we have a severly ill goat right now. i'm amazed that she's still holding on and i'm not very optimistic that she'll pull through but i'm rooting for her.
it started out a few weeks ago, i noticed she was limping on her hind leg. i thought maybe our big wether had butted her and possibly hurt her. she is pregnant, due in a month or so (i have the date written down but i don't remember it) and i wondered if the weight of the baby was aggravating it.
she kept limping so i thought, well maybe her hooves need trimming, although it hadn't been more than 2 months, they do grow very quickly. so, i trimmed them. they didn't look bad at all.
then, on tuesday, she started falling down. uh oh. i thought selenium deficiency since we haven't offered as many loose minerals lately and sometimes pregnant does are susceptable to it, so i started giving her supplemental vit e/selenium combo.
two days later, her head starting bending to the side, into her belly. crap. listerosis (encephalitis). not good at all. luckily, i had purchased some penicillin a couple months back so we had some that's not expired. so, for the past 30 hours, i've been shooting her up every 6 hours with penicillin and vitamin b-complex. her head is no longer bent back but she is on her side and has been for about 24 hours. she thrashes her legs all around trying to move. she will eat grain if offered and rumen starter if offered and i've been giving her water with a drencher which she gladly drinks.
she bleats loudly. yesterday, i noticed she was blinded (another symptom of encephalitis) but today, she seems to be able to see again so that's encouraging but nothing else seems to be changing.
because it is so cold outside (and in the barn) and she keeps throwing the blanket off, we are bringing her inside to keep warm. it will definitely be nicer to not have to trek out there at midnight in 10 degree weather to give her shots to her! i'm supposed to keep up the dosage until all symptoms are gone for 24 hours. i have no idea how long it will take to pull her through, if indeed i've caught it in time.
it breaks my heart when one of my animals are like this. every time i go through something like this, i swear i am going to give them all up because i cannot bear the hardship of losing them. the past 10 months have been a nightmare with the goats. i have lost so many that i feel like i'm not worthy of owning such lovely creatures. will i ever be able to outsmart the diseases and beat them before they beat all the goats?!
it's times like this that i feel like a failure on the homestead.