Another cow I remember was a young Guernsey heifer by the name of "Charmain," of which Bess and I were very fond. So we were quite upset when we found her lying down when we went into the field for the cows. After much prodding, I got her up and down to the barn, but her left side was badly bloated.
We hunted through the the animal doctor book and diagnosed it as Hoven or Tympanitis, and the only remedy was to puncture the third stomach. (In case you don't know, a cow has four stomachs.) Then insert a hollow tube to let the gas out.
Father wouldn't call the veterinarian, however, until he had exhausted home remedies. In those days of slow travel, it was very easy to hail anyone going by the road, so every neighbor who passed was called in for consultation, but each had a different cure.
In rapid succession, Charmain was dosed with linseed oil, butter aloes, a pint of melted lard, a cup of salt dissolved in water, but nothing did any good. Then Rube Silvis came to help with the harvest and said she had lost her cud, and one should be manufactured of tansy, if we had any. We didn't. Mr. Silvis said, "Well, we have lots up around our house. If you go up there, my woman will pick you some." That didn't work either.
Then John Anderson came along. He commuted from West Lebanon to Girty, a distance of five miles, to work a piece of land he had there. His horse was a very slow walker and this consumed a good part of the day, but then John didn't want to work very much anyway. He said, "She had hollow horn or wolf in the tail."
She had been de-horned as a calf, so he could do nothing about that, but he took his pen knife and slit her tail and rubbed salt in the cut. About this time, Bess and I hit the ceiling, so we called a veterinarian at Elderton by the name of Anthony Montgomery. He was at the Kittanning Fair, but came the next morning.
It was soon evident that he had celebrated at the Fair, not wisely but too well, but he said she had hoven and proceeded to operate. He said, "There is really nothing to it. My brother and I operated on an old bull for the same thing when we were boys. Of course, we didn't have the proper tools, but we sharpened up a wire."