So, we load them up and bring them back to the farm where we spend hours oohing and ahhing over them while they gorge themselves on hay and water. At about 8:30 we notice that one of the cows is not really eating and keeps laying down and looking uncomfortable. While the other two are happily munching away in the stall. We start to get really nervous when she starts coughing and gets an extremely boogery nose. So we call a vet and they tell us to come pick up some shots and she should be fine in the morning, they really don't want to bother coming out to check on a cow. So at 11:30 Aby and I drive almost all the way to Portola and pick up cow shots. Which we decide to give her in the morning as she is resting peacefully when we get back.
Unfortunately, the next morning she is still feeling badly. We give her the shots and then leave to run to the store to pick up some electrolytes. When we get back she is standing in the yard with her tongue out, rhythmically shaking her head. It appears that she cannot stop. We call the vet again- they again say that its just a cow and they will come out in the evening if it's still a problem. The shaking gets worse and she starts foaming at the mouth. We call every vet in town. No one will help. We finally find a lady and she rushes out to see what's going on. She is NO help at all. She doesn't know what's wrong, she has never heard of the medication the the other vet gave us. She gives her a shot of Vit. C and pumps her full of water and leaves. So now we are alone with a cow that is convulsing so hard she can no longer stand up. We are black and blue and covered in blood from trying to help her but a 300 pound cow that can't control her muscles is helpless. Aby gets back on the phone to try and find another vet to come help us. The convulsions get worse. I am on the ground holding onto the cows head and telling her it will be all right. All of its muscles are going at once and it is running except it is on its side. We are terrified. I am yelling to find someone to come put the cow down. Aby is frantically searching for help. At 3:00 the cow dies. Finally. At 3:15 the best vet in town gets our message and calls us back. We make him come out and check the other cows- who have started coughing. Long, long story short. Aby takes the dead cow back out to the vet in Portola, in the back of the truck. Due to a small misunderstanding they perform the autopsy in the back of the truck . We end up shelling out 500.00 for them to get it out of the truck and dispose of it, you know, not that they have cut it open.
We spend days sitting with the other two cows. Of course, a storm blows in and it snows. We get heat lamps and hang them in the stall. We make the vet come back to give them a second round of antibiotics for their coughs. He assures us that they will be fine.
We call the hauler, he says they were fine on the truck. We say they were not. He says he offered us insurance, we say he did not. We send him the autopsy reports that say she has had pneumonia for 6 days and that it moved into her brain. He refunds us the money for just the dead cow. The previous owner of the cow is devastated.
And we, we learned some very hard lessons this week.