September 2013 Issue

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ALICIA'S ADVENTURE

In August 2012, OCR Alicia, TexMaster™ doe, began kidding a large male. Neither she nor I could deliver the buckling, so I loaded Alicia into the goat cage mounted on the trailer used for trips to the vet. About 15 miles south of the vet's office, I looked in my rear-view mirror and didn't see the trailer. A closer look revealed that the trailer was still attached but the goat cage was gone -- along with Alicia, who had a partially-delivered dead kid hanging out of her. I had visions of this magnificent TexMaster™ doe running across open country, never to be seen again, and dying from lack of veterinary treatment. Panicked, I turned around and found Alicia inside the upright cage on the side of the road. Slightly dazed and with a small cut over her right eye, she was definitely calmer than me. The rental truck I was driving didn't have a tool box or supplies; I didn't have halters, ropes, or tie-downs. The cage that had slid off the trailer had no bottom, so I needed help moving Alicia from it to another trailer. I called my vet, who sent a staff member with his truck and trailer. Arriving about 45 minutes later, he and I loaded Alicia into the vet's trailer and he rushed her to the vet clinic. My instructions were to save Alicia and don't worry about her kids, who were probably dead anyhow. A soldier traveling back to his military base stopped and helped me put the cage on my trailer and I drove to the vet clinic.

Alicia's kid's leg had torn through a uterine horn, either during attempted delivery or when she was bounced from the trailer onto the road. One side of her udder was bruised. The vet spent three and one-half hours removing one large dead male kid, rebuilding Alicia's uterus, cleaning her internally, and suturing her. I stayed in the waiting room, but at two hours into the surgery, I had to peak to see what was happening. Not yet knowing the extent of the surgery, I saw two things: the vet putting stitches into Alicia and her abdomen moving with regular breaths. I'd sigh with relief that she was still breathing, sit down, and check again in 30 minutes. I brought Alicia home and put her on antibiotics. She came out of the sedation quickly and immediately wanted to eat. Her bruised udder treatment involved several weeks of hot compresses, peppermint oil, etc. as described in my article on how to treat mastitis and congested udders. See Articles page at www.tennesseemeatgoats.com.

item2This is one of those "things you didn't think of that will bite you in the butt" stories. I had checked the trailer's tires before heading for the vet. I did not check the cage tie-downs; I did not know that my former ranch hand had removed the cage from the trailer and re-secured it only with bungee straps. You can bet I don't go anywhere now without inspecting all equipment thoroughly.

Alicia has recovered and is ready to be bred again. My vet doesn't expect any problems with her pregnancy or kidding. Given all of the terrible things that could have happened, this disaster could not have had a better ending.

Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch, Texas 9-13-13

Subscribe FREE now! Monthly issues with new articles and other educational information on meat goat health, nutrition, and management written by Suzanne W. Gasparotto of Onion Creek Ranch and Pat Cotten of Bending Tree Ranch. In all cases, it is your responsibility to obtain veterinary services and advice before using any of the information provided in these articles. Neither Suzanne Gasparotto nor Pat Cotten are veterinarians. None of the contributors to this website will be held responsible for the use of any information contained herein.

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Bending Tree Ranch located near Greenbrier, Arkansas
www.bendingtreeranch.com
bendingtreeranch@cyberback.com


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