Friday, October 19, 2012

Minnie is down but eating well

On October 1st when I went to return Minnie to her herd mates she was down and couldn't get up. Damn! This little lady is 11 years and never been sick a day in her life. She gave us our first baby out here so without question she's my rock.

I had put her in a smaller stall to be with her friend who wasn't doing well. Sadly Louise died most probably from an overload of parasites. This has been my
curse out here. So much so that we bought a microscope and text books on parasitology.

Over time, I’ve learned which parasites mostly strike our goats and horses and do a fecal count frequently. ENOUGH ALREADY! I’ve had it with parasites!

Although I didn’t test Louise or Barbara for parasites, the membranes on their eyes were sheet white so I went with a parasite overload. These two ladies are a bit older than Minnie so I figured their immune system had been compromised. Besides they collapsed and died fast so I didn’t have time to turn them around. Immediate death usually comes from coccidia.

But Minnie was eating well (Thank you, Lord) … she just couldn’t get up. The first fecal count was off the scale on coccidia and strongyles. 

(I think. Not being a doctor I always assume I’m sort of wrong but I would rather make an informed decision incorrectly then an uninformed decision at all. I figure I’m closer to being right and the odds of being correct are higher than a wild ass guess. Bear in mind that I’ve been breeding goats since 2003 so I’ve experienced many of the same behaviors many times.)

With that said, I proceeded to medicate Minnie with my best deworming techniques and monitored her fecal count several times that first day. It was a scary time. But thank God she kept eating well. As long as she’s eating, there’s hope.

I called my vet and told him what I’d been doing and asked for his advice. He’s wonderful and suggested a steroid. It helped; I could tell Minnie felt better but she still didn’t get up.

Then my husband and son build a pulley system so I could lift Minnie on my own. I wanted to get her up on her feet so she would regain strength in her legs. The first day she just hung there without putting any weight on her legs. I only kept her up for about 15 minutes. The second day she hung for about 20 minutes, still no weight on her legs. In addition to letting her hang in her sling, I also massage her legs briskly.

The third day she was in her sling for about 30 minutes because she put weight on her front legs – the therapy seems to be working. Or at least we’re making progress.

The fourth day I left her up for an hour because she was putting weight on all four legs. HA when she’d had enough, she walked off the sawhorse and laid down. Husband Bob and I moved her to her bed area so she could rest.

The fifth day we did not put her in her sling but did clean her area, which we do several times a day.

The sixth day son Don and I moved her into the sun and on grass. She nibbled on surrounding grass and tried to walk around. She wants to walk but just isn’t strong enough.

That brings us to today.

Her fecal count has improved tremendously although she still has too many. These little buggers are being resistant but I’m not giving up on getting rid of them.

Yesterday I bought some diatomaceous earth and will be implementing that. I’ve asked our vet to come out and make sure I’m on the right track just to make sure she has something besides parasites.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

If a goat can stick her head through something she will.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Check out my Horses and Such Page

After long last, I've updated this page to include pictures of Lorch's arrival. He's our second black Tennessee Walker. It just happened this way. We didn't care what color they were as much as we cared about their temperament and ride.

Bob has ridden Bentley and both of us have ridden Lorch. He took good care of us but I was more uncomfortable with his height than his ride but then again, I haven't been on a horse in over 10 years. It'll take me a bit of time but I'll come around. After all, we moved here in 2000 so that we could get two horses and live happily ever after.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Thank You Natalee for All You Have Done

You are truly an angel. Watching you grow is pure joy. You gave me the time to heal that I so desperately needed. There was no way I could have continued caring for our critters with this foot injury. Thank you so very much.

Into week four of the broken ankle is so much better than the first few weeks. Walking without crutches is easier than trying to maneuver with them. Now I just wobble along with Big Foot. But that's a good thing.

Most of the pain has subsided so I'm pretty much to doing what I had been doing ... except for ... just a few things. Like standing several hours a day, walking in the barn, getting up slopes is a challenge, and going up and down steps is a hoot but Big Foot protects the ankle nicely. Together we make it around the ranch pretty well. I just have to be super careful not to fall again.

To that end, we have ordered more rock so we can expand a walkway in the chicken area. No more muddy, slippery spots. However, the chickens do make that challenging because of the way they love to dig. Those chicken holes do cause problems, don't they. But they are signs of happy chickens.

Once the tractor was started, it's business as usual. But to start it I have to use my left foot to hold down the clutch. THAT smarts so I've learned how to start the tractor with my right foot (not a good idea but necessary). Whew, at first we thought the tractor was broken because it wouldn't start. Nope, it was just that I couldn't press the clutch in as far as I used to. Sigh ... figured it out though.

The family has been an incredible support (no pun) throughout this ordeal. Soon, boys, soon I'll be back to normal. Ah hummm, my definition of normal.

I've missed working with the animals, they being so much pleasure to my life. Love them all.

Natalee, thank you for caring for them so well while I was unable. They all look good thanks to your tender care.

Please keep in touch. I love watching you grow. Keep smiling and study, study, study.

Love always,