Friday, December 31, 2010

A Very Goaty Update

Gertie's visit to the vet this past Wednesday went pretty well. She was diagnosed as having a respiratory virus and a case of lice - lice which are mercifully species specific, per our vet, thank goodness.

She gave Gert a shot of oxytetracycline, an antibiotic, and an oral dose of ivermectin, which is a wormer/lice treatment. We were also sent home with one more needle full of antibiotics for Gert and a dose of the ivermectin for each of her brothers, so that we can hopefully, with the help of the cold weather, eradicate the lice altogether. I gave Gertie her second shot of antibiotics today and she hobbled around and shivered for a bit afterwards, which made me feel like a big meanie for causing her discomfort and also made me wonder if I had somehow screwed it up and made her worse. But Bill and I hung out with her and the boys in our lovely 20 degree weather until she was back up and about and snarfing up her grain and apples. I am optimistic that within the next week or two she will be right as rain again.

As far as having the vet confirm the pregnancy, we weren't able to. The doc said that ultrasound was really the only way to go, but of course, it's expensive and that they'd have to shave a decent sized patch of fur off of Gertie's side to get the instrument to make sufficient contact. No thank you, not in this weather! So instead we're officially back to staring at Gert's lady business every day to see whether or not she comes back into heat. If not, then that means we've got babies on board.

So, all is essentially well again with our four-legged fuzzballs, and we have a wonderful new goat vet, Dr. Hoaglund, who I would highly recommend to any Thurston County area goat owners. She keeps goats herself, and very clearly knows her stuff. We might well owe Gert and her baby/babies' life to her, which is why we're going to stick with her, even though she's changing clinics. She also recommended that I read this book to get myself fully geared up for Gertie's pregnancy and delivery, and for caring for her babies. I feel like I am informationally always behind the eight ball a little, so I'm going to storm the library and scoop up every last goat book that I can find and read like a fiend for the next 4 1/2 months.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Glimmer of Hope

Today is another one of those mixed days - the last of the bantams have gone, leaving me feeling like the whole hatch-your-own endeavor was an enormous waste of time, energy and money. And yet, just when we're down about as low as we can get, a little miracle.

Liv found an egg in the nest box today. A mid-winter egg, out of the blue! I feel especially buoyed by this little sign of providence after having been laid so low by loss after loss with the bantams. We're not sure which of our remaining six girls laid the egg, but we suspect Annabel or Miss Cotton, as it is pale, pale brown and slightly pointy - a sight for sore eyes if ever there was one.

This Winter and ice and the retreat of growth can't last forever. Now I just need to hang on with all I have to my vision of Spring forthcoming - baby goats, half a dozen eggs per day and flowers everywhere, and I will see my way through this biting season.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Queen Goes to Town

Our sweet Gertie girl is going in for her first ever vet visit tomorrow. For the past week or so, she's had a wheezy cough that comes in little fits. At least I think that it's a cough. The girls say it's hiccups and Bill initially thought that it was a sneezing fit. Whatever it is, it's not going away, and it can't be good.

Like I normally do when I'm blindsided by something weird, I googled the bejeebus out of "goat coughing". Most sites say that it is likely lungworm (EWWW!), but we wormed Gert & the boys just a month and a half ago, so I'm not too sure about that being a the culprit. Other sites say that it can be a bacterial infection that requires antibiotics like erythromycin. I'm not overly keen on the idea of throwing antibiotics at every little sneeze and cough, but when you see a creature in your care suffering, you do what you've got to do. I would gladly give her the meds to make her well again, but with our girl being in the family way, and so early in her pregnancy, well, I'm hesitant.

And so, the Gertinator is going to take a little ride into town with us tomorrow to see the doc. I'm not sure how I'm going to get her there. Dare I let a goat loose in the back of my station wagon?

Assuming that we get there in one piece, I'm hoping that the doc might be able to confirm Gert's pregnancy & dates for us, just to be sure. At this point, according to my voodoo math, Gertie is due to deliver on May 8th.

So here's hoping that we'll all make it to the vet and back safe and sound (and without hoof-shaped bruises on our foreheads) and that our sweet Herd Queen is restored to health lickety-split. Viva la Reina Gertrude!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Last Call for Stick to it! Menu Planner Winner

Yo! Jennifurla! You won, mamacita! Email me your info at - pisceschick99 at gmail dot com so that I can send you your prize, lady, or I'm going to have to draw another winner.

Thanks again to everyone who entered. Have a wonderful 2011!