With the Bank Holiday done & dusted,
I’d booked Bechan (the little kid who is currently residing in the house with us after she almost died at birth & was rejected by her Mum) in at our local veterinary surgery to be disbudded; however just as I’d loaded her into a basket & was about to set off, the ‘phone rang; it was the practice receptionist, advising me that all the vets had been called out so nobody would be available to carry out the procedure today, after all; I’d have to come over tomorrow. Lucky I’d hurried back into the house to check who’d called or it would’ve been a long, expensive & wasted journey….!
So instead I resumed work on the Ffarm; but my concerns were growing for little Buddug, a goat kid born four days ago whose Mum Anthemis had cleaned her so vigorously the night she was born, that she’d split open her ear, causing it to bleed profusely. I’d cleaned the wound & applied ‘Septi-Cleanse’ spray; however the diligent mother (‘Thummy’ as she’s known to her friends) wasn’t having any such purple additives applied to her baby’s head; & had promptly vigorously licked it off again, causing further extensive bleeding. It got to the point where I’d had to put some bitter-tasting ointment onto the ear to prevent Thummy from doing any more damage; however that morning, I found to my dismay that the poor little kid’s ear was hot & swollen, especially towards the tip. Suspecting an abscess although this injury looked different somehow, I contacted the vet & made an appointment to take the ailing kid to the afternoon surgery.
Tucking ourselves away in a quiet corner of the surgery’s waiting room with Buddug that afternoon (which seemed almost exclusively devoted to all shapes, sizes & breeds of dog) we drew lots of glances & comments; someone even assuming that owing to her exposed floppy ear, she must be some sort of unusual breed of puppy! (Can’t say I’ve ever seen a canine with cloven hooves myself, mind you…).
But she sat quietly on my lap, snuggled into my arms & behaved remarkably well. As the surgery was very busy, we waited almost an hour before it was our turn to see the vet; by which time Buddug had clearly been crossing her anxious little legs; for as soon as she stood up on the vet’s table, she released her bladder with a big sigh in a fountain which splashed all over the table & down onto the floor. Having taken a brief interlude to mop up the mess, the vet continued her examination of the ear….at which point I felt a rapidly-spreading, alarming warmth runnign along my arm, as Buddug peed liberally for the second time in as many minutes! Laughing, we put the worried little goat on the floor whilst mutually commencing the second clean-up operation – only to my surprise, having to immediately skip round a veritable lake on the floor; which I assumed must surely have been produced by the previous occupant of the surgery, a large German Shepherd Dog. “No” – the vet advised, erupting into helpless giggles; it was Buddug’s bumper bladder – again.
And the poor wee (literally) girl further ‘disgraced’ her little, innocent self with a series of magnificently ear-splitting yells accompanied by gargantuan wriggles when the vet gave her a couple of quick injections: an antibiotic, & a ‘little something’ to reduce swelling.
It transpired however, that the problem with her ear was not an abscess: it’s a haematoma. Basically the ear has acted as a sandwich: with the mother’s excessively vigorous cleaning, the internal blood vessels have ruptured & are leaking in between the sandwich ‘slices’. Although cosmetic surgery is occasionally performed on dogs to improve the look of the animal with said condition, it seems senseless to subject a tiny young goat kid to such an extreme measure; as it would do nothing whatsoever to improve her quality of life. So after treatment she may always have a ‘thick ear’ (much like a rugby player’s ‘cauliflower’ ear, how appropriate as she’s a Welsh goat!) – but as long as she’s happy, healthy & enjoying life, we really don’t care: beauty (even in goats) is only skin deep, after all…..& in the eye of us as beholders, she’ll always be wonderful.