Goat Vet Visit

Our awesome veterinarian, Lee Ann, who treats our goats, paid a visit last night, along with her six month old Welsh Corgi Nikki, and a third-year MSU vet student, Kim, who is riding with her this week. I always enjoy when Lee Ann comes, first of all, because she’s just such a neat and knowledgeable person, but also, of course, because I know our goat girls are going to receive excellent care from her. She has had her own herd for thirty-five years, and while she treats a variety of large livestock, she really loves goats, and it shows. We are fortunate that we have someone with the knowledge and experience she does – many areas don’t even have a vet who is qualified to treat goats.

The girls are now up to date on their CD-T vaccination. What’s that mean? Well, they have protection against Clostridium perfringins types C and D – those can cause enterotoxemia, or “overeating disease.” Because goats are ruminant animals, like cows, there is a very careful balance of beneficial bacteria in their digestive systems, and changes in feed can cause big trouble, including scours (diarrhea) and it can become very serious, even fatal. The vaccine helps to prevent these issues. The “T” stands for protection from Clostridium tetani, the bacteria that causes tetanus (lockjaw).

Additionally, they were given their first deworming treatments – something that we will have to do monthly moving forward. I learned that the product I purchased – Ivomec – is really unpleasant for the goats to take. In fact, as Lee Ann explained it, they kind of act like they’re going to die, something quite disturbing to this goat mama! Apparently it must sting or burn them. Because I wanted to learn how to properly give injections to our goats, Lee Ann guided me through the process, and she let me try another deworming product that isn’t quite so traumatic – Dectomax – as a basis for comparison. The difference was absolutely distinct, and while the Dectomax does cost a bit more, I believe it is worth it. Heidi received an injection of that, and barely noticed it. On the other hand, Gidget received an injection of the Ivomec, and that poor little girl screamed and cried. It was heart-wrenching to watch. We gave Lovie, Ginger, and MaryAnn the Ivomec orally so as to avoid any further suffering. We’ll use up the Ivomec doing the oral doses and then get Dectomax for future deworming – it also covers a broader spectrum of internal and external parasites, too. So it seems well worth the extra dollars.

Because they had to endure those awful shots last night, the girls were treated to an extra-long walk yesterday afternoon. Heidi climbed our rock pile out front:

And everyone was pretty tuckered out afterward:

Speaking of which, I’m feeling pretty exhausted myself! It’s been a long few days, but we’ve gotten a lot done for all of our animals, and that feels great. I am grateful for the rain today, though – it forces us to take a break and rebuild our energy reserves for the next round of work, of which there is always plenty! The only bummer is that it will negate my goat walks today – definitely a disappointment. But tomorrow will have some sunshine, and you can bet that the girls and I will be back to hit the “trails” here on the farm!

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