Drenching is one of the most beneficial ways to increase treatment success rates.1
Fluid therapy is a proven and effective treatment for cows that are off feed, providing a convenient method for administering essential nutrients.
Using an esophageal tube and pump, one person can drench a cow quite simply using proper drenching technique.
Ready… Set… Drench! Our simple, step-by-step video demonstrates proper drenching technique.
Dr. Joe Bender of Agriculture Veterinary Associates provides a thorough demonstration of how to properly drench cows, including how to:
- Prepare the drench mix
- Restrain the cow to reduce her ability to swing her head
- Insert the speculum and hose through the esophagus and into the rumen
- Slowly pump the drench solution
Be sure to consult with your veterinarian for any additional instruction and any questions you may still have about properly and safely drenching.
Don’t get impatient during pumping. The cow should be chewing on the tube when you pump.
- Pumping too fast causes reflux into the esophagus and throat.
- Never hook up the drench system to a motorized pump; it will exceed the cow’s ability to get the liquid into the rumen and may drown the cow.
Check placement of the tube before pumping. You will usually feel two hard objects in the throat rather than one.
- This is a sign that you have succeeded in placing the tube into the esophagus.
- Feeling just one hard object means your tube is inside the trachea.
Cows can be drenched 1 to 2 times per day.
- Limit drenching to 2 times per 24 hours.
1. Currin J. Fluid therapy for sick cows: To pump or not to pump. Virginia Tech. Dairy Pipeline. October 2007. Available at: http://www.sites.ext.vt.edu/newsletter-archive/dairy/2007-10/FluidTherapy.html. Accessed: 7/19/17.
2. Goff J. Dr. Jesse Goff discusses “pumping” or “drenching” cows. Dairy Herd Management. June 2015. Available at: http://www.dairyherd.com/nutritionist-e-network/case-study/dr-jesse-goff-discusses-%E2%80%98pumping%E2%80%99-or-%E2%80%98drenching%E2%80%99-cows. Accessed: 7/6/17.