her rumen stops, she bloats, and then she dies.  The only treatment is a very expensive surgery.

She left behind a very sweet 10 week old calf.  Mabel looks to me now for food, protection and love.  I couldn't save Molly, but I can pour out my heart and new found doctoring skills onto her calf.  It's the least I can do for my very dear friend.

I'm going to end this post, however, on a happy note.  Two days after Molly died, Pearl delivered a beautiful, healthy little heifer.  In the middle of a snowstorm and my heartbreak, I was reminded of His promise.  I named this new addition Hope.

Romans 12:12  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

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