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A Tough Weekend for Goats


We go for weeks and weeks out here with no animal health issues.  Months even.  And then we have a nexus of problems.  Such was last weekend.  Bernadette, our only female goat, got sick at the end of last week and spent four days at the vet's.  After a short rebound during which she was getting IV fluids and a variety of medications and she seemed more alert, her symptoms returned and having tried everything we put her down on Sunday afternoon.  She was a very sweet old girl who had a practiced hand at tough love with all the male goats she lived with.  We will miss her.

Saturday afternoon I walked out to the barn and found Orion with a weird slice of skin in shreds on his side.  No blood but it looked like he was trying to shed his skin - which goats do not do.  Per the vet, it was probably a nick from shearing that sort of unzipped his skin.  It happened in a location where the skin is only about half thickness and is not uncommon although I'd never seen it before.  The vet checked it out, sprayed it with Alu-spray and has ordered penicillin for the next ten days or until the skin grows back.

I went out to feed on Sunday morning and found Shakespeare with a badly broken horn.  He had blood all down the side of his head and the horn was flopping.  He was not a happy goat.  I don't know if the broken horn hurt on it's own but having it wiggling around was obviously not comfortable.  The vet cut the horn off, cauterized the area, sprayed it with Alu-spray and ordered penicillin for the next three days.

It should not be a surprise that my walk out to the barn Monday morning was somewhat anxious.  Fortunately, all the mishaps seemed to have happened already.  All the four legged creatures were fine and dandy.  We had to pick up more syringes and needles and I'm getting very good at giving penicillin shots but so far everyone is stable. 

Shakespeare was a bit weak and fragile looking on Monday and Tuesday but has brightened up considerably yesterday and today.  Orion is convinced that I'm really trying to kill him with all the shots and it's getting harder to grab him.  No surprise there.