We lost Morha this past week to a combination of health issues that included her advanced age, a huge parasite load and pneumonia. What caught my attention first was her slowing down. She would drag into the feeding pen last and be slow to go out into the pasture. I wormed her immediately and kept her in the barn so I could watch her closely. She wasn't bouncing back like she should so we took her into the vet. By that time she was exhibiting bottle jaw which is a reaction to a heavy parasite load. The wormer I had used was not doing its job. She also had pneumonia. Well, crap.
Morha was given antibiotics for the pneumonia and wormed again with a different wormer. We pulled fecal samples from all the goats, llamas and the alpaca and discovered they all needed to be wormed. We had had a heavy rain a couple of weeks ago and that had activated all the parasites that were happily dormant in the grass/ground/fecal material. We test fecal samples regularly but it had been longer than normal since our last testing because I had been recovering from my broken leg.
Morha was a sweet girl. She was over 8 years old when she came here. She arrived with Millie, also 8 years old and Star who was 16 years old. Star lived for another year here which is truly amazing. These goats only live to be 12 or so. She was a cantankerous old witch who boldly pushed all the rambunctious dairy goats out of the way. I loved her. Millie has always been very meek but has made friends with Pi and two of them are inseparable. It's a good pairing.
Morha has been the face of our goats here at Sky Loom Weavers. That's her on the gift card image and for now at least she will stay there. It's a nice way to remember her.