The Lonely Goatherd

It was during breakfast that I noticed it.

Zuskie definitely wasn’t feeling herself; nothing I could put my finger on, just not quite tucking into the morning meal with the usual enthusiasm.  I kept a watchful eye over her & my concern increased when I noticed that although her back end was quite bloody folowing her sudden abortion yesterday, there was still no sign of the placenta being expelled; & on taking her temperature, I found things definitely were amiss – alarmingly, it had soared to 42.1°C when it should normally be at 39.2-39.4°C. 

The vet – Chrissie – arrived, a little while later.  She examined the ailing goat, who was groaning in agony at even the insertion of a thermometer in her rectum.  Because a goat’s cervix is so narrow it’s impossible to get a hand in as you might a cow; so internal examination is nigh-on impossible.  However Chrissie did manage to ascertain that there was still a lot of ‘gunk’ there internally; & quickly injected her with a cocktail of Metacam & Hexasol to bring down her temperature, reduce inflammation & hopefully speed things on their way a bit. 

Poor Zuskie collapsed to the floor, looking very sick indeed; in fact I thought, at that moment, we were going to lose her……

but she hung on.  I left her quitely tucked up in the straw & monitored throughout; & she was standing up again within a few hours.  I took her temperature again in the evening, & it was thankfully back down to 39.5°C; she was brighter, & her appetite had returned although there was still, worryingly, no sign of any expulsion although at least she was ejecting some fluids.

As I leaned over the gate to observe her, she quietly left the rest of the herd, who were happily munching their evening hay. She walked up to me, & just leaned her head gently on my shoulder, encouraging me to put my arms around her neck.  We stood that way for a long time.

I am seldom moved to tears; but knowing we’d come so close to losing a very special member of the LittleFfarm Dairy team, made me feel a very lonely goatherd, indeed.


About LittleFfarm Dairy

The LittleFfarm Dairy Team: Jo - Goat farmer & Gelatiere Artigianale, plus General Dogsbody; Tony - Airline Pilot & part-time Herd Manager, Product Taster, Accounts Secretary, Handyman etc!
This entry was posted in Animals, Diary, Farming, February 2008, Goats, Life, Livestock, Nature, Smallholding. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Lonely Goatherd

  1. Norman Knight says:

    Your description was so touching—I actualy cried!!
    I will send her some Reiki tonight!!

  2. Norman Knight says:

    Reiki sent19:25
    Was only able to give a general direction for it,

    But it should have reached her! Hope that it is not too late!

  3. LittleFfarm Dairy says:

    Nope, you weren’t too late;

    thanks Dad, it’s done her the world of good – she’s loads better now. And you were evidently able to get it all the way to darling little Hamish when he needed it – thank godness!

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