Why did this cow die?

2ManyGuns

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What did you feed her? Sometimes if hay is rolled too early you can get some fungi, I seem to remember that happening to a friends livestock. Even feed (hay) with high nitrate concentrations can lead to death.
 

TexMex247

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If you looked into her mouth you may find she has little or no teeth left. Sometimes a cow can look perfectly normal up until their end. They go downhill fast when their teeth go. Another and even more likely cause is poisoning through whatever she may have ate.

I've seen a cow die within hours of eating Johnson grass. It's highly toxic to them but they will go after it sometimes. I would poke around their grazing areas and make sure there aren't any big patches of it around. Golden rod will eventually give them the trembles and kill them too.
 

TX OMFS

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She sounds like she was in poor shape to start. It may have nothing to do with food or feed at all. She may have had cancer or any number of other diseases, and not necessarily related to her being thin.

What did you do with the carcass?
 

ronbwolf

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Feb 3, 2016
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Well, you could have her examined by a vet, he may offer an opinion, or you could pay for a necropsy to determine. Other than that, I'll go with alien abduction and abuse!

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F350-6

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I've seen a cow die within hours of eating Johnson grass. It's highly toxic to them but they will go after it sometimes. ....
Johnson grass CAN be highly toxic during certain conditions. Usually drought stressed and fertilized too much causing prussic acid poisoning. Sorghum and Sudan are the same (same family), but the drying of hay will 99% of the time lower it to a safe level, so it's only the stuff currently growing in the fields that are a concern.

Other weeds are a possibility too. The key would be to monitor the other cows closely and see if any of the others develop symptoms. Otherwise a necropsy and lab tests is the only way to get all the answers.
 

sobi1998

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Mar 18, 2016
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I forgot to include the picture of her sitting several hours before I found her

I never got a look at her poop or teeth. All I know is that they were “dewormed” before arrival.

I drug her out to a far pasture and closed the gate to it. Cows can’t access her body

The vomit was very watery consistency and of course green. No blood in it

I’m new to owning cattle. I’ll keep that penicillin comment in mind and do some research on that


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TX OMFS

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This wasn't a bad meal or two. She looks like she has a chronic illness or was malnourished by the last owner.
 

Lonesome Dove

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No need to let them suffer. When found in bad shape just do as you did. I wanted to put one down on a farm I hunt and the owner got mad. It laid there for two days after a worker gave it a shot of something. The third day it was dead and the yotes had already started their feast. They actually may have gotten her the night before. He questioned me about using my assistance if ever needed in the future.
 

Glenn B

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So, allow me to ask:

Are you saying she looked like this when you bought her or that she got like that after you bought her:
Keep in mind this cow is *skinny*, hips, ribs and eye sockets all showing under skin.
If she looked like that when you bought her, well - my guess is she was already on her way out.

In my limited experience, with farm animals - on my uncle's farm (both for years before & after he purchased the farm) - it sounds a lot like either a parasite infestation or possibly Brucellosis. I suppose it also could be a lot of other things, it would need a necropsy to determine what she had and I strongly recommend such in the event that it might be a disease transmittable to humans.

The two old ladies, who owned the farm that became my uncle's farm before my uncle bought it, had a small herd of milk cows. I recall one of them, much as you described and it was diagnosed with a late stage of Brucellosis and it had to be euthanized. Others of their small herd were found to be healthy; cows can often get it and recover but not all recover. Of course it could also be something else and as I said it is worth getting a necropsy to assure it is not something you could have picked up from handling her.
 
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