I went out to feed the animals this past Monday morning and found Star hunkered down in a stall. Star is very old but she always comes running when I ring the dinner bell so I was concerned. She was happy to eat her breakfast when I brought it to her but not really willing to get up and move around. I discovered some sort of wound on her underbelly. It was oozing a bit but not gushing blood. OK. Call the vet to let them know we were coming, bundle Star into the goat box and head out. I dropped her off and they said they would call me as soon as Dr. Ridlen had a chance to look at her.
Star was stabbed. Ouch! The puncture managed to miss her udder and her gut but left a sizable hole in her. First order of business - can she be saved? There was no way she would be able to survive surgery at her advanced age so she had to make it based on appropriate care - IV with antibiotics, something for pain, something for fever, probably some steroids in there someplace. I just knew in my heart of hearts she was never coming home. Turns out the vet didn't think so either initially. Happily we were both wrong.
I brought Star home on Wednesday with five shots of antibiotic to be administered once daily and a list of instructions. She is to stay in a stall by herself. No excitement or interaction with the other goats. Her wound needs to be flushed out daily. Call if there is any swelling or she appears more lethargic. Bring her back for a check up in a week.
I am thrilled with how well Star is doing! She is not at all happy with me turning the hose on her underbelly but she is eager to eat and is getting up and down well. She has always been a feisty old girl and she is doing herself proud.
Second order of business - who stabbed her? Dr. Ridlen said the weapon is 6 to 8 inches long and curved. Hunh. The only thing I know of that looks like that is one of Morha's horns. Goats do gore each other occasionally although they are not by nature particularly aggressive. Bold, perhaps but not aggressive. Morha, Millie and Star are family though which brings up all sorts of possibilities for angst. Nobody pisses you off quite so completely as your family. OK. I may be anthropomorphizing but it seems reasonable to me.
So Star came home on Wednesday and Morha went to the vet to get her horns clipped on Thursday. We cut the horns off beyond the living core so no blood or antibiotics. Just "clip" and "clip" and she has much shorter horns that have a blunt end rather than a stiletto point. She can still protect herself and inflict a significant bruise but is not likely to stab anyone.
I have been struggling with merging the girls with the boys and getting Morha's horns clipped was the tipping point for me. She came home from the vet's and got dumped out in the pasture with all the rest of the herd. By late yesterday afternoon I managed to convince Millie to go out there too. The girls spent last night in the barn - it was pouring down rain and they wouldn't join the boys in the shelter so it seemed reasonable. This morning they all went out together. I'll check on their status this evening and decide if they need to be in the barn but I suspect not. Based on the way Millie and Morha dashed up the pasture after the boys, I think they will be fine.
Full disclosure - I haven't exactly counted all the instances of goat craziness but #348 seemed pretty reasonable.