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Friday 8 November 2013

Goodbye To A Goaty

Goats fall ill and die quickly. One saying I've heard is "a sick goat is an almost dead goat."

Any goat suffering from dehydration in particular has not long to live. The first thing I do for an ailing goat is to offer her some fresh water. If she is reluctant to drink, serve the water warm with some molasses. If she still isn't interested or if at some point I have to give an oral remedy, literature suggests "drenching" the goat with the solution. "Drenching" does not mean to splash your animal. It is a term that refers to using a large syringe -I use a recycled glass bottle -to force liquid into the back of your goat's mouth.

NEVER put your finger into the back of a goat's mouth. The back teeth of a goat are like cigar cutters, intended for cutting through branches and woody roughage. What I do to coax my goat to open her mouth is to straddle her neck, tilt her head back and offer some raisins to get her to open her mouth. Then i pry her jaws apart IN THE FRONT (where there is only a dental pad and some bottom teeth) until I can work the bottle in to her mouth and glug some liquid down her throat.

Over the last 48 hours I've been nursing one of our yearling does, Pumpkin. She only came to us a week ago so I can't help thinking that her decline was related to the move, and that maybe there was more I could have done to keep her healthy. Today we decided to put her down because her condition was getting progressively worse. After doing research and trying various remedies, I still don't know exactly what happened to dear little Pumpkin. A hard lesson learned: sometimes animals die and we don't know why.

A sad day on our homestead.

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