Tuesday, October 9, 2012

EHD Was the Cause of Jasmine's Death

It is official, Jasmine died of EHD, epizootic hemorrhagic disease, where her organs turned mushy and she bled to death inside. I've put off telling you, it is a pretty sore spot. The breeder where she was at the time said it was a horrible death. The loss hit me hard as I had such high hopes of building a small herd around her bloodlines. She was my wool, meat, and some cheese plans for a more self-sufficent future.

You always think what if I had been there to give her shots would it have made a difference? Many cattle make it on their own or with the help of anitbiotics, why not her since she was in prime physical condition? The breeder even commented several time on the fact of how good she looked when she arrived. The very least, we could have shot her, ending her misery sooner but What If's dont' change the facts. I lost my favorite yak and I morn her still though it was the 15 of September when she died.  When I read on the Internet that most cattle recover, I wonder why my sweet girl didn't? Lord, what was I to learn from this? Then again Job, in the Bible, was probably saying the same thing. Not that I'm suffering in anyway to his level. I still feel sorely tried.
My husband thoroughly discouraged wants to abandon the project and sell off Gracie. I just can't make myself do it so I'll return to pick her up soon. Though Cory is in their pen (the Corrientte steer) and has begun following me around. I suspect he's fond of me for all the food I'm piling on trying to cover those bare ribs, I still miss terribly Jasmines grunts of greetings in the morning and her tail high in the air as she torn around the pen playing, her tongue hanging out. Those big brown eyes, large bushy bangs hanging thickly, just melted my heart.

Gracie is supposedly pregnant. She's bred anyway but she wasn't much to look at and her personality is cantankerous. It was my Jasmine which I loved and had such high hopes for and Gracie was going to be sent down the road in a year or two. Now she is all that is left so why since I don't really like her can't I let go?

Why she wasn't bit by the Midge fly that killed Jasmine is a mystery since they are never very far apart. This year hundreds of deer, especially white-tail deer have died in our area from the viral disease. One man told Kirk he found 18 dead deer on his place over an hour south of us. Why such a disease now when we have so few flies because we are in such a severe drought? I think it has been 8 years now that we've been without much water. The 300 foot and greater water wells which are the least depth you have to go to find water are running low and the ground is parched down deep.
It took all I had in me to dig the two window wells in the back yard. I finally had to have my hubby pitch in near the end. Us both taking turns with the pick ax to loosen the rock hard clay soil. His shoulders are giving him problems and he tries to limit his shovel time for it sets off lasting back aches. Though I have bulging discs ever other one all the way down my back and a plate in the bottom, I get by pretty good. Not counting that right now T-11 and 12 are screaming for a undisclosed reason. Could be trying to sleep with little ones.
The three year old  has her turn to sleep with Grandma tonight and as I type she is tucked in my bed. Think I'll have room to sleep or will I get crowded out? LOL

So if you hear me shout whoo hoo to the freezing cold weather we've been having, you'll know I cheer for the death of thousands. Thousands of flies that is.

Can you imagine a year where you didn't fight flies like crazy in the barnyard? This was such a year. I didn't even hang a sticky strip let alone a fly trap. Didn't need to and yet, this happens.

At least it wasn't Anthrax that she had, which was the other option the vet thought. Droughts raise it's ugly head too. Did you know it can sit in the ground for 60 years and to then be uncovered. As much dust as we've  had in the air this summer, that doesn't surprise me.  The close cropping of vegetation due to short grass can be one way of the inhalation of the spores by animals.

Yes, neither disease is typically spread from animal to animal and we are thankful that the breeders animals did not also come down with this disease though he lives near the river on the other side of the state.

Trials haven't stopped for I've got a goat that though she doesn't have EHD,  might have to be put down. We've medically and nutritionally treated her and treated her and she too has a shiny coat and is round and plump. Her udder though is growing harder and harder, her feet more tender to walk on. She tested negative for CAE last year but I'm afraid she might of had Milk Fever when she was one years old (before we bought her) because she had significant feet and pastern problems. They grew better as the years past and I treated them nutritionally. They have recently grown worse again. Why buy her in the first place. The selling price reflected this problem enticing us and we needed her. She had wonderful bloodlines and conformation beyond the feet and most of all we had only one other goat and time for her.

She has continued to have trouble especially around kidding time.  I think due to this beginning problem and as breeding season approaches, I wonder if we should even try for I'm not sure she will have any milk and before she reaches that point, will her aching legs stand the added weight. Her feet don't look that bad right now though worse than a month ago, so what's up? My Chicory can moan and groan about her problems so is it really serious or not? I might take her to the vet but I had a kid from the vets ask me what was wrong with his goat. The vets were all way off. They don't treat many goats in this country and so have little knowledge in that area. It isn't a resource I have much faith in.

Chicory can make it up on the milking stand without too much trouble and despite very little milk, I still keep massaging and emptying her udder. I had something mysterious like this happen to another goat years ago. Her feet were fine but her udder did the same thing. I sent a milk sample in to the state lab and no bacteria was found. A few months later she died.  

This has been a double tough year starting way last winter. Yet when I'm feeling like crying out, "Lord, I can't take anymore." I remember, "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh, praise be the name of the Lord."

And indeed the Lord taketh my Sherman, Jasmine, my Mary Margaret, and maybe even our Chicory but he gaveth us Cory and next month a sow will arrive for the freezer and today my hubby and son both got a cow elk to  add to our meat supply. So at the end of the day, when I tally things up, I may at first see all the many trials that presently afflict us but then I count the blessings and see they far out weigh our problems. We are truly blessed. The Lord hasn't for a moment forgotten us. May I always remember that bent knees keeps me humble and gratitude keeps my feet progressing forward.   

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