Saturday, February 9, 2013

Goats in the Garage

I wish my animals could just always be healthy and happy. But alas, that doesn't happen. Dym (our nubian senior doe) went off of her food Friday morning which is never a good sign. She does this once or twice a year and I can usually nurse her back. In the past it's generally been warm outside when she does this. This time round it's blustery, raining and 40 degrees (I'm thankful it's not 20 degrees out). I took her into the shop, got the two space heaters going and tried to get her to eat. She was shivering and her body temperature was a low 98 degrees (normal is 102-103 degrees). Once she warmed up a bit she got hungry and ate some alfalfa pellets and carrots. The sun came out Friday and she even grazed a bit in the back yard. I dosed her with some MAGIC (molasses, corn oil and corn syrup), oral B-12 paste, probiotic paste and put a fleece jacket on her. That usually brings her back from past experience.

 Then last night she got cold again, but was still active but not eating this morning. Of course the weather went to crap today too. Cold rain and heavy winds just didn't help. She seemed to have an appetite but would eat a bit and shake her head violently. She would nibble at hay one moment then go stand painfully in the corner shivering the next. I was stumped so I called the vet. The nearby town just recently got a set of new vets. One does horses and the other ruminant animals. He showed up, took her temperature, gave her a shot of B-12, wormed her and took a fecal sample. He thought it looked parasitic to him. He left instructions to warm her up. So I walked back in the house and decided to brainstorm with the men on ways to warm a goat up. My idea was to bring her in the house. Seriously. It was the house or the shop (with space heaters), and the shop is currently housing Sean's corvette in various stages of restoration.  Although the thought of putting a 160 pound goat in with the 'vette crossed my mind.....I decided I cherish my marriage.  Sean didn't think bringing the non potty trained goat into the house was a good idea and mentioned the garage. Bingo! Why didn't I think of the garage?

So cars were moved out (hey, they needed a wash in the rain anyways) and goats were lured in. I had to bring her two grown kids with her for comfort and support....and the fact that they are inseparable. With the help of the space heaters it is currently 62 degrees. Dym is no longer cold. She's downright perky and eating(!). In fact she's eating everything. I sat out there with them this afternoon for a couple of hours and in that time they ate a flap off of a cardboard box, the sticker off of the trash can and a strip of tape from a box (that I had to fish out of it's mouth because you know it's plastic and all). Then I went inside and came out to find they had gone through the trash and recycling bins, eating only God knows what. They will stay in the garage tonight and I'll evaluate how she's doing in the morning. I'm hoping she's back to her perky self.

Begging for a fruit snack....which she got and LOVED.

The vet called this afternoon with the results of the fecal, she has barber pole worms. Nasty little red and white worms that suck the blood from the lining of the stomach. I'm hopeful the worming the vet did today will take care of her worm load. I intend to call on Monday and talk to him about reworming and/or doing another fecal soon to see if we got them all. The other goats will be getting treated this week as well. Miss Dym is 11 years old (we think), life span of a goat is 12-15 years. We are hopeful we'll have her around for a few more years.

This experience made me realize I have to take better preventative actions with my animals. My twice a year worming is apparently not effective. I've been interested in learning how to run my own fecal slides to look for worm eggs and I think it's time to gain that useful skill. I'll leave you with a parting shot of Heston "smiling" for the camera.

1 comment:

Granny Randi said...

Rich told me about Dym's adventures in the garage. Yours is funnier! Hope she's OK.