Monday, June 14, 2010

Cows Get Cancer Too

This week the farm vet had to perform a surgery in order to remove cancerous growths around the eye of a cow. Unfortunately, he had removed one of this cow's eyes several years ago and the other eye now has a tumor. This is a procedure the farm vet will carry out as they arise every once and a while on farms. He uses a sedative and then a local anaesthetic to numb the area that will be worked on. The whole eye was removed last time due to a particularly aggressive "cancer-eye".

In this particular case we were able to save the remaining eye by surgically removing the growths and "freezing" the cancerous area with liquid nitrogen so the cow could keep her eye and vision!
Some cows are more susceptible to this type of cancer than others. It generally occurs more in older, white-faced cattle. The affects of the sun are more harsh on the cattle with light colored faces. It is beneficial for the farmers to have this procedure done to improve the health and well-being of the animals. This particular cow doubled her milk production after the farm vet removed the first cancerous eye! She was definitely feeling better! Hopefully the latest cryosurgery/freezing will prove to be successful and she will improve even more.


  1. Thanks for this. Very informative. Good pics, too.

  2. Thanks, Ron. It is sometimes difficult to explain these procedures without using too many medical terms! As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

  3. being an retired dairymen from CA , this is the worst procedure on an bovine , as we had it done twice . the stories i can tell from a 1,200 cow dairy !!great work .