Authentic Compassion

Saturday, June 23, 2007

A sister helps when you are sick

Final update - poor little fellow - he had a couple of decent days - standing up for long times - we'd take him out to the pasture with the other goats so he wouldn't be alone in the pen. He ate a couple of times yesterday (grain and special feed to try to build him back up) and he rested under the trees in the front pasture during several hours of sunshine we had. When we went out to let them out of the pen this morning, he was on his side in the shelter obviously struggling to breath. I held him for a while, used a syringe to try to hydrate him but to no avail. I was holding him when he quit breathing - dear little body was so thin. He was worn out and now is buried under the big oaks in the side pasture. He was a fighter - he struggled so long and seemed content to have his sister and his extended family (particularly Boudreaux - who is actually Ellie and ElBubba's nephew) to lay in the shelter and simply be goat. I miss him.
We've had a tough week with ElBubba-the little mostly white kid(twin to Ellie - the brown doe lying next to him) who had been gradually declining. It finally hit me that he had worms. With the constant high humidity here this year we have ideal conditions for a huge infestation. Normally we are able to keep the internal parasites under control. This year we tried a different method of parasite control by putting a medicated lick block in their pens for several days at a time so the goats would "self dose". End result - we almost lost ElBubba and he still is anemic and weak. He was having a seizure on Tuesday evening - we double dosed him with wormer and started a regimen of giving him Red Cell (a vitamin type product) and feeding him separately from the others. For several days now - we've also used a syringe to shoot fresh water into his mouth. He doesn't move around much and with the heat he runs a danger of being dehydrated. ElBubba's weakness makes him a target ( most all animals turn on the weakest in the herd - it isn't pretty but is a reality). We put him outside the pens several times so he could eat without interference and rest a while. My wonderful husband has been working in his shop on our new gate - so he was available to tend ElBubba much of the week. Safe and sound for a bit the picture shows him laying next to his beloved twin. They have a good mother,Nubie, but unfortunately for the little guy it is time for the babies to be weaned. He gets to nurse a little - but not enough for his condition and certainly not as much as he'd like. We keep trying different foods (he got to take his pick from our vegetable garden - and when we put Ellie in the garden with him she was nibbling rosemary leaves then tomatoes - yummy!) and he will have to regain his strength over time. He'd been scheduled to go to a friend as a buck for her goats - but we probably will end up neutering and keeping him.
In a more general note - we dosed the entire herd today with wormer and will let them out on fresh pasture tomorrow. We'll keep them off a couple of the pasture areas for 14-21 days and give the worm cycle a chance to die off. Also working on the fly problems - they are bad this year for everyone - it was even mentioned on the Dallas tv news. In general - it takes perseverance and good sanitation and we are working harder on that.
In case anyone is curious- the derivation of ElBubba as his name was : twin sister was named Ellie by a young friend of ours with the same name, his most distinctive quality is being the brother of Ellie. In Texas - a nickname for brother is Bubba - so this little guy was named Ellie's brother- ElBubba.
So what lessons came from all this drama? Don't depend on goat self dosing for worm control, act more quickly when young animals become listless and don't be devastated if nothing helps. As mentioned before, this has been a difficult year for our goat herd. Best thing would have to be that we don't depend on the herd for our household income. Worst thing is - we are fond of these animals ,they are not pets but each has it's own personality. SO - today it is sunny and warm - they have plenty to eat and ElBubba is slowly recovering. God blesses us with relationships - including human, spiritual and animal. Life is good in Buhlaland.
UPDATE: Sunday the 24th around 8:30 at night - ElBubba is hanging in there, still very weak but he will eat,drink water and tries to get up to move around a little bit. Being stable is all good -we separate ElBubba and Ellie from the others and feed them extra grain - a slow process but better than even 24 hours ago. Not getting my hopes up too much - but each day is progress for the little guy. Beautiful day today - amazing clouds and breeze with rain forecast for next three days! What a monsoon season!

1 comment:

Ellie Skees said...

I hope ElBubba feels better soon! A cool thing to note: we often call Ellie's brother, Ethan - Bubba. That's too fun.