Domino the Nigerian Dwarf has been off his feed the last day and 1/2. Feces are a bit irregular, too, with the pellets all stuck together rather than “raining” out single file. “Little Crises” because I always panic a little whenever one of my fur- or feather-babies is “under the weather” but I also thank God for all of the reference materials I have on hand, the friends (other farmers/homesteaders) in the know, the good relationships with vets and vet techs. I panic but then the little squirrel turning the wheel in my head gets a poke in the backside and starts running steady again.
Not enough symptoms for some of the more severe illnesses. He’s passing his waste. It’s not the little dry pellets but not loose enough to qualify for diarrhea. Though they received deworming meds in September, I reached for the bottle still sitting on the back of the kitchen counter and realized why it was there–to remind me I need to buy another bottle (sigh). Mom and I took a road trip to Tractor Supply this morning and I purchased another bottle, then over to Walmart for some Pepto-Bismal. I have it in capsule form; liquid is much easier to administer with a goat. And, thankfully, for their mouthy-baby sort of curiosity, Domino took his meds with enthusiasm. While I dosed the other goats with the dewormer–something they seem to regard as a treat so it must taste pretty good–only Domino received the Pepto. And lapped it up like it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Keeping Felicity and Chester away while he got this minty-tasting “treat” was the biggest challenge! Hopefully, this does the trick and he’s back to his old self again soon.
Of course, I always worry about both Domino and Chester, my other Nigerian wether, because they were overweight when I brought them home and, though I’m very careful not to feed them too many treats (usually nothing more fattening than a piece of carrot…); still, the “damage” was already done before they came to me and, like the rest of us, it’s a lot easier to maintain a good weight than to take off the excess after the fact. With goats, something I learned about at Goat School many years ago, is that, if they’re overweight, their liver can caramelize, resulting in death. I love my goatie boys way too much to want to see that happening!
And Friday Mom’s dog, Max, goes back to the vet for a re-check and a full, senior blood screening (I think that’s what it is called…). He’s no longer passing massive amounts of blood in his urine but he’s still straining a bit. He’s more of a challenge than any of the others when administering meds. Max was diagnosed with Lyme disease just before Christmas and his vet put him on Doxycycline. The Lyme had gone into his kidneys so he’s on the strongest dose available. Initially, Mom put the pills in his food but he’s smart; he picked around them. So we’ve gone through a considerable amount of peanut butter and hot dogs but we’re prevailing; there’s no sticking it in the back of his mouth so he’s forced to swallow; Max isn’t opposed to biting the hand that feeds and usually requires a muzzle at the vet. Fun, fun, fun (insert sarcasm here)…
Though it sounds like I’m complaining a bit, I’m really not. There’s a simple confidence that grows from learning and caring for these creatures. I wouldn’t trade this life for anything else in the world. Every life, every choice we make has its challenges but, the reward is in seeing these babies thrive again when all is said and done…or, at the very least, knowing you gave them the best care you could and were by their side through it all. I am fairly confident that neither Max nor Domino is in such dire straits. While Domino is off his feed a bit, he also followed me back to the house, nosing and headbutting me for more Pepto along the way. And Max, Mom and I have been having regular howling practices on an almost daily basis (don’t ask…) so he’s feeling much better. Of course, I’m adding some prayers to all these treatments but, sometimes, the best treatment of all is in knowing someone cares enough to try in the first place. That’s true even for humans…
May God bless you & keep yoU!