Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Worried about Coco

I've been writing this post in my head for two weeks, while simultaneously trying to convince myself that I am just worrying over nothing. Now I have pulled out the calendar and realize I have nothing left but hope that somehow I am wrong.

On Oct. 14 and 17, my la mancha buck jumped two fences and got into the pasture with my Nigerian does. It was obvious a couple of does were in heat, so I gave them injections of lutalyse to end the pregnancies, in case they had been bred. I also lutalysed the doe kids, because being impregnated by a la mancha buck would mean certain death for them. I thought Coco was already bred, so I didn't worry about her. And I castrated the la mancha buck. I decided it was just too much of a risk to have a standard-sized, intact buck anywhere near my Nigerian does.

If Coco got pregnant by Tennessee Williams when he jumped the fence, she should have freshened by now, and her ligaments are still there. I finally sat down and calculated a due date based upon an October 14 breeding. She would be due March 8 to 13. An October 17 breeding would make her due March 11 to 16. She just keeps getting bigger and bigger and shows no signs of going into labor any time soon. To make matters worse, since we thought she was due mid-January, we've been giving her grain since early January, which is two months. Normally I only give grain to my does for the last two weeks of pregnancy. All that grain will make bigger kids. The only thing that might save her is the fact that multiples run in her family so strongly on both her dam's and sire's side, and she herself has had triplets already. If she has quads or quintuplets, they'll be smaller than if she only has two or three in there. Obviously, smaller is easier to birth, so now I find myself hoping she has quintuplets or even sextuplets! This picture was taken today, and I can't believe how big she is. Click here to see a picture of her at a show two years ago. She is not a short-legged doe!

I received my copy of Ruminations magazine in the mail today and read an article entitled, "A Life or Death Decision." It was about a goat that was carrying a very large single kid. The owner wound up in the vet's office faced with the decision of whether or not to spend $800 to have a dead kid delivered via c-section -- after already spending $400 on the x-rays and ultrasound for the diagnosis. They opted to have the goat euthanized. The point of the article was that goat breeders need to think about these things ahead of time and even talk to their vet and find out the cost of a c-section, in case they are ever faced with that decision. It's better to think about it ahead of time, rather than in the middle of an emergency situation when you are likely to be emotional.

So, I put down the magazine and picked up the phone to call the best goat vet I know. The office is an hour away. I asked the receptionist how much a c-section would cost for a goat. She said I'd have to talk to a vet about that, but they're all out of the office this week. "Do you need it soon?" she asked. I told her the situation, and she said she'd give them my message when they called in this evening. Now I'm sitting here waiting for the phone to ring, hoping that somehow I'm wrong, and trying to put a price on Coco's life.

10 comments:

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Oh Deborah, what a HORRIBLE dilemma! I will pray for earlier rather than later, and many rather than few. We will all be waiting and watching with you, hoping for the best possible outcome at this point.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Claire said...

Oh goodness me, I am soooo worried for Coco and so sad for you having to make such a dreadful decision. I can only wish for the best for you both, and for the kids she carries. Blessings to you all.

Nancy K. said...

Oh, my Lord! How can she even walk?
I hope and pray that she and her babies are all OK...

tonya fedders said...

Deborah, I would be a nervous wreck! I sure hope that all goes well with the situation. Meanwhile, I hope the vet calls and gives you a reasonable quote on the c-section to ease your mind a bit. I can't believe that it would cost so much! My Dad had to take one of his goats recently for an emergency c-section and it was less than 200 dollars. I really hope that your vet is reasonable, in the event that you are put in the position to make a decision. But let's hope you don't have to go that route. I will be thinking of you and will be watching for good news.

Deborah said...

Thanks for all the prayers and good thoughts. I do hope the vet is reasonable, Tonya. I wouldn't hesitate to do a c-section for less than $200. The vet still has not called back yet. I think tomorrow I'll call around to see what others would charge.

SkippyMom said...

Sending good thoughts and prayers for Coco. Hopefully it will be small babies and not one large one.

Let us know what the other vets say, okay? Take care.

JK said...

Just a thought...one of our local vets has an ultra sound machine. An ultra sound might be able to tell if she is carrying small multi-kids or heaven forbid one large one so you can consider how to proceed.
We too will be hoping and praying for the best for Coco.

Anonymous said...

I just began as a Nigerian owner and I purchased a pregnant doe without knowing much about her history. It was a bad deal. She was having contractions for four days before her water broke. An hour after her water broke with no progress, I took her to our local vet. I didn't ask how much because she needed the care regardless. an hour later I had a $330 bill and a beautiful baby doe. I was not too happy. The doe was bred too young to too large a buck. Perhaps the breeder knew who she bred the doe to. The doeling weighed 4 lbs to a first freshener.... Believe me, I would rather pay than watch a doe struggle. Perhaps you can find a vet to drive her to and preplan it so it won't be toooo terribly expensive. Make sure you go to a large animal vet so you won't be paying pet prices for your dairy animal c-sect. I am sure it will all turn out fine:)

Deborah said...

Hi Anonymous and welcome to my blog! I hope you kept reading and you saw that Coco did kid with four adorable Nigerian babies. She was a quad herself, so it's not a total surprise that she'd have quads. Her mother was not THAT big though!

I'm sorry for the bad experience you had with your first Nigerian. When people get goats from me, I always tell them to call with any questions. I got so lucky when I bought my first goats from a wonderful woman who'd been raising them for 25 years and was always willing to help me via phone and email. I remember one time calling her from the barn when a doe was having trouble, and she talked us through the difficult delivery. She was a great role model, not only in how to raise goats, but how to sell goats too! I know my experience with goats would have been terrible without her help, which is why I'm always happy to help others who buy goats from me.

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