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  • Writer's pictureConstance Wilmoth

Goat Herdsmanship

I read a quote the other day that resonated so true with me. It was that goats are prey animals with high birth rates to compensate for their high mortality rates. This really struck a chord, because growing up my parents and grand parents always told me goats are so hardy in comparison to horses, but I have found the opposite to be true in my adult goat raising adventures! Last week MJ was off, and I thought it was coccida, but I was wrong. After I wrote this blog she spiked a fever of 105.3 and was having a hard time breathing. I knew she must have pneumonia, so I called my vet who came out first thing Tuesday morning and agreed that MJ was suffering from pneumonia. We decided to treat her with oral fluids, electrolytes, banamine, ceftiflx and lots of TLC. After three days of treatment, MJ had not shown any signs of improvement. Her temperature would go down after the bananmine, but back up again in the evening.

My wonderful vet decided that it was time to switch to a new anitbitoic, Nuflour. She met me in a parking lot on Saturday morning and gave me Nuflour and a shot of epinephrine in case of any allergic reaction. I had dreaded this step, my experience with nuflour in the past was one of extreme pain when it it injected. I have had goats throw themselves to the ground and scream in pain. This was the last thing I wanted to give my poor little MJ, but I felt like it was my only choice. Without this, she as not improving, I was worried the outcome would be grave. So we bit the bullet an gave her the first shot of nuflour, my husband came home from his job site he was working on to hold her for me,as it is not a one person job. We gave her the shot and she screamed and rolled on the ground for a few moments before she regained her composure. Thankfully, the shot seemed to work, because her temperature came down and she only needed needed one more shot of banamine after the initial dose of Nuflour

. We gave her the final dose yesterday and her temperature was normal throughout the day yesterday and this morning, so we believe she has recovered almost completely from this terrible illness, but I will continue to give her probiotics and monitor her appetite, behavior and temperature. She is about 90% back to her regular self. Her appetite has not come back with the same vigor, but she is still eating well, and she does not have all of her energy back, but hopefully she will continue to improve! To top off all of the excitement As Rob and I were working in the kitchen yesterday, I heard the chickens screaming and I immediately ran outside to see a coyote standing by my chicken coop! I ran to tell Rob to get his gun, but I had yelled and the coyote had already started to run away. There is never a dull moment on the farm! Have a wonderful week and Happy Goating!

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