The Downer Cow. What is a Downer Cow?

The body sling fully supports the animal.
The body sling fully supports the animal.

The Downer Cow syndrome occurs primarily in the days just before and after calving. Cows typically become recumbent because of metabolic disorders, infections such as E Coli, mastitis, milk fever or simple injury. Those that fail to respond to treatment and don’t get up are then classified as downer cows. Some causes of the Downer Cow are:

  • Trauma due to calving difficulties and over robust use of calving aids – ruptured womb, internal haemorrhage, nerve damage due to oversized calfs, fractured pelvis or dislocated sacrum.
  • Injuries following calving difficulty – fractured femur, dislocated hip, ruptured muscles (cow doing the splits), nerve paralysis, pressure damage (muscles injured due to cow being left in the same position for more than six hours).
  • Toxaemia – mastitis, womb infection, wire being eaten (causing penetration of the stomach and peritonitis)
  • Metabolic disorders – milk fever-tetany, ketosis/fat cow syndrome, acidosis (bloat)
Rear Body Strap and Leg Straps correctly fitted with the Spancel Strap (in red) linking both Leg Straps.
Rear Body Strap and Leg Straps correctly fitted with the Spancel Strap (in red) linking both Leg Straps.

The Cow Cradle

The Cow Cradle can often help with Cows with illness and it can be used to avoid Downer Cows by helping sick or downed cows to rise and exercise, many farmers and veterinarians list the cure for many cases of Downer cow to be “Mechanically raising the cow..” With the Cow Cradle this is a simple procedure that could save the animals life.