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.