There are few things that will do in the fate of a cow quite as quckly as a broken leg. They’re painful, hard to fix on a large animal and not always the quickest healing as they are constantly bearing weight.
Late Sunday night one of my heifer calves had her leg stepped on by a full grown cow. Unfortunately the accident left her with a broken tibia.
Broken limbs can actually be casted on newborns with a fairly high success rate of healing. However this is on the lower portion of their legs where joints can be immobilized. Breaking the upper part of a leg is generally a death sentence. It’s simply too hard to immobilize shoulders and hips.
We decided to call the vet in the morning. He walked in, took one look and said we should really just put her down. As disheartening as it was, it was what I expected but hoped not to hear. After a little more examining her he told me he would attempt a cast. While not having much hope it was our only option.
Now I had been patiently waiting for this baby for months. She is the first grandbaby of one of my best cows. This cow also doesn’t like to have heifers. As in she is 9 with only 2 daughters. This is despite our best efforts to help her along reproductively. Accidents like this seem to only happen to special calves. The dismal outlook was beyond depressing.
While wallowing in self pity, the idea popped up about moving her to Ohio State’s vet school. We called to see what kind of an investment this would be. After deciding it was worth a shot, we scheduled to take her down the following morning.
Tuesday morning was a lot of rushing. Getting kids on the bus, loading up the calf (who’s name is Puzzle) and grabbing my mom for moral support in taking a calf and a toddler on an hour and a half drive.
Our first of many incidents happened shortly after departing. The road we normally take to the interstate was closed, leaving us to take a longer route. Then some haphazardly placed road cones and a slightly left of center semi gave us a close enough view of an already down telephone line. Don’t worry, it gets better.
While looking for out exit to drive in to Columbus the truck starts to shake. I moved over a lane and slowed down. Still thumping… The tread was falling off of my back tire. Lovely. Coincidentally the spare tire for the truck was on the stock trailer. An hour plus away.
All I have to say at this time is thank goodness for my google maps app. I searched for a tire shop. After calling 3 places I found one who had the tire I needed.
The tire shop gave me the number to a tow company. It was a mere 60-90 minute wait. This may be a good time to note the air conditioner in our truck doesn’t work. Don’t fear the breeze from the traffic not moving over kept us cool. Puzzle however was sitting in a black truck cap. So we pulled her out to cool off.
Ninety minutes later our tow truck showed up. He was a nice man, who had an air conditioned tow truck. That was very appealing to the 3 of us by this point in time. He was tickled to be escorting his first ever bovine rider!
Once we arrived at the tire shop, they were more than accommodating. They bumped us up in line and showed us a nice shady spot where Puzzle could relax. This is where she let her little agvocate light shine. All, I mean every one, of the mechanics came out to see her! One asked for her picture, one thought she was a goat and they all were smitten with her. To the point they called the following morning to see how she was!
Siri, who had been gracious enough to direct us on our adventure, stopped smack in the middle of an intersection. Thankfully we saw a campus police cruiser. He was kind enough to make up for Siri’s short comings and we finally arrived.
After a 5 hour trek we made it. This trip should have taken us an hour and a half. Yes it was that fantastic.
Stay tuned for part 2 with the fun things that followed our arrival!