Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Long Story

When I milked  last Friday one of my girls seemed a bit off. Though she ate, she was not her usual piggy self. I decided to keep a close eye on her. Saturday morning when I got to the barn for the morning milking, she was much worse. I checked her eyes wondering if she may have parasites but she was nice and pink. Hmmm....then I discovered she has a nasty case of diarrhea. I moved her to the back yard where she could graze and gave her some medication to help ease the problem. She was drinking but not interested in food. Once she was comfortable, I started with the other chores only to discover young buck kid down in a different pasture. I could feel the panic starting to rise. What was going on!? Gone 23 hours and all hell breaks loose.
I called the vet for an emergency visit. She was at a loss as to what was going on and agreed that it did not seem to be parasites which tend to be the biggest issue here on the farm this time of year. We treated "symptoms" on my big doe and unfortunately had to put the young one down. I put him on ice and planned to take him on Monday for a necropsy. I had to know what was happening here. In the meantime, I dumped the evening milk. My big doe was not seeming to get any better as the night approached and I was really worried. I checked her at 4 a.m. and knew she too, was not going to make it. This was a huge blow as she was one of my heaviest milkers and nicest does. I knew that I could not wait until Monday to get results and so when I opened my eyes Sunday morning and my husband asked what I wanted to do for Mother's Day, I told him, drive me to the lab with my now, two dead goats. I called the vet first thing Sunday to get the phone # for the lab. She was shocked to hear I lost her. Since it was the weekend, I had to wait for a return call and make an appointment to meet a tech there. She called back fairly quickly and we were to meet in a couple of hours being that the lab was an hour away. When we got there, she too was amazed at how beautiful and healthy "LuLu" looked. The vet was to come in sometime later that day and would have some preliminary results in the morning around 10. I was still fighting panic and once home watched all the other goats like a hawk. Everyone seemed fine. I once again dumped all the milk. And waited....
Monday, at the stroke of 10 a.m., I called. It seems the young buck had gotten too much grain and most likely the cause of death was bloat. I just found him too late. Tragic, yet nothing contagious. She too, made a comment on how lovely LuLu was and found nothing to indicate what may have happened. No parasites, in general good health. She wanted to know if she could have possibly eaten something poisonous. No. It could be bacterial, salmonella maybe. Tissue samples needed to be sent. I would have to wait another 10 days. She wanted me to vaccinate with a C,D &T which is for several goat diseases and tetanus. I am not a huge fan of vaccines but being that we were dealing with something "unknown" I agreed. I vaccinated Monday afternoon. Now my next dilemma. Is the milk safe to drink? Is there a withdrawal time? I continued to dump milk for the next few days while I made phone calls and did research. Some said yes, dump. Being that the vaccine had to be boostered in 3 weeks that would be 42 days of milking and dumping. I pondered drying everyone up. Finally at weeks end I talked to one of the head vets at the clinic and he said it was safe. Yeah! Milk again. I will toss it for a few days after the booster just for my peace of mind, though the general consensus it that it is not necessary. Still no answers on LuLu and waiting but everyone is healthy and fine.

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