The dangers of cows and hardware disease


July 5, 2023

Hardware disease, which results from a cow's indiscriminate eating habits, was frequently seen when hay was baled with wire.

Any stray sharp metal, like a nail, could be involved. The hardware would fall into the reticulum, which is considered the second stomach. The cow's heart lies just on the other side of the diaphragm from the reticulum. Then, when the wire pierced the reticulum and the diaphragm, it would poke into the heart. This can cause acute discomfort and, rarely, rapid death. It's more like a slow death from an infection around the heart and chronic heart failure.

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