There are many reasons for cattle to become recumbent. Once they are down for any reason they are highly susceptible to secondary damage and this damage can often be more important than the primary cause of their recumbency. This is particularly true for “downer” cows, as defined as bright and alert down cows that have been recumbent for more than one day. This webinar will cover the types, causes and importance of secondary damage in downer cows. There is a strong correlation between the quality of the nursing care provided to the down cow and the chance of secondary damage occurring. “Gold standard” nursing care will be described and its influence on secondary damage and outcome will be quantified. General treatment options for downer cows will be considered along with euthanasia triggers. The management of down cows is an important animal welfare issue for the individual animal but also for the diary industry in today’s climate of scrutiny of animal production systems by consumers. This webinar has a strong underlying welfare theme.