Saturday, October 5, 2013

not quite as planned

It's been an odd, unsettled sort of week. Despite mostly great weather, very little was done on my list of "do it NOW!" tasks: collecting plant materials for dyeing, building a more convenient stovewood storage area, creating new garden beds for next year, and so on and on. Almost none of that happened. Other, unplanned chores took a lot of time.

I suddenly had to split the goats into three groups - something I sincerely hope will be temporary, because 1) I like a herd that gets along nicely, and 2) splitting them up increases the time spent doing routine daily chores by about 300%. And that's not counting the time spent moving fencelines and building gates and extra hay feeders.

So why the rearranging?

Because Lily of the Valley was suddenly lame. It was very worrying; one night she was fine, and the next morning she was on three legs. I could not find any sign on a hoof injury or a broken bone, but there seemed to be a slight swelling at one fetlock - so, maybe a sprain.

Stall rest for you, young lady!

Happily, at no point was there anything wrong with Lily's appetite! This is an "after breakfast" picture, and that bucket is clean as a whistle. Always reassuring.

After two days, she still wasn't putting any weight on the leg and my favorite goat vet - who actually stayed in touch with me from her vacation in Florida, just to see how Lily was getting on! - recommended aspirin to relieve the inflammation.

In less than two days, Lily was walking normally, and after five days with no apparent discomfort, I reduced to the dosage to half. I'm now keeping a close eye on her to see if she begins favoring the leg.

Meanwhile, Lily and her daughter Tsuga (now known as Florence Goatingale) are still separated from the other goats, to prevent prematurely rambunctious activity.

While mum rests in the barn, Tsuga blocks the entire doorway - prepared to hold the fort against any and all comers.
"My patient must not be disturbed!"
Clearly Lily is feeling better, but it's not a sure thing that the injury has healed. It may be that the original dosage of aspirin was making her feel comfortable. Fingers crossed there won't be a recurrence with the lower dose, and I'll be able to stop the aspirin completely.

And while I continue to watch for any sign of discomfort, Lily is making up for lost leaf-browsing time. I think she is almost caught up now.

And I feel deeply grateful for a caring vet, and for every Autumn day that means One More Chance to get things done before Winter.