Sunday, June 5, 2011

Emergency First Aid Applied!

My goats did GREAT for a long time with NO vet bills, nothing major that I couldn't handle, etc. Now this year seems to be my "BAD luck year"! Why? Geez, I need to end this stroke-of-BAD-luck and get back on the even keel of homesteading! When will it end? It won't be soon enough! I'm seriously and closely looking at my management!

Yesterday we went for a picnic/BBQ at hubby's best friend's as he's (the friend) going back in for more surgery Tuesday. It's major (kidney and bladder) and he's having some trouble dealing with it. (Prayers for Gaylord would be appreciated!)

When we got home I saw my little buddy/buckling, Wrapper, outside of the barn and 3-legged. I immediately drove out to see what was up. It's not good. He's got a broken hind leg that was flopping. The good news is the bones didn't penetrate the skin so there's no major infection risk. Wrapper is a ND so not very big. Finding splint materials for a little guy isn't easy. Once I was looking I realized that not only is size a consideration, but so is WEIGHT for a little guy when I want the leg imobilized and the muscles to not have to go into major weight-lifting mode. I want the leg to be "quiet", still and rest.

The good news about leg breaks with goats is that they seem to heal better from them then a lot of species and these youngsters tend to heal quickly. Also, I UNFORTUNATELY, have too much experience with goats with breaks and bad injuries to their legs! That experience gives me confidence that this may heal well and his life be spared, but it also leaves me with some cringing internally after LadyBug, his momma, was so badly injured last year and ended up losing part of her hind leg.

Why is it also the same hind leg? Is it a right-handed vs left-handed type of thing? So I'll have to tuck that aside until I'm talking to a vet (which may be REAL SOON)!

Am I going to be destined to be the crippled goat ranch?

Anyway, Wrapper is here in the house and seems to actually be enjoying it! He is my velcro buddy outside and likes nothing better to be in my lap and helping me with milking, trotting along with me as I do chores, etc. It's a part of him that reminds me immensely of Nipper, his sire, who I lost late Winter/early Spring. Unfortunately, Wrapper is also a jumper/climber like Nipper was. They have/had the same view in life! A gate is simply a way to keep their girls confined so they know just where they are and can return to them to make sure things are fine! I suspect that Wrapper decided it was time to find me as I was half an hour late showing up to the barn with his supper bottle of milk. I have a chain link gate in the door of the barn to help keep escapes in, roaming dogs and such out, etc. I suspect the climbing of the gate wasn't successful this time. I'd been telling Wrapper I was going to dip his feet in cement to keep him grounded. Now it's too late!

Hubby helped hold Wrapper while I splinted him up and did a closer exam of his little body and all legs. I gave him a shot of bananmine and thiamine before going after splinting materials so it could kick in and make him more comfy during the procedure, if possible. He was also grinding his teeth which is a sign of significant pain in a goat and should be dealt with. He's now splinted and has a pretty blue vet wrap bandage. He also appears to have a broken rib but is not showing any signs of shock or anything indicating it punctured anything. It's just a good-sized, hard lump on his side, low and close to the belly/chest area that is painful to the touch and uncomfortable to lay on. I'm watching that very closely and his behaviors. Wrapper was a very good boy in laying on his side, being held down and getting splinted.

The game-plan is to give a daily banamine and thiamine shot for today and go from there for pain. He's staying in the house so I can monitor him, keep him relatively quiet and still, and avoid jostling from the other goats which could cause increased damage. Then tomorrow morning (or sooner if he shows any problems) I'll carefully unwrap some of the bandaging so I can check the status and then I'll call the vet and get him in if needed. I've seen steady progress so far so it's telling me I'm on the right track. He's even chewing his cud at the moment and laying quietly beside me, contented. I know from too much experience (unfortunately gained) that the vets (and human docs) do the same (but have xray machines in some cases) do the same as casting is done after the swelling is down. Wrapper did have swelling so we are at the splint and imobilize point and in a 2-day wait-n-see situation with this particular break. This game-plan is also a moment-by-moment type plan that allows for immediate change if there is need or I feel out-of-my-abilities.

A medical background and 40 YEARS adult, homesteading experience with a former vet who use to encourage me to do-it-myself mentoring has proven a tremendous education. Then there is all the human experience that I have unfortunately garnered from my severe accident in 1993 and hubby's issues. Then there are the raising 3 daughters on a farm and with horses too!

So, I do feel in control at this point in time and hope & pray it stays that way! Wrapper, my precious little buddy who I ADORE, is stable, and I have the vet's phone number, emergency call # and pager #.

Prayers for a successful healing are greatly appreciated!

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