July 16, 2014

Doctoring Cattle with Pink Eye

Pink eye in cattle is very contagious, just like it is for people. Except that cows aren't intelligent enough to stay away from each other and not pass it around. If it's not taken care of quickly, it soon affects the entire herd. Saturday, when we were moving the cattle as a family, we spotted a handful of cows and one calf with pink eye. So we pulled out our ropes and went to work while the little kids watched... with full attention...ya right. We turned a movie on in the truck for the little kids while we taught the big kids how to doctor. 

Signs of pink eye: Squinting eyes, liquid coming from eyes. If you don't catch it soon enough, the eye will get a white spot and the cow could go blind in that eye.

You'll have to use your imagination for this one because I didn't get any pictures. There's not much to talk about anyways, except that I nearly got thrown off my horse. Daniel had roped the cow's head, I had roped the heels. Anyone that's been to a rodeo knows the routine. Catch the head, catch the heels, turn your horses to face the animal, back your horses up so as to stretch the animal, immobilizing it. During a rodeo that's the end. When doctoring that's the middle. Now the "header" get's off his horse and ties the rope to the saddle so his horse and the "heeler" are holding the animal. Meanwhile the cowboy on the ground does the doctoring. For pink eye you do a few things. 1. Squirt pink eye treatment in both eyes. 2. Cover the infected eye with a patch. (I haven't seen anyone cover both eyes if both are infected.) 3. Give it a shot of anti- inflammatory. Then the cowboy on the ground loosens the ropes and hops back on his horse. Done. Right? Wrong. Sometimes things don't go as planned. I really wasn't expecting it, and I was trying to keep the rope tight while my husband did the doctoring. Suddenly my horse exploded. I mean he reared up, and shot up in the air with all four feet. He's never done THAT before, so I was a little shocked, but not unseated! I stayed on and rode that sucker! Much to the dismay of my back... but I think it would've been worse had I fallen off. I popped my dallie, (let go of my rope), and he quit. The kids say the rope got between his legs, but I thought it was tight the whole time. Kinda took the breath out of me for a bit, but I was still alive! Never seen my kids and husband so concerned for my safety... kinda felt good... almost worth it... I'm sure this is probably what I looked like:

HA HA ! Goodnight!
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