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Ringing in the New Year . . . With the Vet

We are a grand total of three days into 2018 and we have now seen a vet two out of those three days.  The only surprising thing about our vet visits is that neither of them have involved horses, they have both involved one of our fainting goats. In February we will have had Mina and Jo for nine years and Miss Lyle came along a couple of years later.  Mina, one of the World’s Cutest Fainting Goats, is a pro at vet visits.  Over the nine years we’ve had her she has had a urinary tract infection, she had a cyst on her back that Jason was convinced would turn out to be cancerous but the biopsy thankfully revealed it was just a fatty tumor, and of course none of us can ever forget the time Mina broke her leg.

Mina was her usual self on Monday morning, which was also New Year’s day. When we saw her again mid-day she was definitely not ok. Her breathing was scarily loud and labored and she was in great distress. Seeing her in that state made both Carter and me immediately start crying. On top of all of the goat drama we are in a very unusual cold snap this week, so Carter and I had tears frozen to our faces as we watched poor Mina. Since it was New Year’s Day we knew it would be almost hopeless to get a vet to the farm for a goat, so instead we hooked up the trailer, loaded Mina up, and Jason drove her to a vet clinic immediately that did a mixed large animal practice. Jason announced to the vet that this goat was a pet, his wife and son were crying, and they could do whatever was necessary to help his goat.

Mina had a thorough exam at the clinic. Her temperature and gut sounds were normal. The vet passed a tube and found no blockages at any point and no reflux fluid from her stomach. An oral exam revealed nothing out of the ordinary. Everything they checked was normal yet she couldn’t breathe and was in distress. The conclusion was that she was having a severe asthmatic reaction to something unknown. The vet loaded her up with steroids, anti-inflammatories and an antihistamine and told us she would be markedly improved within two hours or be dead, and he didn’t offer any hope for anything in between.

Mina came home and the vigil began. We counted down as 30 minutes passed, an hour and then two hours. To our distress she was no better. Jason and I started discussing our options and we only came up with two. Put her back on the trailer and take her to our wonderful equine clinic knowing that they would be able to do anything including surgery on her, or shoot her and end her suffering. First I wanted to take her to Tennessee Equine and Jason said it had stressed her so much taking her to the other vet he didn’t think it was a good idea to transport her again. Then we switched sides and Jason wanted to take her to Tennessee Equine and I thought it was unfair to put her through the stress again. We went around and around in circles while Mina struggled to breathe and occasionally cried which was heartwrenching. Finally, when she started crying again, we decided the kindest thing would be to end her suffering and shoot her.

Jason reluctantly went to the house and got a rifle. Carter and I were bawling at this point.  Jason said he could not handle this horrible job with both of us wailing and making things worse so he told us to stay in the house. Carter and I sat in the house crying and waiting for Jason to return. He came back 30 minutes later and to my surprise he looked happy. I was confused.

Me:  Why do you look happy

Jason:  Mina is fine!

Me:  WHAT???

Jason:  I was standing there looking at the girls and trying to convince myself to end Mina’s suffering and I just couldn’t do it. I decided to jam my fingers down her throat one more time to see if I felt anything. I didn’t and she started breathing even worse and fell over, and I thought I had killed her. Then she did a horrible cough, got up, butted Miss Lyle and Jo away from the hay, and started eating while breathing normally.

Jason, Carter and I were all jubilant as we rejoiced over Mina’s recovery. We monitored her closely until well into the night, and started again Tuesday morning. All was well. We continued to be elated at Mina’s recovery.

Wednesday morning Mina was still eating and moving about normally but she had some raspy/wheezy breathing. It was nothing close to the drama of Monday but still not normal. This time we begged our favorite vet from Tennessee Equine to come to the farm to see Mina. After a thorough exam this afternoon he decided she had aspiration pneumonia that was secondary to whatever had happened on Monday. Mina is now on two different antibiotics and banamine. The hope is we caught it very early and she will recover. She has to me medicated both via injection and orally twice per day which is fun. We will see what the next few days bring.

Jason holding Mina while our horse vet calls another vet to discuss proper med doses for goats


If we throw in the fact that Igor the cat had to go to the vet the day after Christmas for a urinary tract infection we have both ended one year and started a new one with a slew of vet visits. Let’s hope we have not set the tone for the year to come, and instead are getting it all over with at once.

Igor is feeling good and making his rounds; here he is flopped down in front of Art


Thanks to our cold snap Timbit has a blanket on for the first time in two years. Part of the reason he hasn’t had a blanket in two years is because he removes and hides blankets. This one was MIA for a year and a half before it was found.


Igor loves to flop down in front of Timbit and let him mouth him. I do not understand why Igor likes Timbit.


Timbit yesterday morning, sticking his tongue out at me while saying “nah, nah, boo, boo, I took off my blanket after 48 hours and buried it again.”  Fine with me, no blanket for you, ungrateful wretch. In classic Timbit procedure, the blanket has not been located.


Sparky declining to walk into the barn today. We call this “the face of NO.”


“Do you not see the face of NO? I will stand here with my feet planted.”


It is hard to see what is going on here but Carter is standing at the gate playing his harmonica. For some reason the horses love it and often come to the gate to listen. This is Thomas, Moe and Homer enjoying a personal recital.


Bruno, Havana and Fabrizzio


Sushi, Rubrico and Gus coming in to eat in single file


Romeo and Lotus


Gibson and Gus . . .


. . . Gus saying, “can you stop with the pictures, I’m trying to eat”


Baner and Remmy


Lofty, Donneur and Cocomo




Cinnamon and Calimba




Dolly and MyLight


Magic and Ripley




Mick, Lighty and Quigly

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