Well, we made it through the nasty Minnesota winter without a downer cow...until now! 2 days ago my lovely cow Whinny (named by my sister in law almost 5 years ago) slipped on the icy and frozen surface of our holding area on the way into our milking parlor. Normally she would have caught a grip on the grooved floor and continued walking into the parlor, but unfortunately there was a bossy cow behind her, which gave her a much unneeded shove. She fell down. Most cows would quickly and swiftly get up, but Whinny had injured herself, and she couldn't get up. We believe that she has a over extended joint in her hip. Knowing this, we worked quickly to get her lifted up and standing again. We also gave her some medication for inflammation. The longer a cow is down the higher the risk of further injuries.
Whinny stood, we milked her in the parlor as she stood by herself, but there was no way we were going to try to get her out of the parlor with the others, she was too shaky and unsafe. We lifted her out the bedded pack, where she rested comfortably with "room service"....feed and water delivered right to her. We let her roam around her pen during the afternoon, as she saw fit. She seemed to be doing so well, she even made it to the feed lane, on the concrete floor, this morning to get her own feed, but tonight we found her in the alley. She fell again. She was so shaky and scared. We lifted her once again. She stood, collected herself, and she was back to running around in her pack pen. Turns out she can't walk on concrete well, but she can run very swiftly on the pack. Knowing this we have decided to continue to work with her on the pack until we know for certain she can handle the concrete, and for now she has no access to the concrete feed lane....we'll just keep bringing her room service instead. We are very hopeful Whinny will make a full recovery with a little TLC and Physical Therapy for Cows!