Our vet tells us that the average stint as an owner of goats is 3 years. By that measure, we are now above average -- which may just mean that we're more stubbornly persistent than most.
The main reason so many get out of goats is how very finicky and frail they tend to be. It's discouraging to lose well-cared-for goats because the summer was wetter than normal or, in our case, your milker dies of bloat in a matter of hours.
Over the years, we've definitely relied a lot on the web for help in recognizing and diagnosing health issues. Two other sources have helped us through. Mr. Robert Dean, local shepherd and friend, is always willing to listen to our plight and offer help. We have a saying here on the farm: "What would Robert Dean do?" When it comes to small ruminants, if we do what Robert Dean would do, we'll be doing alright.
Nutmeg fell ill on a Sunday, so the vet couldn't be reached. We called on our friend Robert Dean . . . who advised us to do what I had already done. Well, that was validating!
And, our vet has been a great help to us through the years, too. When she returned my call on Monday, I was in route to pick up an over-the-counter vitamin that I'd determined I needed. Her advice: you've done everything right thus far. And, as for that vitamin, here's my suggested dosage.
It's disheartening to have a sick animal but definitely encouraging as a goatherd to know that I'm getting better at diagnosis and treatment.
As for Nutmeg, she gets a little bit better everyday. Despite the vitamin shots she's having to endure every 6 hours, she's actually being spoiled rotten. I picked up 5 pounds of peanuts (her favorite food) and have been doling them out as treats and hiding them in her food to encourage her to eat. She's also getting sorghum molassesin her water to encourage her to drink. The rest of the herd is jealous indeed.
(This video may not look like much to you, but it was the first time I'd seen her drink in 2 days-- Victory!)