Sunday, August 28, 2016

saturday on sunday

Note: I wrote this post last night, but fell asleep while loading the images. All the visual entertainment in this post is being provided by Betula.

I wanted to do something for #DrawingAugust tonight, but it's been a really long day and I'm resting my back, too tired to move. First thing after chores in the morning, I loaded up for the dump and recycling and made that trip. It always feels good to get that done.

At the dump, I ran into one of the people I bought the barn fans and other things from last Autumn. He mentioned that he is now the Town Animal Inspector and when would it be convenient to have a look at my gang? I was surprised - this has never happened before, and I said as much. But I immediately added, "It sounds like a good idea to have livestock inspection visits, and you're very welcome to come. But not today - I've got the vet coming."

Yes, if trouble comes in threes, Campion was the first, Tansy was the second, and now Tsuga is the third, with a sudden thick mass and fluid in the udder. I have never seen this kind of condition appear in a dry (= not producing milk at the moment) doe; Tsuga weaned her kids over a year ago, and her udder and teats became nearly invisible soon after she stopped producing milk. Perfectly normal for a small, cashmere, first-time mamagoat.

So I have to wonder if it is not an oddly-timed infection, but rather a tumor of some kind. And after examining Tsuga today, the vet is not sure either. But we're both hoping that the medication, which is an antibiotic inserted directly into the udder to treat an infection, will show positive results in a few days.

Just so Tsuga's friends don't worry too much: she has shown no signs of pain or even discomfort since I discovered the swelling on Thursday night. She has no fever, her appetite is fine, and her behavior is normal. The only reason I spotted anything is that when you spend time every day with animals, even without consciously observing them, you notice little things. When something looks just a little bit different, you do a double-take and investigate.

As for today, since I was having the vet make a barn call, I also asked her to do the entire herd's booster shots: one for rabies, and one called "CDT" which is a combination vaccine for Clostridium perfringens type C + D, and tetanus. We worked together, and coordinated the injections with the feeding routine, which was very good - though the goats would not agree. Even perfectly-timed peanuts handfed in sync with each shot and followed only seconds later by the daily bucket of Chaffhaye and oats, were not quite enough to make the goats happy with their annual shots. I don't blame them, and I'll be wincing when I see sore muscles tomorrow. But it's a necessity. It really is.


Sunday morning follow-up:

All the goats, including Ms. Tsuga, were up and about when I brought them hay for breakfast. In fact, the creakiest member of the team appears to be the goatherd.
Have a grand Sunday, everyone!