Friday, May 29, 2009

My poor little baby goat died

Lydia got Tetanus.

Only we didn't know it was Tetanus until Wednesday night, and it was too late to help her. Although the chances of survival when they have Tetanus are very very small even if you catch it really early.

We are so sad. She died yesterday about 5:30 pm.

I left church Wednesday night to come check on her, and we went to see a lady who has raised goats for years and she told us it was Tetanus and gave her anti-toxins and a fast acting Penicillin. She told us the chances of a kid surviving Tetanus were not good.

Baby goats are vaccinated for Tetanus, and Lydia got her vaccinations, but sometimes they just don't take. Goats get it the same way people do, through a cut or some open wound. Which on a goat is hard to find, especially one with thick fur like Lydia. I never did find a wound, even though I kept looking. But the Tetanus bacteria is found in soil, or feces, or pretty much any organic matter. After a while goats and people will build up an immunity to Tetanus, which is helped on by the vaccination.

Tetanus is commonly known as lock-jaw, it affects the nervous system. The first symptoms in a goat are kind of hard to recognize, unless you already know what they are. (I think the symptoms are similar, but not exactly the same in people.)

First, I thought Lydia was acting a little droopy on Sunday. Then she went off her feed and started acting pretty lethargic and sluggish on Monday, even though she ate grass off and on all day. I started treating her for stomach issues.

But, she started to raise her head like she was looking at the sky, and also she started to swing her head back and forth on Tuesday. It looked like she was looking to her left and then looking to her right. She continued this on Wednesday, and that was what clued Mrs Affolter (the lady we met on Wednesday night who gave her the meds) that it was Tetanus. Other sypmtoms that came later were twitching, and convulsing at loud noises.

It was awful and SO difficult to watch. I was pretty much bawling all day yesterday.

So anyhow, I'll tell you about my day yesterday.

I went to bed after I checked her at midnight on Wednesday night (Thursday morning), but couldn't sleep so I checked her again at 1 am (yesterday). I had offered her water which she wouldn't take. So I got up at 5 yesterday morning, and went down to the pen and she was in bad shape. She had a fever and chills, so I held her on my lap in a blanket for a while. After she stopped shivering, I tried to get her to stand up, but she couldn't.

My dad came by at 7am and gave her an egg, and that perked her up for a time, but she got worse in the afternoon. I stayed outside with her all day, except when I ran to TSC to get her some more penicillin, and when Kevin and I ran over to get our other goat - Hope- from the lady who we bought Lydia and Bella from. We were going to get Hope anyhow, but we brought her home yesterday so Bella would not freak out too much if Lydia died.

Anyway, I went ahead and gave the Penicillin to her when I got here, but it didn't help.

It was coming up a storm so my mom had stopped by and she was helping us get the goats into the pens. Mommy carried Lydia up and layed her on a towel I had folded up for her. Lydia died about a minute after Mommy laid her down. And the rain and hail started about a minute after that.

We waited for the storm to stop so we could bury her.

My girls were up at Randall's, except for Kela. So Kela was here when she died, and she helped us decide where to bury her. We buried her in between some trees in our back yard.

Samantha had called down to ask how Lydia was and I had to tell her she had died. She said, "Tell Faith" and handed an already upset Faith (she saw Samantha had tears in her eyes) the phone, and she asked me what was wrong, so I told her and the poor little thing started sobbing her eyes out. I ran up (in the rain and mud) and got in there as fast as I could. Faithy was just hugging me and crying so hard. :(

Kela, Cassie, and Raechel were upset too, but Faithy really took it hard.

So anyway, they all wanted to see her before we buried her, so we brought them all down (Randall's girls too) and they all saw her, and we made them go in the house while Kevin and I buried her. Then they all came out and layed some flowers on the site.

So we were all sad. This was our first experience losing an animal, and it was awful. But it was a learning experience. I hope it may help me save other animals in the future.


  1. That is so sad! I'm so sorry.

  2. I am so sorry. When we got our first two pygmys one of them died.

  3. Poor baby goat! At least it was a good learning experience it's never easy though.

  4. I'm so sorry. It is hard to lose a pet.

  5. dzs (That's what Andrew had to say)

    What I have to say is that I hope your other goats don't have the same fate! Sorry you had to watch all that!

  6. that is so sad, I was crying reading your post. It is so hard to lose a pet.

  7. That is so horrible and unfair. Just the randomness and ugliness of it is plain unfair. I am so sorry for you and your family.

  8. Ahh, my heart aches for you. We just lost two last week. The first on a Saturday night the second we took to the vet as soon as we saw the same symptoms and they had to put him down. We took the body to the lab to see if they can find out what it is. It was the hardest thing ever. I still am on edge about our others.

  9. I so sympathize with you! I just lost my beloved Violette last week. She was three months old. She had no symptoms, though--just sort of dropped dead in her tracks. I bawled like a blubbering idiot. I understand your heartache.

  10. we just lost our goat "friendly Fred" on Thursday night to this..
    I can't tell you how horrible it was to watch :( my heart breaks thinking a out him screaming out. All I could do was Kiss, pet and rub Fred's eyes ( he loved this). if I could have taken his pain I would have . I miss him so much
    I cry at the oddest times. I feel so responsible and so full of guilt
    it just kills me. I hope you are better.