Tummy Troubles

“Tummy troubles” is not a phrase you want to think about several days before a big goal half marathon.

But in this case, the tummy troubles aren’t mine. (At least not yet!)

Meet 3487.


She’s just over 9 weeks old, and the past few weeks her stomach has been giving her some problems.

She’s kept eating, but her appetite for grain isn’t what it should be. She’s also had some other unpleasant symptoms…

I’m do see occasional baby calf diarrhea or bloated stomachs, but usually the calf feels better in a day or so after just one oral liquid treatment.

When our vet was here yesterday for herd pregnancy check, I asked him about what I might do for her.

He said what she probably needed was a thicker liquid to really coat her stomach well. Then she’d need something to help get the good bacteria going in her rumen (one of her four stomachs). If she had a temp, then he told me which antimicrobial he’d recommend.

Now we people have bacteria in our stomachs too, but cows, with their four different stomachs, require a more complex equilibrium to keep their digestive systems happy.

I’d tried a previous stomach remedy on her, but this suggestion sounded like the full arsenal back to health. Let’s hope so!


Basically pepto bismol; it’s great for coating the stomach.



And this big guy is a calf pill. Though I think it looks bigger than it is because my hands are tiny.

This particular pill is coated for ease of swallowing and contains vitamins, yeasts, and other stuff that’s supposed to help a young calf’s digestive system. (It’s probably not so different from some human vitamins ๐Ÿ™‚ .)

And yes, I used that long metal tube to give her the pill. If I just stuck the pill in her mouth she’d probably spit it back at me, so I put it carefully near the back of her throat with this.

I don’t need to give calf pills too often, and I was worried she wouldn’t be very happy. Luckily she didn’t mind and swallowed it right down.

She was running a higher temp than normal, so I also gave her the other meds the vet recommended.

I know antibiotics, antimicrobials, and other medicines given to animals can be controversial in the consumer world.

People worry about their use, and some people seek out organic meats and dairy so they can be assured these treatments aren’t used. And I think everyone should have the right to decide what foods are right for them and their families.

Now I truthfully am not sure which, if any, of the treatments I used would be approved in the organic world. Certainly NOT the antimicrobial. But my little calf is perking up, and I feel like I responsibly used the right medicines to help her back to good health.

I do know some medicines can be over used, and I know they’re not the answer to everything.

I’ll try to remember to keep you all updated on this gal’s progress!

Running Tales

Nerves? Yes.

Excitement? Yes.

Weather worries now that rain chance is up to 50%? Yes.

Will I pick light rain over wind? Yes.

I just finished my last run before race day, and aside from sleeping in and running shorter than planned it was good. Great, actually. Easy pace with last 1/4 mile fast.

I did 4 yesterday with about 2.5 at goal pace. It felt meh, but I’m going to blame that on the cold and wind. Sure hope I’m ready.

Earth Day Half Marathon here I come!

About Lisa

Hi, I'm Lisa. Dairy farmer's wife and Minnesotan to the core, I write about rural farm life, running down country roads, and the food, faith, and family that bind everything together. Follow along on my journey.
This entry was posted in Baby Calf Care, Running and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Tummy Troubles

  1. Rebecca says:

    Awww, poor little girl!

    I’m glad you said she was going to swallow it, at first glance I honestly thought it was a suppository! o_O

  2. Anna says:

    Must admit, I had the same thought as Rebecca when I saw that contraption! Phew!

    Anyway, I logged onto your blog today for one big reason! Good Luck!!! You’re ready! Enjoy your race!

  3. Good luck at your race! You’ll do great.

    It sounds like you did the right thing with your little calf – I only worry about drugs and hormones in meat when they’re used to cover up maltreatment.

  4. Brit says:

    Haha. When I saw the pill on the stick, I was not sure which end you were going to have to aim for with it. Relieved for both of you that it is an oral pill. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Good luck at your race!

  5. Terzah says:

    I hope your little one is doing better and I can’t wait to hear about the race. I always have at least one “meh” run before every race.

  6. Heidi Nicole says:

    GOOD LUCK with your race! You’ll do great, your training has been really solid! And yes, please get rain over wind – a little rain is bearable, a driving wind is just annoying!

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