Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Daisy Oh Daisy You Worry Me

The more animals you have, the more confusion you will encounter. It is simply math. A greater number equates to a greater chance of things going wrong. Chicory was our stress goat but we asked for her and knew she would have issues of a non genetic nature. But we weren't ready for what happened to us Sunday with her daughter, Daisy.

You might recall the conversation we had about her being VERY large for her age and about how she looked very pregnant for no further along than she was. She is the one on the far side of Mercedes who is just six weeks younger than her cousin.

Well being large wasn't her problem on Sunday. We did not get to chores until after church and when Kirk and I arrived at the corrals there sat Daisy sitting upright like a dog looking slightly upward, breathing fast, her teeth grinding with pain. Her eyes were large and a bit alarmed. Something was definitely wrong but what? I pulled her to an upright position and she stood normal and deposited dingle berries (hm... slightly dry but over all normal).  She then urinated, (a good sign as the stomach seems to be working correctly). Her flanks were well filled out so she wasn't dehydrated and she did not have a lopsided distinct bubble in the flanks typical of bloat.

Figuring to keep a closer eye on her and make her more comfortable, I drug and Kirk pushed her to the goat shed. Yes, she obviously had not lost any strength as she resisted the whole way. She is usually more cooperative than that. I continued to stare and called a friend as a sounding board, the same one that received my call when our sow, Waltzing Matilda, went a bit loony on her estrus cycle a short time ago. Neither her nor her husband could think of a thing.

So we left her for a couple hours and returned to see if her symptoms had disappeared or changed. What met me was a goat standing, her head jerking rhythmically to the right but first she'd let out a loud sucking sound. It went suck, jerk; suck, jerk as if she was a metrodrone keeping time. The husband of the said sounding board was also doing his chores and so we stood staring at her clueless.

We checked her hay for a weed that might cause a reaction such as this. I knew it was fine for I had checked it when I fed it, admiring how pretty it was. It was gorgeous, leafy, small stems, and soft to the touch.

Finally I decided we should try stretching her spine as you would someone with a disc slightly out of place, though running our hands down her spine multiple times had failed to decipher a knot telling us a disc was out of place. What was there to loose I said. She was either going to get better or die. Neither the vets an hour in one direction away or the ones an hour and a half away in the other direction know much of anything about goats. Besides this was Sunday when a great big bill would likely be my reward for a puzzled look on their faces. I had just finished paying off a nearly six hundred dollar charge from a vet the breeder had run up on Jasmine, our yak that died of EHD. It too was on a weekend.  

So I decided in case it was a pinched nerve to try pulling her spine to stretch out the vertebra's. It would either kill her, help her, or do nothing. We did it three times, my holding her just in front of her hips and he pulling straight. It would relieve her symptoms mildly for just a few seconds and back she'd go again to the suck jerk pattern.

Next op I figured to try was a muscle relaxer of my daughters. Poor Daisy had to have some relief, the pain alone could kill her. Yes, the drug was for humans and as little as we knew about it, it might kill the babies she was carrying but then they might die anyway for we knew not what ailed her. The kids were guaranteed to die if we she did. An hour after the pill, her wrinkled lip had relaxed, she was no longer sucking, and her jerk was noticeably milder. She was standing strong so no muscle weakness had developed.

I then put in a call to a goat breeder friend of mine and she was convinced Daisy had  Goat Polio (read about it, it is interesting)which has a treatment of vitamin B shots and probiotic. I could do that easily enough though I was sure this wasn't the cause, it definitely wouldn't hurt.

The next morning Daisy had just a slight rhythmic twitch in her right eye and right side of her muzzle. I gave her a vitamin B shot, more probiotic, and oats with a granulated animal vitamin in it. We were both in consensus now. No, this was not goat polio and after an exhausting research on the Internet under goats, animals, and even people, I was convinced she did not have an epileptic seizure in part because her pupils did not dilate large but remained small in the darker goat shed. Further it was not like any type of seizure described or shown on the web. It was not a stroke but she did fit the bill for an injury causing damage to the brain stem or an injury causing some spinal damage.

When I tried to pet her head down the neck last night she would shake her head violently from side to side in protest. I believe she has indeed suffered from a neck injury.

Now we are praying it is just temporary because last night her eye quit twitching and her muzzle twitch was milder. She rose to stand unbidden and she had definitely drank though her interest in food was no more than to sniff at it. This morning I've yet to do chores as I wait for it to warm a little so the water pans stay open and don't freeze immediately after filling. I pray she is better yet. I want to know but am nervous about peeking inside the shed for fear of what will await me.

I have another problem though. Just to the left of my lips I have this spasmodic twitch. You think I'm kidding. I'm not. Seriously, I do. Is it sympathy pains?  What I am sure of is it is stress.

I'll keep you posted on Daisy and to let you know how she is doing. And by the way, Waltzing Matilda after her overly dramatic estrus cycle has began to gain weight like gang busters and follows me around like a dog, talking up a storm. She has now decided she would like back rubs with her spaw treatement. What would I do without my animals?

Thank you for all your well wishes for Daisy. She is doing even better today. No twitching but her appetite could use some work. I've put the does back in with her for encouragment.

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