Saturday, November 27, 2010

Stupid Goat

We lost Linus Thursday night!
I'm MAD! Stupid goat up and died on me! I thought we we're going to pull him through. I feel like he just gave up and stopped fighting for his life. We tried really hard to nurse him back, and Wednesday it looked like we might get him back. By Thursday, he wouldn't even put the effort in, to drink or to stand. I'm mad at the stupid goat for being a quitter, even if the odds were stacked against him.
I'm really trying not to view our animals as pets anymore, so I wasn't totally crushed like if it had been one of the dogs. What I'm mad about, is losing animals may be the way of life on the farm, but I want to learn something from each one so we can prevent it in the future.

With Linus I'm not sure if it was totally the cold that killed him, or if he went down with something else in the cold.
Yes, I'm sure he had hypothermia.
I read that although you may be able to rewarm the animal, if their internal organs have begun shutting down, they don't really have a hope in survival.

I think this is what happened to Linus. Although we were able to warm him up, and by Tuesday he was looking better. He was on his feet, eating and drinking. By Wednesday he still wasn't pooping, which makes me believe his Rumen shut down. Apparently a goat that sufferers hypothermia, will go into survival mode, where the where the "essential" organs will get blood, and the heat/nutrients to stay alive, but the goats body doesn't consider the rumen an "essential" organ, and it can be the first to shut down. Building up bacteria, and obviously if the food is going in, but not coming out the bacteria will increase.

So I believe Linus was going through slow system shut down. He looked well for a day or so, but the inevitable was catching up to him.

My frustration, is that he also may have been showing some of the signs of Urinary Calculi. Although he only showed about half the symptoms, and most of them could also be accounted to the after effects of suffering hypothermia. If it was a case of Urinary Calculi, then we need to take another look at the feeding of our males, to make sure that Romeo doesn't suffer the same. We may be missing essential nutrients, or have an excess of others, which would cause this condition.
I'm left wondering if, he was ill and fell in the snow. Or if he was stupid and laid in the snow until he couldn't get up.

That's where I am. That's why I'm mad. I can handle losing an animal, but I want to use it as a learning experience to make sure we don't lose another in the same way. So I'm mad I don't have all the answers, I'm mad at the goat, because I feel like he gave up and submitted defeat before I was ready. (It may have been inevitable if his rumen shut down, but I wasn't ready to quit fighting for him yet). And I'm mad, that now I'm probably going to have to go on a hunt for a new companion for Romeo.

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