This is the blog for our little farm in Skagit county. Here we have Shetland sheep and Nigerian Dwarf goats. In addition we have donkeys, cattle, pigs, chickens, geese, and peafowl. The blog describes the weekly activities here.
Yesterday morning I found my doe Dot wobbly and stiff. She had been nursing her 2 kids and getting a little thin, but otherwise doing well. I moved her to a separate pen and gave her hay and grain which she ate well. I have her Vitamin E and selenium gel, Nutri-Drench, and a thiamine shot. After that she seemed to be doing better- standing better and eating well so I went to an appointment I had and when I came back she was much worse. She couldn’t stand or even hold her neck well. She was quite stiff and her eyes were dilated and wiggling. I gave her more Nutri-Drench and another thiamine shot and called the vet. The first appointment was 2.5 hours later so I worked on loading her into the kennel and into the camper. van. Some a..hole had cut the brake-line on our truck so it’s not available. I also loaded her kid Oz into the van to get his horned re-burned as the first time didn’t take. Before I left I had taken her temperature and it was 1 degree too high. I started reading on the internet that Listerosis (an infection) can cause meningitis and can act like a vitamin deficiency (which I had thought she had). I had want to give her a penicillin shot, but it was locked in the refrigerator in the garage and Tom had change the lock because of our recent security issues so I couldn’t get to it. So we trundled off to the vet, and he heard a loud heart murmur. He said it seemed like a thiamine deficiency but since she wasn’t getting better he was more worried it was meningitis and perhaps an endocarditis (a heart valve infection) and that her prognosis was guarded (doctor talk for SOL). He decided to keep her there overnight on IV fluids and antibiotics. Her blood tests came back consistent with infection, but we’re not sure which one yet. She seemed better today according to the vet- even to the point were she was standing up but then she had a seizure like episode. We’re going to keep her one more night and is she doesn’t get better we’ll have her euthanized.
Dot is my first Nigerian Dwarf goat. She’s a very nice, easy going goat who has produced great kids and wonderful milk for me. She’s calm- almost regal and I want to do right by her. Now of course I’m not exactly sure what that is, but we’ll see what the night brings. I did pet her and kiss her at the vet’s- I’m not sure how aware she was but she did call out to her kid so hopefully she knew I was there and trying to help her.
The other issue is now I have two kids without a mother. Even if she lives she won’t be able to nurse them. I tried to give them bottles of milk and then I tried a pan to no avail. They are almost 2 months old and are eating hay and grain so I hope they’ll be OK. It’s just so sad for them. Last night the other kids were cuddled with their mothers and they were cuddled with each other alone. At least they have each other though. Thankfully the vet feels this isn’t contagious, and I shouldn’t have to worry about the other does and kids.
Then this afternoon I came home from a hard day of work and found a little black ewe lamb with white spots. She’s so precious! She came from a first time mother Mona who I wasn’t even sure was pregnant since she wasn’t nearly as wide as the other ewes. She’s taking really good care of her first lamb.
I guess this animal raising thing is all about life and death. It’s just the death part is so hard to get used to.