Daisy Lives On!

I prayed all night. Brenna prayed all night. Our vet prayed all night. I got up early and pulled on jeans in the dark. Nurse the baby, pray the morning prayers. “I will not forsake you,” God said. “Does that mean you’ll carry me through this loss or that you have a miracle on hand?” I asked. As soon as it was light enough to see, I started walking to her favorite tree in the farthest pasture. Hail Mary’s fell from my lips like rain. I noticed the grass was dry. “At least I won’t have wet feet today,” I thought, and thanked God for that small mercy. I passed the other cows, who thought it must be milking time and were heading for the barn. And then I saw Daisy, still resting in the grass, but watching me. Thank you, Lord! She’s still alive! She rose as I approached, without coaxing, and her breathing seemed the tiniest bit easier. I patted her down and she felt just a little less gassy. Maybe, just maybe, I thought, we’re going to make it.

We are really asking for a miracle here. She is diagnosed with probable Black Leg Disease, which is almost always fatal in under 24 hours. Usually a calf disease, our vets have been seeing it lately in older cows. They have never been able to save a Black Leg case. We’re aiming to make Daisy their first, so keep praying with us, please!

8 Comment

  1. Dear Jennie, I know exactly what you are going through!! I went through something similar with my cow Rosey. Unfortunately after a week of trying EVERYTHING, she didn’t make it. I will be praying for a different outcome for you!! Praying for a miracle. I wish I lived closer to come and help you or bring a meal or something. I know how all consuming it is. You have my prayers, keep us posted. I have never heard of Black Leg.

    1. It’s a bacteria in the tetanus family. It enters through a wound, and survives in the ground for something like 20 years. Usually, it’s contracted by calves, because they are smaller and weaker, I guess, but our veterinarians say they’ve seen two cases in adult cattle in the past few months, which is unheard of for them. By the time you notice they’re sick, it’s too late. In our case, we might have gotten a head start on it; I thought Daisy had a respiratory infection from being prone on Sunday, so we started her on antibiotics on Wednesday. We noticed the gassy lump on her back on Thursday, but didn’t know what it was, and gave her more antibiotics on Saturday, because her breathing was still shallow and ragged. Yesterday, we noticed that she seemed to be retaining fluid, which turned out to be gas under her skin. When the vet came Sunday morning to examine her, she said the lump on her back was also gas, so we dosed her again with more antibiotics. She’s very alert and healthy looking, aside from the bloat and difficulty breathing, so we’re hopeful that the antibiotics will work. She’ll be on twice-a-day penicillin injections for a while, till she’s better or we lose her.

      Because it seemed so unlikely to come down with both milk fever and black leg at the same time, they’ve been calling around to other vets and dairy farmers, hoping it’s something they haven’t thought of, but no dice. Everybody hears the symptoms and replies immediately, “Black leg.”

      This is really going to be a miracle if she makes it, and we’ll do our part to make it happen!

  2. Perhaps with All the prayers and love going to you and Daisy and your head start on treatment – even though it was not for black leg disease – she will continue to be with you. A little better each day is already a miracle.
    Love you and I am with you in spirit if not in body – always.

  3. Beckie R. says:

    I’m still sending out my positive thoughts and hoping for all of you that Daisy makes it. Keep your hopes up and know that we’re thinking of both Daisy AND you.


  4. I am glad Daisy had an overnight miracle. Praying for an all-day miracle. Will her baby survive? Do you feed him milk from the other cows? Is there any natural remedy you can use while the drugs do their thing? Sorry. Lots of questions. Don’t feel obligated to answer. Thinking of you.

  5. Just read this in the Merck vet manual: “Outbreaks of blackleg have occurred in cattle on farms in which recent excavations have occurred or after flooding”

    Wondering if your sinkholes have brought up a super bug from the deep? Scary. And sheep can get it, too? Oh Jennie, praying for you.

    1. A friend was digging out some compost in the area she went down in, and she had injured her udder at the same time, so I suspect that’s shat happened. We’ll immunize all the rest of our animals in the next couple of weeks. You know, when I can breathe again.

      1. Did you lose the old girl? 🙁

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