The girls stayed with their grandparents/aunt and uncle, leaving Jake and I on our own this past Saturday. Jake and I went out alone that morning to check cows. We only took one 4wheeler for what should have been a quiet and uneventful check of the cows. We found one cow in the shrubs alone looking kind of sick, but left her and thought we would check on her later.
|Crime Scene - no other pictures taken.|
As we were leaving the pasture I told Jake that there was another cow alone under a group of trees near the road. He drove down closer and there was a smell of death. I had smelled this earlier, but tried to convince myself that it was stagnant water. But, we all know that there is no smell that can be compared to the smell of death. Jake and I walked up to this cow, where she was struggling to breathe. It is very difficult to see a living being of any kind struggling for breath. Jake said she smells like death. I said, no that is the one behind you. There we were next to the road with one dead cow, one struggling to take it's last breath and one on up the hill looking unhealthy. What do you do?
They have had problems with cows being shot along these roads before. This started to outrage Jake and I. A mother of a calf and a new calf growing in her uterus and now she is dead. Jake called the veterinarian, however we would have to wait until he could get his work done at the stock yard.
A few hours later the veterinarian showed up and Jake wanted a necropsy (animal autopsy) to rule out a gun shot and to see if we would need to some how protect the rest of the herd. The necropsy ruled out the gun shot. It is difficult to see a bullet hole from a 22 in the hide of the animal. Although my aggression toward this unknown shooter I had stereotyped in my head, had subsided, I was thinking I wish they had just been shot. Strange I know, but if they were shot then we would know the rest of the herd would be safe. (the likely hood of someone out on a joy ride shooting cows coming back is slim) Now the veterinarian took blood, urine, liver and lung samples. Everything looked normal except the lungs. They looked like they had been blown up with air. The preliminary without any test results is that these cows had fog fever.
Seems like a different kind of drought problem. We were very dry and then got some really great rain, bringing the pastures back to a green and growing stage.