Friday, March 14, 2008

Thank God for Feeding Tubes!

Praise God! Cherry seems to be gaining strength even as we pour milk down her teensy throat. I had opined that it would be rather difficult to insert a feeding tube into the stomach without getting it in the lungs, but to my pleasant surprise Cherry swallows down the tube quite nicely. We try to feed her with the bottle before using the tube, but she still is a very, very poor sucker. She now stands up and tries to walk around in her little box before collapsing again and tucking her little head over her back or on top of a fold of her bedding towel to sleep. We are keeping her in the basement kitchen until she is feeding normally because #1: it's warmer, and #2: I don't want to trudge down to the barn every few hours of the night!

Her dam, Raspberrie, is our chief concern currently as she has not yet passed the placenta. There are few goat medical conditions I detest more than retained placenta; it's smell is repulsive, the goat drags it everywhere, you can't manually remove it or you'll tear the uterus but if it isn't expelled you end up with serious metritis, you have to give shots a couple times a day, etc. But the most annoying part about retained placenta in goats is that it renders the milking process very difficult and not exactly sanitary. Luke goes through a gagging act whenever he looks at Raspberrie, much to my simultaneous amusement and annoyance.

Mom has given oxytetracycline for possible bacterium and Bo-Se (Selenium/Vit E) for white muscle disease and I've given Oxytocin to promote contractions and placental expulsion. There's nothing more we can do, so I'm praying that it works. I'm also praying that the premature death and retained placenta were not caused by Chlamydia: if they were, the other mothers could abort their kids and/or retain their placentas from Chlamydia infection also. The only drug we have that treats Chlamydia is Oxytetracycline, but that antibiotic also causes serious birth defects if used during pregnancy. Grrr.

We've done what we can do, now we just trust God to carry out His plans.

End note: I hope nobody has been offended by these last few blogs. These are the things any livestock keeper has to deal with: this sort of language is commonplace in the caprine community along with other technical language. I've tried to keep it delicate, but as another person has commented elsewhere, this blog is for my benefit and this is the vocabulary used for such events and procedures.

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