Buy one goat, get two problems free!

((Updates in order on this post rather than spamming feeds with posts))

I have goat woes. If goat woes do not interest you and you are waiting for me to come out with April’s Interfaith Council meeting notes or some random ‘here’s what’s going on in local pagan-dom’ post, you’re going to have to wait because right now I have goat woes.

Top Hat- my second generation Kiko/Boer/LaMancha mix (long story, won’t be repeating that mix) has anemia. She doesn’t just have anemia, actually, she has “eyelids are completely white and she’s lost most of her motivation” anemia. She is, at this point, flirting with death. I can only assume a parasite load is responsible, since none of the others have the same problem but not of the others have her rather susceptible Boer and LaMancha genes polluting their Kiko (for Kiko read scrappy scrub goat) hardiness. I gave her her post-kidding copper booster which should be kicking in, and dosed her up with dewormer. I’ll get B vitamin and Iron supplements for her tomorrow, if she survives the night.

I’m more than a little bit pissed off at myself for not catching it sooner. Goats are notorious for hiding how much pain they are in until it’s impossible to hide. She did just that, apparently. I really don’t want to lose her. She’s a sweetheart and she’s a fantastic momma. Her mostly Kiko kid (daddy is a Kiko, she’s Kiko plus other stuff) weaned at 65 pounds. She done good. I hope she pulls through. I went to check her just a little bit before writing this late night installment and while she was still hanging away from the herd and kind of slow moving, she happily scarfed down the snack I brought her. There’s hope.

I discovered at that same time, unfortunately, that Nadia- my full LaMancha milker who is still recovering from her previous home’s neglect- has vomited up every scrap of food she ate today. I’d let the herd out for some snackage since the pasture is shit but the yard and woods are in pretty good green. I know that she got a few mouthfuls of azalea, despite the stock whip telling her otherwise, but I didn’t think she’d gotten enough to poison herself. She was out of sight for a little while though… and azalea is both deadly and irresistible.

If it was my azalea I’d rip it out. They’re not even that pretty.

Luckily, she seems to have purged everything. Less lucky, she’s already so stressed that the process of purging and re-setting herself may kill her.

I really, really hope not. She’s just reached the point where I feel safe milking her a little bit now that the kid is eating solid food. She’s a champ on the milking stand.

Goats. They do dumb things and get themselves hurt.

Humans. We don’t always read the goats’ signals in time.

Gods. Please watch over my goats.


UPDATE, 2nd Discovery + 4 hours (around 0430 the next morning)

Not only is Nadia exhausted and empty (and the shed spectacularly fouled with slung cud, the equivalent of vomit in a goat) but her kid is curled up in a ball shaking. He has the muscle tremors and systemic depression indicative of azalea toxicity. He has not purged and may wind up being the most serious of all my current patients. Taking off work to nurse goats.

UPDATE 3rd Discovery+ 5 hours

Have been able to find everything I need except the one really important thing that they all could really benefit from: injectable thiamine. The two with azalea poisoning aren’t eating but they are still alive and Nadia actually sniffed a bit at the hay in her rack before deciding she would rather just lay down instead. I’ve gotten rumen buffers (cooking oil and sodium bicarbonate) into both of them, plus ground ginger for stomach pain and it seems to be helping them a little. I also got Nadia to swallow a bit of kefir to help get her rumen regulated again. (probiotics are expensive, kefir is cheap and does the exact same thing) and I’m holding on to hope that Nadia will pull through. I’m worried about her kid- he’s in a bad way. Fortunately I have some of her pre-exposure milk left and if I can get some of that in him too it might help.

Top Hat took her shot of injectable iron like a champ- mostly because she had her nose buried in a bucket of super molasses-y oatmeal. Hey, there’s thiamine in oats! Lots of it, actually. She still needs a therapeutic dose, but oatmeal is better than nothing! At least her appetite is good, even if her energy levels are in the pits right now. She should pull through if I can keep feeding her plenty and get her the higher dosage that she really needs to start rebuilding blood. The dewormer is going to give her the runs, but that’s temporary and it means dead worms. I like dead worms.

UPDATE: 24 hrs since 1st Discovery

Everyone is stable, or at least as stable as they are likely to get.

I found injectable B-Complex, which at least includes thiamine and was able to get a dose into all three animals. Baby didn’t like it one bit, but since he is now up and moving around and trying to nurse a bit, I’m saying it was worth it.

Nadia is eating hay and drinking water, but not interested in grain. Probably just as well. She’s still weak and not herself, but at this point has passed the really critical stages of purging, re hydrating, and re fitting her rumen. Prognosis good.

Kid is still in danger of crashing from nutrient deficit. He’s still half reliant on Nadia for nourishment and she’s been unable to produce much milk today. He is through the worst of the toxicity but may still succumb to after-effects due to his small size. Prognosis guarded to good.

Top Hat is no worse, but still what I would consider critical. She got B-Complex and Iron injections and ate a huge dinner even after her huge breakfast. She is still listless and uninterested in the herd. As long as her appetite remains her chances are much better than average. Prognosis guarded.


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