Caring for Tequila

Happy Friday Picking Wildflowers! I hope the title for todays post made you click on the link because I have an important topic to talk about today! Tequila is a past show heifer of ours. She was given a name that complemented the dam’s (cow) name which was Vegas. Our show calves always had a name that went with a theme. We don’t name all of cows, just the ones we showed.

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A couple weeks ago we found Tequila limping on her front right foot. She would barely put any weight on it. Megan and I were doing chores that weekend while Dad was out of town so we decided to see how it looked when dad got back on Sunday. It is currently breeding season so we thought there was a chance she just twisted it or landed on it wrong when the bull mounted her but she continued to limp so we decided to get her in to take a look. We noticed that she had a cut on her pastern (right above the hoof). The cows are grazing in a pasture with a pond so she may have received the cut on a rock or next to a fence but either way we knew she was in pain so we needed to help.

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This is where I get passionate about this topic. At this point in the story, we know Tequila was in pain and we needed to do something. We called the vet and the next available non-emergency appointment was three days away. So in the meantime we got her in the chute and treated her with an Epsom salt foot bath to clean the wound. We also gave her a shot of Norocillin which is a generic brand of penicillin. Penicillin is an antibiotic. There is a fear with some consumers about the use of antibiotics. Personally I believe in providing the best care for our animals and if that means treating them with an antibiotic then that is what I will do. Every antibiotic has a withdrawal period meaning the farmer has to wait a required amount of time before taking the animal to market. Most farmers will only give antibiotics when necessary.

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I was at the grocery store and saw meat that had a label “never received antibiotics.” I would rather know the meat I purchased came from a healthy and happy animal that might have been given an antibiotic once in it’s life; than to know I was eating meat that came from an animal that “never received antibiotics” but could have been a sick animal that the farmer didn’t provide care to. Just a side note, it is against the law to feed pigs and poultry antibiotics so if you see a label on meat that says “antibiotic free” all pork and chicken products are tested for antibiotic residue and the label is a marketing tactic.  

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A cow weighs between 1200-1500 lbs and Tequila only received 1 ml per 100 lb of her body weight which was approximately 12 ml. The antibiotic is given for infection and pain. There is a withdrawal period of 14 days. We hope Tequila recovers from this infection but if we did have to take her to market we would wait 14 days. Just like people, antibiotics leave the cows system.

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Tequila’s recovery continues. The infection has healed a bit but we may need to have the vet take another look. She still won’t put any weight on it. We continue to do the Epsom salt bath. I hope this weekend she feels a bit better. Our ultimate goal is to make her comfortable while she heals! We have her in a pen with her calf, hay and water.

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