Our horrible, no good, very bad day started Friday night with our little girl goat, Kubra. I went out to feed the goats and get them shut up for the night and she was acting very strange; not walking around, not eating, but not in any obvious pain...just standing funny. I was worried she was hurt so I helped her walk around a bit and her legs were working and I couldn't see any obvious places where she might have been hurt. So i put some food and water down where she was (she refused to come up where the other 2 were eating) and walked out of the pen. I watched for a few minutes and saw the other goats go down and start picking on her. So I went back in and carried her out. I figured she could sleep in the little barn and have the yard to herself in the morning,but when I put her down on the ground, she immediately layed down and didn't want to get up. I stayed with her for awhile checking her all over for cuts, injuries of any kind, etc...finally I decided to let her rest.
For the rest of the night I had a hard time sleeping as I kept waking up and listening for her. The next morning I went out to check on her and she wasn't anywhere I could see..I searched around and Jason finally found her at the far corner of our property. She was on her side in obvious distress and had her head thrown back. She looked like she was having siezures. I ran and got a blanket and called our goat lady at the feed store who told us to bring her up to the shop immediately. By the time we got there Kubra was barely moving and was in obviously shock. Cindy came running out and checked her quickly. She knows our financial situation, so she basically gave us a ton of meds and penicillin for next to nothing and told me to pay her whenever we can. She couldn't administer any of it though as she had gotten in trouble for doing that once before. So she said we could do it or get her to a vet. We have no money at all for this, but we called the vet friend of our's whose baby I've been watching occasionally and explained we have the meds just needed someone to administer them. She had us bring Kubra to her clinic.
We got there and they came out with a stretcher...now mind you our friend is a small animal vetand has never dealt with livestock except in school many years ago. but we got her in and she immediately started researching online how to help her while the technician and I got Kubra as comfortable as possible on the exam table. I also called my darling friend Romy, who is also our Naturopathic doctor. She got on the computer from her house and started researching as well. Liat (the vet) called Cindy (goat lady) to confer with her. She then called Cindy's vet and they came up with a few different things to try. We gave her the penicillin, vitamin b shots, electrolytes, etc...She refused to eat or drink anything and was pretty much dying. We all knew it but no one wanted to say it. I had to hold her head and horns because she kept siezing and throwing her head back. Cindy's vet suggested we try Thiamin...he had some at his clinic and told us we needed a strong dose because Kubra could have polio and this was the only thing that would help. Jason went down there to pick it up. This was the last thing for us to try. Basically, if she responded to it it meant she had polio and was treatable. If not, then we were looking at having to try other things but most likely would have to put her down. Within 2 hours of giving her the Thiamine she finally was able to hold her head still, but she still was unable to move much and was in obvious pain and super sensitive to touch. Liat put her on a drip of vitamin B's and fluid. Romy came up with a Homeopathic remedy and had some probiotics to give her, so I ran around town picking up those, dropping Jason and the girls off at home, and then went back to the clinic and sat on the floor with Kubra's head in my lap and tried to get her to eat something. She started being able to hold her head up and then soon was able to get herself into a sitting position. Liat wanted to keep her over night, so when the clinic closed I went home.
About 2 hours later Liat called and asked if I could come back because she really wanted to get some food into Kubra and needed my help. When i got there, Kubra was standing!!! We spent another 2 hours getting her to drink more electorlytes and the homeopathic remedy from Romy. She responded so well to the remedy that we took her outside where she finally, after almost 24 hours, peed, pooped, and ate a few fresh oak leaves. We knew she was going to make it now. She is still weak, so will be staying at the clinic for another couple days because she needs penicillin shots every 6-12 hours and Liat wants to keep her on the vitamin drip. We found out, through more research, that she only had another couple hours to live when we brought her in and if we hadn't administered the Thiamine she wouldn't have made it.
By the time I left she was drinking out of a bowl again and looking so much happier. The downside to it all is the illness has rendered her temporarily blind, but that will reverse itself in time. It could be a few days or a few weeks, but until then she's going to live in the front yard with her bed on the front porch so we can be close to her so she won't get hurt or scared.
She has Goat Polio, but it's not viral...it's from mold! We've had rain and very humid weather and we think she ate some moldy hay. The other 2 goats are fine, thank the gods. We got rid of all their hay and will buy a fresh bale tomorrow. Basically what happens is when a goat eats moldy hay, it can suppress Vitamin B1 production and causes neurological symptoms and brain cells to die. By injecting her with high doses of thiamin (B1) we were able to stop this and help her body start to recover along with her brain.
I bet you are wondering where the "celebration of community" comes in. Well, through the generosity of Cindy at Paleface Feed, Dr. Z (Liat) at White Angel Animal Hospital, Dr. Shubert at Paleface Animal Clinic, and Dr. Romy Sanders, a community came together in our time of need to help a little goat live and it really shows me what this world can be like. Kubra would have been dead...we would have been so incredibly sad. And everyone just came together with no questions or worries. We all work hard for each other, but I really feel they went above and beyond the bonds of friendship. They are a wonderful community of people to know and be a part of. I feel very honored to call them my friends and will forever be grateful for what they did for our little goat. We all learned alot, but the biggest thing I think we did was show anyone else who was watching that community and bartering really do work.
I've got an amazing circle of friends and family. Thank you everyone who truly help the theory of "community" work. I love you all.
Labels: Farm Life