Sorry for the long absence…
Hej from Gullringstorp!! It has been quite awhile since I have posted and to all my faithful and new readers alike, I apologize. I had a reader not just notice the absence of my posting, but wrote and asked if there was a problem. As I answered to her, issues have occurred that have been both physically and emotionally draining. I did have a bit of light at the end of a long dark tunnel, finally, only to have it snuffed out just as I was beginning to feel alive again.
Two weeks ago our dear Frida started to have some breathing issues. I belong to an online goat forum that has been very helpful for issues I might be having and for those that have not touched us here at Gullringstorp. We are a close community of goat owners and lovers with experience ranging from 20 yrs or more owning goats to those who are thinking of starting a small herd.
I went to them first to see what might be the problem with Frida. Since I had no idea of her actual age, my first assumption was her heart was giving out. Someone who has a great deal of goat experience suggested that maybe she was just acting beyond her age. I agreed and just kept an eye on her. The breathing problem at that time was intermittent, after activity.
On the evening of April 16th after being brought back into the stable, my Frida could not breathe. She was gasping for air. We called the vet immediately and they wanted to see her first thing in the morning. I kept her as comfortable as possible in the back of our car for the ride to the vet’s office. She was a good traveler.
She was diagnosed with pneumonia ! I had not expected that at all because she had no pneumonia symptoms, wet nose, discharge from nose or coughing. After close and careful examination, the doctor gave her a cortisone injection and an antibiotic injection. I was sent home with Frida and a supply of pre-filled syringes with antibiotic for the next 5 days. I didn’t mind to give the injections since I am a trained EMT. Some things you never seem to forget. Since Frida was not drinking water I offered her the same delicious beverage I offer all my mothers after they give birth, warm water & molasses. This was to get liquids into her and help with her possible drop in electrolytes. I also gave a couple of doses of re-hydration gel.
The first evening after the visit to the vet’s office, she got worse and was actually moaning as she was trying to get air. I knew it would take at least 24 hours for all the meds to get through her system and work, but I felt she would have some relief on this first evening. I called the hospital and spoke with another vet who told me that her prognosis was NOT good. Well that lit a fire with in me and I thought this person really had no place to say this to me and I asked to speak with the doctor who examined Frida that morning. After hearing her new symptoms, he said that it was time for me to think of how to help her out of her misery. Now I am an animal lover, and I do not believe in letting any animal suffer , but I was not ready to let Frida go. I just was not ready to let her leave us all.
I sat vigil with my Frida, tended to her and calmed her. The next morning she was better and in the following days Frida was eating, drinking by herself and tending to her daughters. I was happy to report back to our vet that Frida was 95% improved and getting better everyday.Since she was eating, I brought her treats of chopped apples and carrots and my husband gave her bread. She normally comes to the box door for her treats but in this weakened condition, we needed top go in the box and feed her where she stood. She stood when she was breathing really badly, but once the medicine started to work, she was able to lay down with her daughters. What a beautiful sight to see this in the morning and evenings.
Last evening after being brought back in from a day out, Frida had a relapse and we contacted the vet. I was so sad to see her with labored breathing once again. I was so proud of her determination to kick this and her absolute will to live and remain with us and her babies. She seemed as determined as I was to kick this pneumonia and survive.
This morning our vet decided that Frida needed a more broad spectrum antibiotic for bacteria that the first antibiotic didn’t touch. I am so very thankful for this vet to be able to look at a larger picture, not only of Frida’s value within our herd here at Gullringstorp, but seeing how she is fighting to get better and stay with her daughters. After feeding our 3 mother’s -to-be on the Milk Stand, got the boys out then the girls, Frida and I started with the next round of antibiotics. She was not at all as bad as she had been last evening and was making quite a fuss as she heard the others leaving the stable. I didn’t want her out and in the mix until she was stronger. I put her out for some fresh air in the “baby yard”, with her daughters. She has great pile of straw to relax or nap in and a bucket of delicious and fragrant meadow hay and of course fresh water. She can see the others in the large enclosure and even hold a conversation if she wants. Her daughters Poppy and Pansy are with her. It would never work to put the girls in with the others and leave Frida in the “baby yard” The girls would cry and it would stress Frida.
I will do everything possible to help our Frida. I am sure that she will rally with this second round of antibiotics. The vet said it could have been the sudden change in temperatures and that many sheep in our area get pneumonia at this time of year, or an allergy to the hay we have. The first thing you want to know is, was it something I did or didn’t do to cause this. I was assured it was not something we had any control over.
Frida holds a very special place in my heart and in our herd. Not only is she a very charming and decided young lady, she is an excellent mother and head of our herd. Every goat respects her and no one tries to challenge her authority.
Frida is fighting to get and stay well and I will fight right along with her !
Please keep good thoughts for our Frida and hope that this second round of antibiotics does the job.
We love Frida and can not imagine the herd without her…
Poppy and Pansy need Frida…