Thursday, March 5, 2009

Trying to find a vet

Thanks to the comments left on my last post, I decided to make a couple more phone calls to vets today. And it's a good thing, since that other vet still has not called me back. I called the vet who lives closest to us, although I had a feeling she would probably say she couldn't do a c-section, and I was right. She works out of her home, and she said she doesn't have the right equipment. She also said what I'd heard before -- that a lot of vets get frustrated doing c-sections on goats because you get it finished, and then the doe doesn't wake up or falls over dead shortly afterwards. Goats have a reputation for not handling anesthesia well.

I also called the University of Illinois, and they have not called me back yet, which is disappointing and frustrating. They are a two-hour drive, and I hate the idea of having to drive Coco two hours if she should need a c-section, but a friend of mine did it last year. The local vet encouraged me to call them and talk to them ahead of time, since they appreciate knowing that something like this might be coming.

I have a friend whose goat had a c-section at U of I two years ago, and I called her tonight. She said it was less than $200, which was good news! I was so relieved when she said that. I can't imagine the price would have gone up that much in two years, so I won't have to worry about having to put her down if she winds up needing a c-section. My perky attitude quickly turned south, however, when my friend told me that since goats don't do well with anesthesia, they did not anesthetize her goat. "It was not easy to watch," she said. They gave the goat a local on her abdomen and blindfolded her, and two vet students laid on top of her to hold her down while the vet did the surgery. Lovely options -- use anesthesia that could kill the goat or don't use anesthesia. No wonder vets don't like to do c-sections on goats.

My friend also had more bad news. The reason her goat had a c-section was because the kids (quad bucks) were so big, there was not room inside the doe for them to get into position to be born. That thought had been hopping around in my head since looking at her this afternoon. I was wondering how she could have room for the kids to move around.

Tomorrow morning, I'm leaving at 7 a.m. to go teach, and I won't be home until Sunday night. I'm speaking at a homeschool conference this weekend, and I'm attending an apple tree grafting seminar on Sunday, which just happens to be in the same town. Amazing coincidence. I am disappointed and nervous that I don't have a vet on stand-by in case the family needs to call this weekend, although U of I has always been good about getting back to us immediately when it's an emergency.

It is getting harder to check Coco's ligaments because she has decided she doesn't want us touching her there, so she walks non-stop as we're trying to do it, which completely messes up the perception of what we're feeling. At chore time tonight, I first had a hard time feeling the ligaments, but then she started walking, and I felt them. Does that count?

I feel like I'm going to cry whenever I look at her picture and compare it to how she looked at that show two years ago. I feel guilty because I should have been able to keep Hercules away from her. But as they say, boys will be boys. I'm glad I castrated him. I only wish I'd done it sooner.


tonya fedders said...

Hey Deborah, I was hoping for a birth announcement. :( I wanted to tell you that Dad's goat didn't have any trouble with the anesthesia (they used some kind of gas/mask) She was sluggish for a couple of days, but pulled through it and was back to herself in no time. We also had a small ewe that had to have surgery in January - they used the gas on her (same vet) and once they turned it off, she was up and running like nothing ever happened. I can imagine that you are worried as could be. I am praying for you, that you have peace, and that it all works out for the good -- before you have to leave tomorrow.

clink said...

Keep trying the University. I think it is the best option you have. My Dad was a large animal vet and I can tell you the number of times he worked on goats... zero. Sheep were pretty rare too.

We are reaching crisis situation in this country when it comes to large animal vets.

Coco is huge.... I understand your concern. Good luck -- and know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and Coco.

Meg said...

good luck....we are keeping our fingers crossed for you & Coco.

Henwhisperer said...

Deborah, Just wanted to weigh in with sympathy. I don't have goats but I have a mare who had trouble with cysts on an ovary. She went all studdy for a time and I thought I was going to have to have a 'horseterecomy' done (ok I made up that word). It was a heart wrenching time trying to decide what to do. In the end, lutylase solved the problem, but still, very stressful time. Hope today brings a resolution for you and the ewe.

Mom L said...

Deborah, I fervently hope you get the information and help you need asap! Poor Coco - after seeing her "before" picture, I realize she must be extremely uncomfortable with that bulk.

I also hope you don't see that weird goat man again - that really sounded bizarre. I would not trust someone like that. Hard times for all of us, but most people manage to retain their humanity and help each other out, not take advantage.

Nancy in Atlanta


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