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Comments on the dilemma in the October issue: ‘Accounting for a lame cow’
  1. Siobhan Mullan
  1. University of Bristol


The dilemma in the October issue concerned a farm's account which, at year end, included bills that were higher that usual. The farmer's wife asked to speak to the senior partner and find a reason for this. It was found that one case stood out: treating a pedigree embryo donor cow that had gone lame. This had had numerous examinations and treatments, and the cow had been seen by three separate vets, but was still significantly lame at year end (IP, October 2015, vol 37, pp 485–487). Richard Brown suggested that the senior partner should get all the relevant information on this case. A possible way forward would be to transfer the cow to a centre of excellence, eg, a university veterinary school. If this was not possible, and the senior partner decided that the practice should treat the animal, the agreed treatment plan should be acceptable from a welfare perspective. Euthanasia was an option if a treatment plan could not be decided upon. If the problem could be solved amicably, an agreed protocol should be decided with the farmer for future cases, taking welfare into account. For example, the farmer should contact the vet if an animal had been treated for 48 hours with a poor response.

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