Bernadette is our only female goat. Based on her conformation and fleece, she is probably only half Angora goat but we love her. She has been mother to the entire herd since she arrived. She pushes all the boys around when they get rowdy or don't give her the deference she knows she deserves. She can push any and all of them off the top of the mountain because she knows that is her throne. She is the only goat we have with no horns but that has never slowed her down. The lady we got her from rescued her from the stock yards and had her horns removed to fit in with her dairy goat herd.
Bernie has been living in the barn for the last couple of days. She wasn't acting quite as rambunctious as she usually is when I brought the herd in to be treated for lice. Lice is an ongoing issue in this climate but usually a dose or two of ivermectin and they are right as rain. This time all the younger goats pranced happily out into the pasture when I was done but not Bernie. She sort of stood around. OK. That's a sign that there is something amiss.
Bernie seemed to get a bit less energetic the next day and last night wouldn't eat. Now there is a sign that sets up a huge red flag. This morning I took her in to the vet's. My wonderful vet, Dr. Micheal Ridlen, is concerned that it's neurologic. He gave me a list of ills that fall into that category, the most significant and recognizable to me being rabies. Well, we know she doesn't have rabies. All my animals get rabies shots every year. Unfortunately, there are no tests for any of these neurologic problems while the animal is still alive. Rabies testing along with several of the others can be done once the animal is dead. While there are no tests for these diseases, there are treatments. The plan, then, is to treat for several of the most likely problems and hope that she has one of them and will respond. This is where I would like to rant about the fact that no one in this country does any research on goats and sheep. If they did we would have more answers. But I digress....
So Bernie is spending the night at the vet's. Maybe two or three nights. She will stay there until she shows strong signs of bouncing back to her old self including eating well which as always been one of her best things. I checked in on her this afternoon and she looked much better than she had this morning. She was up and moving around although they hadn't yet gotten her to eat anything. We are hopeful she will be back with us soon.