I should have known that I was tempting fate when I said that I was going to buckle down and get a lot of work done this week. Instead of actually being focused and productive, I’ve spent the last two nights dealing with crisis.
Last night Avi, the dog, got sprayed by a skunk in the middle of the night so I had to scrub her down several times (hydrogen peroxide + baking soda + dawn dish soap works well!) and then wash myself and attempt to air out the house.
This morning I tried to rush through the morning milking and ended up with half of it in my lap. I learned my lesson– in an attempt to save a few minutes I ended up wasting quite a bit more cleaning up the milking stand and myself *and* I lost about 4 cups of milk!
And now tonight Tinkerbell, our littlest Pygora goat, got her leg stuck in a piece of damaged wire fencing and when I heard her crying around midnight I found her half dangling from the fence, resting on her face and her foot was completely cold.
When I found her, she was completely stretched out with her head on the ground. I immediately picked her up and set her on this bench so that her body was supported and not pulling down on her leg. I was using my phone to shine extra light on her foot and so I took a picture at this stage.
In this photo you can see how tightly the loop of thick wire is twisted around her foot. It looks like she got her foot caught in a loose loop of wire and then as she struggled to get free she twisted it over and over again until it tightened down around her leg. It is actually wrapped around the leg several times, though its hard to see.
Here you can see the full length of the wire that was wrapped around her leg after I cut and untwisted it
I *think* that he leg is going to be okay– vigorous rubbing warmed it up and though she won’t put weight on it (I’m sure its very sore) I don’t feel any breaks or major swelling. I’m more worried about her rumen. When ruminants (sheep, goats, cows..) are on their backs, their digestive systems don’t work correctly. This article explains the problem really well if you are interested in the details. In a nut shell, if they don’t get flipped over quickly they can easily die. I have no idea how long Tinkerbell was stuck upside down before I found her so once I felt that blood was flowing back into her foot my first concern was for her rumen. I gave her some baking soda, which can help with upset rumens, and made her stand up and walk around a little. She isn’t putting any weight on her injured leg (not surprising!) and isn’t keen to walk but is agreeable with standing up and will walk a bit if I irritate her enough. Thankfully after a bit of this I was able to hear healthy rumen noises (like a gurgling tummy) and she pooped normal pellets – both of which are signs that she is digesting like usual. What a relief! I have given her some Banamin which is a painkiller. I know she was in a lot of pain because she was grinding her teeth (a sign of pain in sheep and goats) so I’m glad I had Banamin on hand. She is acting a little spacey but I can’t tell if its a symptom of something really terribly wrong, a normal reaction to the stress of the evening or just Tinkerbell being, well, Tinkerbell. If you haven’t heard me talk about her before, Tinkerbell is our “special” goat. I think something wasn’t quite normal with her birth or early life- when we got her she was very tiny, she looked like a newborn but was actually 7 months old. Thankfully she has grown quite a bit in the eight months since then and seems to be thriving but we have often suspected that her mental development may have been stunted along with her physical development. Thankfully she is generally a happy sort of special and while she may not be the brightest goat, that is not necessarily a bad thing. Its the smart ones that usually cause the most trouble!
Worn out and scared, resting her head in my lap as I rubbed her leg to get the circulation going.
I’m going to check on Tinkerbell at least one more time before I go to bed for the night, hopefully she will be resting peacefully and will be full of her regular spunk when I wake up tomorrow!
Tired and in pain, but with a functioning tummy and pain meds starting to kick in.
p.s. projects that I’m planning for this weekend (hopefully!) include
- kimchi recipe #2
- ice cream (chocolate this time, I think!)
- another batch of cheese or yogurt (something to use up some of this milk!)
- cranberry “soda” using water kefir
- ginger ale using ginger bug
- more weed pulling, flower planting and mulch spreading