Thursday, February 25, 2010
The goat, the sheep, and the dog
I feel like I'm working in an animal hospital lately. Shortly before noon, I said to Jonathan that I had to go check on Wilbur, Coco, and Trouper. I don't recall a time when I had this many animals that needed individual attention.
Coco is now at day 148 of her pregnancy. She should kid within the next two days. Goats are very prompt when it comes to giving birth. As you can see, the poor girl looks like she is going to pop. She's probably having quads again. I just hope she gives us more than one doe. She's only had one doe ever, and I sold her before it clicked that Coco was five, and I had no kids from her. So, I need to remedy that situation this year. She is Katherine's favorite milker, because she has nice, big orifices (holes in her teats), which means that she milks out easily and quickly. She also has long teats, which make it easy for me to milk her. I specifically bred her to Pegasus so I could keep a doe from her this year. Pegasus throws beautiful does that are excellent milkers, and he should since his mama was on the Top Ten list for milkers three years in a row. We drove to Massachusetts to pick him up five years ago. Last year, a Pegasus daughter gave birth to triplets as a first freshener and was able to make enough milk for all three. But I guess I'll have to wait a little longer to see what Coco has, because her tail ligaments are still fairly firm, and her udder is not very full, which is another sign of impending labor.
Wilbur, the little ram, seems to be doing okay. After having such difficulty with the antibiotic injection, I got smart and decided to give him his tetanus shot inside his thigh, where there is plenty of loose skin but no wool. It was the easiest sub-Q injection I've ever given. One thing I do not like about rams is their violent attitude. I don't know what the water bucket did to annoy Wilbur, but he busted it. I wonder if that means he's feeling better?
And then there's Trouper. I called the vet Monday because the poor boy was still peeing blood and had become incontinent. I suspected that one of the drugs was causing this problem, because his bladder was fine for the first five days after he showed up here. The vet really played down the possibility that one of the drugs could cause it, but he said that sometimes the anti-inflammatory drug irritates the kidneys and can cause problems. So, we discontinued it, and each day the blood in his urine has been reduced. Today, the urine is mostly yellow with a red spot every now and then. Although the incontinence is continuing, it has improved.
The office in the barn, however, is disgusting. The floor is unfinished wood, and it has bloody urine stains all over it. The mattress in there is also covered with stains. Yes, his pelvis has healed enough that he can climb up on the bed, which I learned after he had already leaked all over the mattress. At least it's an old mattress, and I won't feel too guilty sending it to a landfill after Trouper is all healed up. The floor, however, is a different story. What does one do to clean wood that's been stained with blood and urine?
Once Trouper is no longer incontinent, we can let him in the house. I don't think the stairs will be a problem for his pelvis now. Porter would love to play with him, so maybe it's better than they only see each other when I'm walking Trouper on a leash, because I don't want him to re-injure his pelvis. Porter has wanted a canine playmate forever. Unfortunately, Joy and Sovalye both despise him. Trouper acts like he would like to play, and the two dogs wag their tails wildly as they sniff each other.
That's been my life for the past few days -- cleaning up bloody urine, walking the dog, checking on Wilbur's injury, and checking Coco's tail ligaments every few hours. In my spare time yesterday, I started two flats of cole crops and herbs. This morning, I made chevre and yogurt, and now I have to put together a soap order and get it ready for the mail. There might still be snow on the ground outside, but winter hibernation time is definitely past.