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  • Writer's pictureConstance Wilmoth

Our first buck experience should we continue?

When Zoey freshened we were ecstatic to have two does and a buck. We wanted to keep a doe and a buck out of this breeding and we had a reservation for another doeling. Things could not have worked out better! As the weeks passed we came to terms about the reality of having our own buck. How would we separate him? How would we ensure he had good access to forage and roaming like the rest of our goats? Also, we realized we needed to get him a companion, so we purchased another buck to keep him company.

Part of the reality of keeping bucks is educating yourself on proper buck care. I thought I had done my research and talked to enough other buck owners to understand what was needed in terms of buck, housing, feeding, care, and deworming. But, as anyone with goats or any other livestock will tell you. Ownership is a continuous learning experience.

If you have been following our blog, you will notice that we did not post last week and that was because we were on vacation for our wedding anniversary. Our good friends at Myers Mischief Manor were kind enough to take our goats and kids in for the week. They took superb care of them and we were so happy to see how much our kids had grown when we got back.

After only being home from vacation for four days we encountered a serious medical emergency in our little buckling Turbo. I went out to the barn early on Tuesday morning to feed and get ready to head to the airport for a work trip. When I walked in I immediately noticed grinding teeth. Upon further investigation I saw it was our little 9 week old buckling! I picked him up and investigated. I saw froth from his mouth and I felt his belly which felt somewhat distended, so I immediately thought bloat. I treated him with probios, baking soda mixed with a little water and bloat release and for extra measure I gave him activated charcoal in case he got into something he shouldn't have. Then I set him down and when I did my heart sank, because I saw him straining to urinate and nothing was being produced. I knew immediately he had a blockage from urinary calculi. I came into the house and informed my husband of the situation and called the vet to ask if we could bring him in immediately.

Thankfully, Dr. Kristen at Sunny Ridge Vet services agreed to see him as soon as we got there. She dropped all of her other cases to immediately tend to Turbo's needs. She started him on pain killers and Ace Promazen to help with his urethral spasaming. Then she took him back and snipped his urethral process off where the blockage likely was. He did not immediately urinate and my heart sank, although the vet insisted we give him 24 hrs to urinate before we took him to surgery. Reluctantly, we agreed to leave Turbo in their care with the promise of more updates. At 1:32 PM Dr. Kristen called with great news that Turbo had peed and he could likely go home in the morning. I asked about bringing him a bottle to which she agreed. He sucked his bottle down like crazy and about 20 minutes after we left we got another call that he had peed again! I never thought I would be so excited for urine, but my husband and I were literally cheering!

Wednesday rolled around and the call I got in the morning confirmed Turbo had continued to improve and I could come pick him up. I headed to the vet on my lunch break to provide her with my feed and mineral tags for review and to pick up Turbo and his litany of medications. Turbo will now be on 1/2 tsp of ammonium chloride twice a day for four days then off for two weeks and repeat for the rest of his life. We are hopeful, that this strategy along with not allowing him to have any access to grain will prevent further crystal formations and blockages. We will update the blog with Turbo's progress moving forward. Thank you for following and all of the positive thoughts!

Turbo and my husband relaxing on the couch

Happy Goating!

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