Thousands of dead South Dakota cattle were likely hypothermic
Posted on: Nov 08, 2013
Many of the thousands of cattle killed in the October 4 blizzard in southwestern South Dakota died of hypothermia, according to state veterinarian Dr. Dustin Oedekoven. Some thought they must have drown, but the relentless rain and snow that buffeted cattle for 12 to 18 hours caused their cardiovascular systems to work overtime. Pulmonary edema, or the filling of the lungs with body fluid, likely caused deaths of many of the cattle.
Other cattle likely got trampled as they fled the winds seeking shelter. Still others walked over steep banks or fell into waterways. Officials estimate many more months will be required until the final death toll is tallied.
The Black Hills Community Foundation has established the Rancher Relief Fund that has received more than $700,000 in donations to help affected ranchers recover from the storm. Fundraising efforts are continuing throughout the state.
For more information, see the Billings Gazette’s article here: http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/vet-stress-caused-many-cattle-deaths-in-blizzard/article_3bb523c0-30f8-56a1-bbd4-929ad1bdb5d3.html