What to do if the cow is weak and does not stand up, what is the reason and how to raise it

What to do if the cow is weak and does not stand up, what is the reason and how to raise it

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Cows spend most of their lives on pastures for walking. In a normal healthy state, individuals walk, lie down and stand up freely. With various pathological processes, cows fall to their feet. The danger of the situation is that with prolonged lying, a number of internal changes occur: the work of the liver, kidneys, and lungs is disrupted. If the animal is not lifted, there is a risk of death. What if the cow does not stand up and is weak?

Main reasons

The anatomy of cattle is arranged in such a way that when the individual is raised, the hind limbs are first straightened, and then the front limbs. If the animal cannot lift the back of its body, it remains lying. Paralysis in cows most often develops after childbirth due to compression of the gluteal nerve or nerve endings of the sacral region.

Postpartum paresis is also explained by the unbalanced diet of the cow during pregnancy (a sharp loss of calcium after childbirth). Other reasons are a narrow pelvic region or its abnormal structure. It is not only the cows that have given birth that fall to their feet. The problem affects young animals, bulls, and old individuals. A number of factors lead to this:

  1. Injuries, dislocations, sprains. The animal should be carefully examined for damage. It can be swelling, swelling, redness, unnatural position of the limb.
  2. Arthritis of the joints. The cow does not stand up due to acute pain. Signs of pathology - a joint hot to the touch, swelling, a change in the shape of the joint. The overall temperature may rise.
  3. Hoof problems - a stuck stone, inflammation, or infection.
  4. A sharp transfer of young animals from a dairy diet to coarse food. The stomach is clogged with grain, earth. This causes severe pain and the desire to lie down constantly.

Other less common reasons for a cow to fall and become weak is micronutrient deficiencies. In winter, individuals lie down due to insufficient activity. A similar problem is characteristic of crowded stalls: the animals simply have nowhere to walk. Falling to the feet is also caused by birth defects in the structure of the joints.

White muscle disease

This is muscular dystrophy, in the risk group there are young animals from the first days to 3 months of life. It develops due to the absence of selenium and vitamin E in the body. The disease is characterized by a violation of metabolic processes and the impossibility of muscle contraction. The danger of pathology is that it is incurable. Recovered individuals develop slowly, most often they are discarded and sent to slaughter. Juveniles wither slowly, owners often do not see clear signs of indisposition of individuals. The problem is usually only noticed when the calf falls to its feet. There is no point in raising the animal. The only solution is slaughter.

Lack of phosphorus

Phosphorus deficiency leads to serious metabolic changes in the animal's body. This leads to a slowdown or complete cessation of growth. Bone mineralization is impaired, joints increase in size.

Expert opinion

Zarechny Maxim Valerievich

Agronomist with 12 years of experience. Our best summer cottage expert.

A characteristic feature is a change in posture: the cow crosses the forelimbs. Individuals can resist, but this causes them discomfort, so they fall on their hind legs.


The second name is acetonemia, or protein poisoning. The disease causes an excess of ketones in the body.

Ketone bodies appear due to excessive consumption of protein feed:

  1. The absorption of ammonia is slowed down.
  2. Acids are formed on its basis.
  3. Acids are converted to acetone and beta-hydroxy-butyric substance, which contaminates the body.

Symptoms are mild - intoxication and appetite perversion. In a severe form, oppression begins, it becomes difficult for the cow to stand. There is no reliable support when lifting from a prone position. The animals did not give up their legs, it is just hard for them to lean on them.


These are abnormalities in the structure of bones that appear in growing young animals. The disease is accompanied by degenerative processes in bone tissues: ossification, growth, softening, atrophy. The reason is a lack of movement and vitamins of group D.

The cow fell to its feet with rickets - a frequent occurrence, since the crooked and thin limbs do not support even a small weight.


A dangerous chronic disease in which bones soften. This is rickets for adults. Highly productive, pregnant and lactating cows are especially susceptible to pathology. The reason is the lack of minerals (calcium, vitamins, phosphorus), insufficient walking.

Osteomalacia occurs in 3 stages:

  1. Appetite disappears, taste preferences are distorted, digestion is upset.
  2. Mobility problems appear: any movement causes pain, joints snap, vertebrae dissolve.
  3. Bones become flexible and soft, noticeably curved, the risk of fractures and paralysis is high. The cow is emaciated and lies down.

The disease develops slowly, becoming chronic over the years. Osteomalacia is not treatable. Progression can only be slowed down. Therefore, it makes no sense to raise old individuals to their feet. If the cow is over 8 years old and has been diagnosed with this disease, it is better to put it in for meat.

How to help a cow to her feet

The cow should be able to stand on her own after the intravenous injection. If the fall to your feet is caused by metabolic disturbances, some farmers use the "hanging" method. This is a controversial, subjective and temporary technology: the cloth is fixed between the front and hind limbs of the cow, the animal is lifted with a winch. Such a suspension is allowed to be used for no more than 2 days. If the individual does not start to stand on its own, it will have to be slaughtered. To raise a cow after calving, the following technology is used:

  1. Remove the newborn calf.
  2. Methods - a sharp sound (if the reason for the fall was postpartum shock), suffocation for 10-15 seconds.
  3. When the cow starts to stand up, it is important to support her from the tail and head.

Drug therapy

The therapeutic scheme depends on the cause of the pathological phenomenon. In any case, the cow must be isolated from the herd for the duration of the treatment. It is important to ensure constant access to clean water, to provide balanced feed, and to add calcium and phosphorus salts. Apply vitamin complexes, fish oil, glucose. Be sure to regularly consult with your veterinarian about the condition of the animal.

Cause / diseaseTherapeutic tactics
White muscle diseaseThe basis is the use of selenium preparations. Used "E-selenium", "Hydropeptone". To maintain cardiac function, give glycosides (caffeine, "Sulfocamphocaine").
Phosphorus deficiencyMedicines - "Urzolit", calcium hypophosphite, injections of vitamins D. Oral intake of calcium phosphate, disodium phosphate.
KetosisHigh glucose solutions. Injections every 12 hours.
RicketsDrugs for treatment - "Tetravit", "Trivit", "Trivitamin".
OsteomalaciaCalcium preparation borgluconate. Administered subcutaneously or intravenously. A total of 2 reps are needed.
Postpartum paresisSubcutaneous injection of caffeine with magnesium sulfate solution. Intravenous injections of calcium chloride and glucose.

Veterinarian advice

Experts advise to carefully monitor the condition of the animal, periodically examine it. Check the condition of the joints and hooves once every 4-6 months. To prevent unpleasant complications, calves should be gradually and carefully transferred from milk to feed, alternate and dilute the diet. It is imperative to give cows vitamin formulations to prevent immune decline.

If the cow falls to its feet, but there is still hope of curing the animal, massage should be done daily. Rub the limbs and sacrum to normalize blood circulation. A lying cow should be turned over 2 times a day to avoid pressure ulcers. Also, rub the body with a straw tourniquet daily to prevent tissue necrosis.

If the cow is weak and falls to its feet, this indicates a serious health problem. There are several reasons for this phenomenon: from inflammation of the hooves and joints to a lack of minerals and a number of diseases. Females most often fall to their feet after calving. The problem requires an urgent solution: lifting, rubbing and massage, medication. If the cow does not get up for a long time, she is sent to slaughter.

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