Black, blue, purple, yellow….
these are the colours I’m sporting today; but not, alas, in terms of clothing – they’re bruises after being kicked to blazes by poor old, distraught Froggie, our ‘not-quite-with-it’ goat. You may recall that a couple of days ago I’d had to resort to moving her from the main Milkforce pen & back in with the younger, smaller Hooligans as she was being so badly bullied by the bigger girls; however today I discovered, much to my dismay, that she’s contracted mastitis. And it’s not her fault…..
It would appear that whilst being bullied she was either bitten right on the end of her teat, or she self-suckled (as she does to comfort herself in times of stress) & managed to bite the tip off, herself; at any rate the scabbing effectively closed off the teat duct altogether so no milk is forthcoming; nor, apparently, can it have been when I hooked her up to the milking machine yesterday evening. Unfortunately as it’s a tiny wound literally on the teat closure itself & her udders are dark in colour (added to the fact that she never has been the most capacious of milkers) I did not realise there was a problem; but first thing this morning when I checked all the goats I immediately realised she was off colour; just not her usual, simple self – very quiet & downcast. At first I thought she was just depressed at either having been removed from her old – err – ‘chums’ or because even the Hooligans had taken to bullying her as well; but I brought her onto the milkstand for a more thorough examination & to see if I could tempt her to some breakfast as she was evidently off her food. I was puzzled to note that one of her udders was apparently bulging with milk – not like Froggie at all.
On closer investigation I located the wound & thought it would prove a relatively simple case of delicately removing the scab & then handmilking her into a bucket. The first part was bad enough – it was evidently extremely painful being in such a sensitive place; & even though I was as careful & gentle as I could be, it still took a while & a lot of cursing under my breath as I dodged the inevitable rain of angry blows.
Having managed to remove the scab, I placed the bucket beneath, & squeezed. Nothing happened. I squeezed again – still nothing. Now worried, I investigated further – the rest of the udder seemed soft & pliable; & neither too hot nor cold & clammy. On handling the teat however it felt oddly spongy; & after applying a hot cloth & with a little judicious manipulation I managed to force out a splurge of revolting solids, not dissimilar to cottage cheese. And the udder was full. Poor Frog was evidently distressed & let me know with liberal further kicks. But her bag had to be emptied; & the only way to do it was more hot cloths to break down the stuff inside; then a little more firm but gentle, patient squeezing; & so on & so forth. And as the disgusting stuff was being forced out through an already extremely sore aperture, it must have been horrible for the poor animal.
It took me almost an hour, just to clear the one side in the end; after which I immediately injected a double dose of Lincocin Forte straight into the affected aperture. Lincocin was my ‘weapon of choice’ as there had been no specific hardening of the udder; & being less viscous than Leo Yellow I find it easier & quicker to inject – in Froggie’s agonized case I wanted to get this unpleasant procedure over & done with, as fast as possible. Yuk. I then gave her a massage with Uddermint to increase the warmth & speed the healing process.
I’m thankful to report that by evening milking she was pretty much back to her old self; although of course I had to repeat the procedure & discovered that inevitably the ‘cottage cheese’ had formed again & needed careful clearing out.
Whilst treating my multitudinous bruises with tincture of Arnica I received a call from the Dairy Hygiene Inspector, from whom we’ve been trying to establish whether or not the self-contained milking parlour we’re hoping to buy is acceptable, as it is somthing a little out of the ordinary. He checked up with his colleagues who inspected the parlour whilst it was last in use; & they gave it the “thumbs up” (as you’d hope with equipment only two years old!) – so we’re ‘all systems go’ on that score.
Now we just have to hope that the bank will see their way to pouring us a little of the ‘milk of human kindess’ & lending us the money we need to buy it, so we can keep this dream moving onwards & upwards….!