Oh, friends. . .
I am so, so heartbroken today.
As many of you know. . .I bought Ellie with a 4 month old calf on her side in 2013. I milked her for over a year. . .and didn't take her to be bred back because her cycles were quiet making a day trip breeding impossible, and no one with a bull would have been able to just take over her milking twice a day, so I waited until I dried her off. No one AI'd around here, either. At the time.
She is an older cow (coming 9 at this point) and tends to be very fat on grass/hay only. Never gets grain. Being older, fat and dry a long time leads to cysts or just cycling issues in dairy cattle. That happened with her. She started acting bull like, staying in heat constantly. I took her to a bull last December, and she stayed there until March. I brought her home, had her palpated - she was said to be open.
I took her to another bull in April. She stayed there until July. I wanted to pull blood, but she isn't an easy cow to handle and we couldn't get it drawn. Palpating early on isn't always accurate, but I didn't know how inaccurate. So I hauled her to be palpated again. An easy blood draw is almost impossible on her because her neck is so fat. . .so it is drawn from her tail, which just doesn't work in a trailer. You need a chute. The vet said she was open. Again. I assume he was right. . .since I knew she had issues cycling and had proven open with the first bull after 3 months.
I've had her back here since July. I ordered a CIDR, GnRH and did the CIDR/GnRH/Lute/GNRH over the last week. I took her yesterday to the 3rd bull and a friend who had learned to AI. We put her in a chute, AI'd her (48 hours after lute was given) and turned her out with the bull. Vicki said when she was trying to AI, she felt something different than what she'd felt in the other cows she'd done. I really kind of thought. . .it is probably a cyst.
But it wasn't.
Today, she is aborting.
She was bred all along from the second bull, though the vet had checked her as open. The AI didn't not cause this. It was the injection of lute on Friday that caused the abortion (it is used in AI to bring them into heat, if they are open, but it opens the cervix, so if they are bred, they would abort).
I just do not have words for this today. I just do not. I'm so very heartbroken. So very.
So just always pull blood. Never depend on palpation.
Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens
- Proverbs 27:23-27