Securing Emergency Veterinarian Services In A Snowstorm: What To Do For Your Birthing Animals Until The Vet Arrives

Posted on: 5 February 2016

Barnyard animals that were bred last summer or early fall are going to begin dropping their babies soon. Most of these animals can deliver their babies on their own. However, cows and horses often need some extra help, and if you have an emergency situation with your cows or mares during a snowstorm, what are you going to do? It could take the veterinarian over an hour to get to you, depending on traffic, road conditions and the severity of the storm. Here is what you can do until the veterinarian arrives to help with the birth.

Gauge How Long Your Mare or Cow Has Been in Labor

It is important to know how long your mother animal has been in labor. If she has been pushing for hours, the baby may not survive. The vet will also want to know how long the mother has been trying to give birth on her own versus how long you have been trying to assist the mother with the delivery of her baby. If the mare or cow did not appear to be in labor when you fed her the night before but was definitely in labor when you made your morning rounds, you can guess that it was sometime during the night when her labor began. Counting forward to the moment when you phoned the emergency veterinarian, you will have the approximate number of hours that your mare or cow has been trying to unsuccessfully push the baby out.

Try to Help the Mother Relax

This is easier said than done when it comes to cows and mares. Their bodies want to push the calves or foals out and will continue to push at intervals, but a tired cow or mare is not going to be much help to the vet once the vet finally arrives. Mares can lay down for a bit in the hay, but cows cannot. If you know of something that can help your cow remain standing but relax just enough to conserve some of her energy (and every cow is different!) do that.

Provide Plenty of Fluids

Giving birth is exhausting to any maternal creature. Human mothers are hooked up to IVs of fluids in the hospital to help them through labor. Provide your mare or cow with plenty of water to help them keep up their strength, but refrain from feeding them which could cause some bloating and birthing issues. The vet may administer IV fluids to your mother animal upon arrival if the mother is too pooped to help with the process further, or if the vet also administers a light sedative and pain killer to help the mother with labor and delivery.