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Animal Antics


The skunk is back.  Yesterday was completely skunk free - no sightings and no smell.  This morning the barn reeked of skunky musk smell with an overprint of skunk spray smell.  Yuck.  So I turned on all the lights and cranked up the radio.  Hopefully the skunk will be on it's way when it realizes a dark quiet place is NOT available.  I haven't yet brought Sadie out to double check on the skunk.  She would probably try to dig her way through the hay to get to said skunk.  Unfortunately, we have so little hay left that she just might be able to get to the skunk.  I'm sure it would be ugly and I would be the one who would have to try to get the skunk smell off the dog.  For now I'll go with the lights and music.

We have one old cat named Keeper and two younger cats named Tilly and Cami.  The younger cats were not treated well by Keeper when they came and now that they are fully grown and Keeper is getting old, they do not treat her very well either.  Karma is a bitch.  I was looking out the window last week and saw Tilly poised at a gopher hole.  She was very patient and sat perfectly still watching and probably listening for the gopher to appear.  I guess she got tired of waiting because she stood up, stretched and pee'd into the hole.  Then carefully, as cats do, scraped some of the dirt over her wet spot and trotted off.

There have been some interesting happenings among veterinarians as regards parasites in small ruminents - goats in particular but also larger ruminents like llamas and alpacas.  Goat parasites seem to become resistant to wormers very quickly, more quickly than other animal parasites.  The current suggestion is to have fecal samples carefully tested at a lab rather than the quick scan under a microscope that most vets do in their offices.  We had the vet come out and take fecal samples from all my goats, llamas and alpacas and send them off to the lab for study.  We had a slight glitch in the process when the samples arrived too dry to test because of the horrible weather slowing down mail deliveries.  So the vet techs returned for new samples which made it to the lab quickly and I received the results this morning.  Three of the llamas, Smoky, Stash and Tucker were completely parasite free but all the other animals need to be treated.  Most had stomach worms and coccidia, one had a tapeworm, one had strongiles.  It's really interesting to note the type of parasites since that information was never available before.  Today I picked up wormer in both liquid and pellet versions.  I can easily treat the goats with the liquid wormer but not so much the lama and alpacas.  The pellets will go in their food and I'll keep them in their stalls till they finish it.  That's the plan.  Then we will retest next week and see how it's working.

Old horses have trouble eating dry food.  They don't have enough saliva to soften up hard grains and pellets and often also have difficulty with eating hay.  Many have lost enough teeth that chewing in general is difficult.  We started out wetting Eclipse's feed for those very issues and did the same to Jazz's food because it was easier that way.  Eclipse is gone now and we have been wetting Steele's food as well as Jazz's for a couple of years.  Suddenly last summer Jazz decided he didn't want to eat his food in water.  He needed it to be wet but he didn't like slurping it up out of his feed pan.  He started tipping his food out on the ground to eat.

I thought it was a passing fancy but here we are all these months later and he is still doing it.  By the time I get back to the gate he has dumped over his bucket and is eating off the ground.