Hobby Farm Decisions

We are a small hobby farm. We recently almost lost our aging goat Alabu ( Allie for short). Allie is 12, old for a goat, but not unusually old for a well cared for pet goat.  A week ago I went out to the barn in the morning to find her laying on her side moaning and flailing and unable to get up.

Goats don’t do well laying on their side. Gas builds up in their rumen and it is very painful and fatal if left untreated. I ran to the house and told Dean I thought Allie was dying and he came out to assist me. Then we had a decision to make. Do we call the vet for an aging goat?

But goats ( Allie especially) are much like a pet dog. They are smart, funny and crave your affection.   I really didn’t think the vet would be able to save her, but at least we could give her a peaceful end. If we were a real farm I’m not sure we would call a vet for an aging Martha nursing Allieanimal that cost less than a vet visit (although a real farmer would have know what to do when they found her in distress).

We decided to call our large animal vet and he told us he couldn’t get here until around noon. I asked what I could do until he gets here. He said to prop her up with a bale of hay, take her temp, warm her if she is under 100 degrees and give her a solution of baking soda and water.

Dean helped me prop her up and give her the baking soda solution. I took her temp and yikes it was only 95!  So we piled on blankets and a warm rice bag.  I called my friend Kris, ( a real farmer) who owns a dairy farm about 20 mins away. Kris is the most generous, amazing person I know. She is the next best thing to a vet. I asked if she had any suggestions and she said she would come over.

So Kris came to Allie’s rescue and was able to make her more comfortable. After Allie’s pain was relieved, she still seemed so weak, I still didn’t think there was much hope for her. When the vet came he gave her more pain reliever and antibiotic. He said that was all he could do but he thought she might make it and she did!  In her struggle to get up she had been rubbing her head on the stall floor and managed to damage her eye. So I have been caring for that to prevent infection, but her appetite is back and we are hopeful for a full recovery. At least I have learned how to respond if it happens again and I keep a much closer eye on her.

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