A bad day at the office…..

28 11 2012

For some time now, I’ve had a saying……  if you have livestock, you’re going to have deadstock.  And so it was yesterday, my last remaining milking goat died.  It all happened so fast, I’m still stunned.  Two days ago, Shove refused to be milked…. and she was off her food, a very unusual thing.  Actually never happened before.

I contacted my friendly goat expert in Tassie, Katrina, and we both felt it must be a bout of mastitis, not an unusual condition in goats which apparently catch this far more often than cows.  So I started administering Olive Leaf Extract, which is supposed to clear it up in a couple of days or three.  Shove was still eating a bit and walking around the paddock, and whilst not her best, the last thing on my mind was that she would die.

Then the next morning as I stripped her of her milk, an essential procedure under these circumstances, she really put up a struggle.  Oddly, what milk I managed to catch was in no way offensive or strange looking.  I even had a sip.  It’s hard to be objective when you think you know something’s wrong.  I thought it tasted fine, even if there was a slight ‘je ne sais quoi’ that might have been different about the milk’s flavour….

I then discovered on the inet that vitamin C with dolomite also clears this up, and at lunch time I squirted what was probably a horrible tasting concoction down her throat.  Again she could stand, and I had another fight on my hands to keep her head steady enough to aim the syringe down her throat.  I’m certain it didn’t go down the wrong way, she was breathing into my face the whole time, and the only gurgling noises were those of the stuff running into her stomach.  At this stage I had to go out, never suspecting for one moment that even though she was still eating nothing she’d be dead before dark……

When I got back, it was plainly obvious she was in serious trouble, and within another twenty minutes that she was not going to make it.  We even called the vet to put her down, but in the end she was in such distress that I just could no longer put up with her suffering and did the job myself to put the poor girl out of her misery.

It’s 4:40AM, first light, and I have to go and dig a big hole before it gets hot.  It was 32 again yesterday, and the forecast is for another week of even higher temperatures, and not a drop of rain in sight…

Life in Utopia doesn’t seem so great right now.  The pull from Tasmania is rising daily.  I need to move on.  Gotta go……


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3 responses

28 11 2012
Greg Bell

Sorry about that, Mike. Even though it’s just “stock”, it has names and faces and it’s made up of creatures we grow to like, if not love.

Vets are too expensive for us to use on everybody too. But for 90% of the concoctions you hear/read about, there’s absolutely no evidence that they work. I wouldn’t put much faith in “olive leaf extract” or “vitamin C plus dolomite”. People have very little scientific literacy and usually don’t do even simple tests before passing on advice about “essence of dandelion” or whatnot.

You probably know all of that, but I’m putting it out there.

29 11 2012
mikestasse

Thanks Greg…… Vets are too expensive. He was going to charge us at least $200 to essentially do what I ended up having to do myself. It’s not even like she was a prize milker or anything, for $200 I reckon I could get a better goat. In the end, as I was watching her die in what looked like agony, I thought to myself, “you’re just being a coward”. So I put her down.

Re the remedies……. who knows? I often wonder when I take medicines for whatever ailment is making me ill, did they fix me, or would I have gotten better by myself anyway..?

I’m even wondering now if maybe she was bitten by a snake in the shed. Seems weird, but she died so suddenly… it’s not like she was THAT sick last time I treated her…

1 12 2012
kika

How sad about your lovely goat……it must have been very difficult for you as well, Mike. Sounds like you made the right decision, to prevent further suffering.

I love goats – we played with our neighbour’s goats in brisbane when I was young. They are intelligent, curious and playful creatures.

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