Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Blood, Bone & Bleuberry

Shayla & Bleuberry

As some may have noticed, I’ve been kind of absent from the whole blogging bit….. If you did not notice, do my ego a favor & pretend you noticed my lack of posting!

Been sick, busy and did I mention sick?? Started off with this nasty, deep to the bones ache & complete lack of energy…went away for a week…then came back with what I’m guessing is some upper respiratory junk…coughing, congestion, some fever, aches & snot.

Three weeks later and I’m still coughing like a life long smoker…. I’m way behind on almost everything & I think I’ve scared folks with my haggard, hacking self when I’ve been forced to venture out.

Despite all of that, here I sit, alternating typing and coughing…feeling quite pleased with my multitasking this evening. Going to do my best to catch up my blog….

ANYWHO, I’m obviously side tracking myself, so I’ll get on to the subject of the title..

In the midst of the worse part of my sick I was in rough shape…. Just making it out to the pens to feed was a struggle so I altered my milking schedule so I wouldn’t be due at the barn until 10am or so…

One lovely morning I finally manage to wobble out to the barn, milk Sabrina, fed the milk to the chickens (too tired & gross to be my typical uber sterile self) & was about to go toss myself in bed when half way to the house it dawned on me that Bleuberry, one of my Alpine does who never, EVER misses so much as a scrap of hay, did not greet me (read mob me) at the gate.

I stood there on the porch in the remains of my Nyquil induced fog & considered chalking it up to the ever constant antics concocted by goats to drive you insane, but thought better of it and went back out… I swear the walk to the barn felt like 2 miles…..

I cussed Bleuberry the whole entire walk, just knowing that as soon as I got out there, she’d be bounding around, smug with satisfaction of making me put out extra effort on her behalf.

Well, I do admit, profanity was the first bit out of my mouth when I saw her….. She stood in the back corner of the barn, leaning on the wall, head hanging and her entire body shaking violently. …Pools of blood were visible on the floor and she had a nasty leg cut…

Cut after 1st cleaning. It extends down & around another few inches under the bloody area shown

Cut was on her rear leg, about 7 inches long, straight down the front…cut so bad the bone itself was visible and even had a gouge on the bone!! Looked like someone took a potato peeler to her leg in an attempt to leave nothing behind but bone! The cut was shaped like a shallow backwards “C” with flesh from the top & sides puddled in the center instead of firmly attached in their proper places….I couldn’t get the lower half of the cut to show in the pictures, so you’ll just have to use your imagination on that…..

Ran in to get supplies, washed with Triodine 7 & tried to put the flesh back in place, but it just kept sliding down the leg making this grotesque lil puddle…

Stitches were definitely needed, and I would have happily stitched her up, but the wound must have occurred late in the night or very early in the morning as the flesh had already shrunken… Despite my best efforts I couldn’t cover the entire area with the missing flesh as it had shrunk so much…

In the midst of this I realize I’ve made unnecessary trouble for myself….. Something as simple as a CD/T Toxoid Vaccine would have saved me a mad dash into town…Typically I’m very good about giving the vaccine, and the booster 21 days later every year (booster is essential to seal immunity)…This year, I didn’t get around to it…So not only did I have the drama of this nasty wound, I had tetanus to worry about too!

Ran into town (40 minutes away) and got the much needed Tetanus Antitoxin….something every goat owner should have on hand for emergencies as it provides instant, short term protection against tetanus… So my goat friends who read this, go NOW, make sure you have the antitoxin on hand, and better yet, make sure your CD/T’s are current!!

Before leaving I cleaned it as best as possible, locked her up alone and gave her a nice shot of Banamine to help ease the pain…..Banamine is another essential for your goat medicine cabinet. It eases pain, reduces inflammation/fever and in really sick goats, it can ease their suffering enough to allow them to eat, thus keeping that ever important rumen functioning properly.

Came home, got the Tetanus Antitoxin in her and then sat with a new dilemma… I’m sick and wobbly…Bleuberry is a big girl…taped at 165lbs and she’s in pain. I have no help…

I drag my big metal milk stand through two gates and into the lil pen I have her in, then lift her, one half at a time to get her on the stand…then get crushed against the wall in her attempt to get away while I was trying to hold her head in the head gate and lock it.

I confess….in the middle of this struggle, I contemplated goat BBQ…only for a split second, but I seriously didn’t feel up to this.

Washed her as she alternated between panicked shaking and frenzied fighting. I had to pull the piled flesh back and flush it as it was a real nasty mess….This chore earned me a kick to the shoulder and one square in the chest which knocked the wind right out of me…. As I laid flat on my back in the dirt, goat manure and other unknowns gasping for air I once again thought of goat BBQ….. But I had to remind myself that Bleu is such a sweetie (generally) and my best quality Alpine so she could not become BBQ, no matter how bad, at that very moment, I wished I wasn’t dealing with this mess…..

A very stressed out Bleu resting after our doctoring ordeal

I got it done though….. Once flushed well, I sprayed down with Vetericyn VF (GREAT stuff BTW) and then packed EMT Gel under the flesh, pulled the flesh back in place as best I could then coated the rest in EMT Gel…. Applied a non stick gauze coated in EMT Gel….. Took 4 gauzes before I finally got one on her that she didn’t kick off…Then taped it down and wrapped in pretty pink Vet wrap…. Let me tell ya, trying to get the wrap on properly, without disturbing the gauze underneath, with one hand was quite the adventure, but when all was said and done I was THRILLED…

Bleuberry rockin' her new bandage

Yes, I am woman, hear me roar! I triumphed over goat, blood, ick and sick.

Banamine was such a huge help…. Once it kicked in she finally started nibbling her hay, where as before she wouldn’t even touch grain. We topped this off by stabbing her with a shot of Biomycin (antibiotic) & Bo-Se (to help boost her immune system).

We went through the cleaning, redressing, shot of Biomycin & Banamine in the evenings and eventually when she saw me coming with my “Bag O’ Tortures” she tried to stay as far away as possible… Poor gal. Future dressings were much less dramatic, thanks to my helpful hubby…He’s a great assistant.

Bleuberry warily watching as I approach with my "Bog O' Tortures"

Now, she’s barely got a limp and I’m beyond pleased with the looks of the wound. I swear by EMT Gel… I’ve used it on dogs, horses, sore, raw hocks on bunnies and now Blueberry…kind of pricey, but worth every single penny!!! Here is a picture of the wound now….No signs of infection, no swelling, and the white you see is where it’s healing over the exposed bone where I didn’t have enough flesh left to pull over it. That white bit looks like it’s a slimey coating or something, but it’s actually got the texture of firm skin….The flesh puddle (like my sophisticated medical terminology?) is firmly attached, and the open areas on the outside of the wound are getting noticeably smaller with each redressing (which we redo every 4-6 days now)..

Bleu's healing leg 13 days after injury

Front view of Bleu's healing leg

Just keeping it wrapped now to protect it from the awful plague of flies we’ve been dealing with here lately and once there is no longer an open area, I’ll leave it unwrapped...below is the most recent shot of her leg & I'm so thrilled with the progress... Once it's time to change this bandage I think I'm going to leave it unwrapped.

Looking good!
 I don’t even think it’s going to scar as bad as I originally thought.


Leigh said...

Good grief Crystal. You may not be posting often (yes, I noticed :), but when you do, it's a whopper of an adventure. So sorry you've been so sick. But good job on Bleuberry. Poor sweet thing. Glad she (and you) are on the mend.

* Crystal * said...

Awww thanks Leigh! This was an ongoing blog post that I added to lil by lil until I was able to hit a WiFi hotspot :) And isn't every day an adventure?

Oat Bucket Farm said...

It's looking really good. You've done a great job!

petey said...

Sorry you have been sick and also sorry that, as is typical, the animals choose that particular time to colic/founder/bloat/impact/bleed/become suicidal. Glad you are almost on the other side of that little valley!
Glad to see you back on again, I LOVE your blogs...I don't drink coffee while reading anymore tho, cuz it hurts when it comes out my nose. :|

* Crystal * said...

Thanks Audra :)

Awww Petey, I love ya, though I do apologize for delaying your coffee :) I really enjoy your blog too.....the pictures are always fabulous...Makes me consider relocating!

Anonymous said...

While reading all of this I couldn't help but wonder why you didn't call the vet? Would have saved you the trouble.

* Crystal * said...

Anonymous- With goats I'm typically my own vet.....For many things the advice/treatments I've been offered were outdated & incorrect..

This, being a wound, any vet could have handled it easily, but by the time I found it, it was too late for stitching so the vet would have done nothing more than I did....Plus I would have had to wait on him & pay a hefty sum for a farm visit...

Over the years I've learned to do quite a bit on my own & I will handle most everything on my own unless it's surgical in nature..No home c-sections or anything like that :)