Monday, July 4, 2011

Lucky is not doing well . . .

This morning, I gave up Lucky for dead.  He was on his side, neck stretched out, no longer eating, although he did drink a little fluid.  I thought, "I am not going to try to prolong his life like we did Quincy.  All it means is a longer time to suffer.  I will just let him go."  I walked towards the house but didn't even get to the door before I turned around and went back out to the barn.  I gave him a penicillin shot.  That shot means he is no longer organic, but who cares?  I just wanted to give him one more shot at life.  I also mixed some more electrolyte powder into some water, and he took a bit of it.

When I went out an hour later, he was still laid out flat, and I am not strong enough to get him in a sitting position by myself.  But I stacked some straw under his head, and he drank copious amounts of water.  I had put a small handful of hay by his head when I left him earlier and it was gone, so he was eating again.  So I got more hay, and he began eating pretty steadily. 

I checked on him every half hour or so.  He took in a full gallon of electrolyte water, and I did another subcutaneous iv, which delivered 500 ml of electrolytes in solution, along with some glucose.  He also drank at least a gallon of plain water.   I noticed that he was belching and passing gas, a good thing.  Don't need bloat on top of everything else.

A little after noon, Kayla and Jack showed up.  They were able to lift Lucky and while he was up, I moved out the soiled straw from around him.  He definitely was too weak to stand.  They got him sitting up and he stayed up without falling over!  Kayla massaged him well, all over his body.  He ate and drank some more.  Kayla suggested minerals.  He went right for the sulfur, ignoring everything else.  He also took in more water, and we saw him urinating.  This is all goodness.

I do believe that the change was from the penicillin hitting his system.  I couldn't reach the vet - he has his kids and their animals at the 4-H fair - so I googled "maximum dosage of penicillin for a 300 pound calf."   I had given him 10 cc's early that morning, and the article said they could have 20 cc's twice a day, so I gave him 12 more, and plan to do another 12 at bedtime, when I give him the last half of his iv - another 500 ml of glucose and electrolytes in solution. 

Austin, one of the dairy herd association's milkers, arrived around 1:30 or 2:00 pm.  Lucky was very alert and still in sitting position, had not fallen over like he was doing earlier in the day and last night.  Austin took Lucky through range-of-motion exercises on all four legs.  He showed me how to do it, and I think I will be able to do it on my own.

Tina did Reiki on Lucky, and stayed with him encouraging him to eat more minerals.  He seemed to eat everything better when Tina was fussing over him.  If he makes it through this, I think we will have created a spoiled little bull!

No matter what happens, I am glad I did not give up on him this morning.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry I wasn't "here" with you more during this trial. I think of you often--especially these past couple weeks--and admire the work you do Susan. Thinking of you...