Friday, July 2, 2010

Vet on the go

A very bloated Flo.

It seems that we are under a grey cloud health wise. We are still fighting the mastitis for Flo as well as now a form of mange on her udder and underbelly. Dr. Burleigh came out yesterday and did a great treatment and I also got to talk to him so I have a better idea how to proceed. I would have been happier with her progress today, but when i went to see her I discovered she had bloat. This can kill a goat. So I quick consulted my books and gave her a dose of mineral oil and baking soda and then called Dr. Burleigh again. His suggestion was to stomach tube her to allow the gas to escape.
Easier said than done. I wrestled with her for a few minutes, me grunting in effort, she burping and flinging vomit. She won. I did notice that she was not quite so big, so I got some more BS into her and left her in her pen. A check an hour later revealed that she was much better and out to pasture she went.
One thing I learned about the mastitis is that I need to drain her more often than what I usually do, so I get to milk 3 times a day now. My usual plan is to separate her and Alice overnight so I can get a good milking in the am. Then she goes out with Alice during the day and Alice nurses off and on through the day. Now if Alice had been nursing both sides, she would have kept Flo pretty drained, but she wasn't nursing the bad side. So I would milk Flo's bad side in the evening when everyone came in. Now I get to spend a mid day milking with her as well. I did notice tonight that her bad side is milking nice white milk instead of the green stuff we have been getting.
I feel she is on the road to recovery at last.

Second health issue we have is Zeus and the scours. I have been treating him for 2 days now and I think he is on the mend, but in the morning I get to look forward to wrestling the strong ram and getting covered in sheep shit. Isn't that the thing that makes you want to get out of bed in the morning and greet the day. Hopefully tomorrow I don't have to dose him again and can skip the wrestling match.

Our final health concern are the ducks. We have been having problems with one of the Muscovies pecking the wing feathers off of the other Muscovies. Well, yesterday morning one of the Muscovies was unable to walk on her legs, she was pulling herself around by her wings. Into solitude for her. I consulted the best batch of people I could find, Backyard Chicken forum members, and got some great suggestions. We kept her on her own last night, and fed her some special treats today and she is walking a bit better, however, another one started showing the same problems, all the ducks got the special scrambled egg snack and seem to be doing better. I am going to be switching feed around to prevent future nutrition problems.

I count myself lucky to have a vet that will come out to the farm and is very, very reasonable, but on the other hand, I have learned that I can step up and assist my animals if they need me. I have picked maggots out of wounds, bandaged bleeding hooves, dealt with all manner of bodily fluids and not shied away yet. For those of you who know me, you will realize what a triumph this is for me. I feel like I am up to the task of being responsible for my animals. My own Independence Day!
The pool after the bears had their way.

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