Pemagatshel: On the late evening of April 10, the Dzongkhag Livestock Sector had to respond to an unknown caller. The caller voice was very feeble and she was trying to address her problem, however she was not able to do so. What was clear at the end of conversation was that she needed our help to treat her cow. As usual, our team rushed to the site hastily with the emergency medical kits through the bumpy and dusty road at the maximum speed.
Upon reaching the site, it was an emotional moment to see whole family in tears. Their pricy milking cow was lying and awaiting for death. We consoled them that the team would do the best to save her life which was producing 10 litres of milk and was a sole bread earner for the family. For a poor farmer, a cow that produces 10 litres of milk is a big asset to them and the wellbeing of the family was in the jeopardy.
After a quick prognosis, it was tentatively diagnosed as acidosis, as the cow was feed with the left over torma (religious snacks made of flour). The cow exhibited clinical signs like rapid respiration of 88/min, heartbeat of 135bpm and profuse diarrhea with undigested kernels of feed. Poor rumen fill and arched back was also noticed on observation.
Acidosis is a nutritional disorder caused by rapid production and absorption of acids from the rumen after consumption of excessive starch or sugar in short time. The gram positive bacteria such as Streptococcus bovis increases markedly and produces large quantities of lactic acids and impairs rumen motility. The cow was treated with 5% sodium bicarbonate electrolyte solution regime I/V (5 L/450 kg) and 3% of sodium bicarbonate in saline IV (60L/400 kg by weight) was also provided after 6 hours. Magnesium Hydroxide (500 gm) in luke warm water was administered. Procaine penicillin I/M for 5 days was also provided to minimise the development of bacterial ruminates and liver abscesses.
After the medication, the team returned back to the station late night however, we ask them to inform about the cow status. The next morning, the same woman happily informed us that her cow has recovered. Suddenly, we could realise the tears transformed to smiles. The Sector did it again with a strong message, “No more tormas for the last bread (pricy cow) anymore” and “stitch on time can also saves bread for farmers”. Let us continue to contribute as much as we can for the rural livelihood enhancement.
Contributed by Yonten Dorji, Dzongkhag Veterinary Hospital, Pemagatshel
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