Saturday, January 24, 2009


we have a severly ill goat right now. i'm amazed that she's still holding on and i'm not very optimistic that she'll pull through but i'm rooting for her.

it started out a few weeks ago, i noticed she was limping on her hind leg. i thought maybe our big wether had butted her and possibly hurt her. she is pregnant, due in a month or so (i have the date written down but i don't remember it) and i wondered if the weight of the baby was aggravating it.

she kept limping so i thought, well maybe her hooves need trimming, although it hadn't been more than 2 months, they do grow very quickly. so, i trimmed them. they didn't look bad at all.

then, on tuesday, she started falling down. uh oh. i thought selenium deficiency since we haven't offered as many loose minerals lately and sometimes pregnant does are susceptable to it, so i started giving her supplemental vit e/selenium combo.

two days later, her head starting bending to the side, into her belly. crap. listerosis (encephalitis). not good at all. luckily, i had purchased some penicillin a couple months back so we had some that's not expired. so, for the past 30 hours, i've been shooting her up every 6 hours with penicillin and vitamin b-complex. her head is no longer bent back but she is on her side and has been for about 24 hours. she thrashes her legs all around trying to move. she will eat grain if offered and rumen starter if offered and i've been giving her water with a drencher which she gladly drinks.

she bleats loudly. yesterday, i noticed she was blinded (another symptom of encephalitis) but today, she seems to be able to see again so that's encouraging but nothing else seems to be changing.

because it is so cold outside (and in the barn) and she keeps throwing the blanket off, we are bringing her inside to keep warm. it will definitely be nicer to not have to trek out there at midnight in 10 degree weather to give her shots to her! i'm supposed to keep up the dosage until all symptoms are gone for 24 hours. i have no idea how long it will take to pull her through, if indeed i've caught it in time.

it breaks my heart when one of my animals are like this. every time i go through something like this, i swear i am going to give them all up because i cannot bear the hardship of losing them. the past 10 months have been a nightmare with the goats. i have lost so many that i feel like i'm not worthy of owning such lovely creatures. will i ever be able to outsmart the diseases and beat them before they beat all the goats?!

it's times like this that i feel like a failure on the homestead.


Polar Bear and The Dodger said...

oh tansy, i am so sorry to hear that. it is so hard to see an animal sick and to be doing all you can and still not knowing if they will get better. i hope you can find some peace in knowing that you are caring for your animal with all that you know to do. thinking of you and your farm!

fullfreezer said...

Please don't be too hard on yourself. You are caring for your animals well. I will send healing thoughts her way in case it helps. Good Luck.

Gina said...

O, tansy, I'm just getting caught up today and read this post! I am so sorry (I hope she is pulling through). I know how you feel, but don't get down enough to quit. I, too, have had my difficulties in this area this year (lost 3/5 goats bought last summer). I don't know why it is so hard to raise livestock vs. pets, but hang in there. Each illness, you are more and more equipped to handle it (e.g. know the remedies, symptoms, and problems).

Stay strong and if you need a shoulder, give me a call!

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

You are doing the best that you can, this is the hard part of farming/homesteading. No book prepares us for the reality of losing an animal, and watching them suffer.

I think winter is the worst too, the farther we get in the year from the sun and green food, the more we(and animals) suffer.

Hang in there - and BTW your book is beautiful!

tansy said...

thank you everyone for your kind words. i really hate this part of raising animals.

Related Posts with Thumbnails