Monday, April 10, 2006

Not so perfect

Perhaps I was high on fresh air yesterday, because on second thought, it wasn't exactly perfect. The really tiny little annoyance from yesterday was that one of the goats had her head stuck in the fence between the goat pasture and the ram pasture. Unfortunately, her head was stuck in front of a post, and when I put one hand on each side of her head to free her, Monet (a ram) came charging to the fence and rammed my hands. The goat's head appeared to be okay -- probably because she had my hands shielding her from the ram's head and the post. My hands were not so great. One is swollen today, but I don't think anything's broken. It's really just a minor annoyance compared to how I really spent today.

Yesterday I received a phone call from a woman who was transporting our new la mancha buck from Texas. She said he tried to jump out of a pen and broke his leg. Margaret and I met the transporter at 10 a.m. this morning, and I took him -- Hercules -- straight to the vet for x-rays, which showed a spiral fracture. That vet wouldn't touch it -- said he needed to see someone who does orthopedic surgery. I called the U of I vet clinic and very literally almost fainted when he said it would be $2,000!!! I was short of breath, dizzy and seeing blue spots!!! I called an experienced breeder of 30 years in Texas who had seen the goat shortly after he broke it. I was hoping she would say that it really wouldn't cost that much, but she said she has been faced with the same difficult decision, and she asked the vet to just splint it, and she hoped for the best. The leg did heal for her goat, but her joint was immobile.

I did find another vet who said he'd do the surgery for $300-800, but he'd have to see the x-ray first. Mike encouraged me to take in the x-ray and at least get a definite prognosis from him and a definite price. So, around 2:00, Margaret and I headed to Ottawa, which is an hour away. We left the goat in the truck and took the x-ray into the office. After a short wait, the vet looked at the x-ray and said he could splint it. I wanted to hug him! He said the fracture goes into the hock joint, so there is the possibility of arthritis in that joint, which means it would get stiff, and he wouldn't be able to bend it. There is also another possible problem. The break is very close to a growth plate, and if it was damaged, he said that leg would not grow any longer, regardless of whether he did surgery or simply splinted it. We opted for the splint, and an hour later we were on our way home.

That's the crazy thing about living out here. When I wake up in the morning, I frequently have no idea how I'll be spending the day. Of course, everyone has unexpected things happen, but they seem to come far more frequently out here than in the burbs. I certainly did not expect to be driving all over the place with a young la mancha buck today.

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