My Sky Color

A forty something Dad, Husband, Engineer guy living in Western Oregon. Reflections on all things in life. A few technical things and whatever else comes along.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Vet Bills... Not!
When spring comes to the NW odd things start happening. The frogs start croaking first in February. Then the trilliums show their faces and bloom. The relestness in the air affects the goat herd as well. They run and jump with a little wild stallion kicking here and there.
We had a strange thing occur this spring with the sap coming up in the trees and then a hard frost. The evergreens got frost bite.
The big goat, Spike, likes to wander in the spring. Fences are only for looks to him. He can hop over most 5 foot fences like a deer. For the past 10 days the battle to protect the flowers in the yard from goat attach has been going on. After tethering him over night so he didn't get to sleep in the barn or boss the herd around, we thought he had gotten the message. He stayed in the pasture all day giving the appearance of being a good goat. Last night it became more than he could stand and he jumped out. This time he didn't clear the gate completely. I wasn't watching but my wife saw it. He caught his right from leg and wrenched it. So there he is hobbling about on three legs with the right front held high. After getting everything battened down for the night I went and checked him over. If I held his knee I could move his hoof side to side. He broke it a couple inches down from the knee.
Now goats are a hundred dollar kind of critter so getting the vet out is crazy at $250 a visit. Spike is the last of the three goats that came with the place and he has lots of character. He grows wonderful wool. So I didn't want to have "put 'em down."
My mind kicks into gear on how to fix a broken leg on a goat... I spot some scrap 1x1 aluminum angle. We gather the lights, scissors, aluminum angle and the duct tape. We throw the goat and hold him down. I cut two pieces of angle and cover them in tee shirt strips to limit the abrasion. I then get one attached to the hoof and inside of his leg. So in what position do you splint a goat's leg? I made my best guess and taped 'er down. Unlike what I have read and seen on TV there was no pulling and setting required. The joint wasn't sucked together be the tendons and muscles. I taped the other "splint" to the outside of his leg, then wrapped it up with duct tape. The poor guy, you could tell it really hurt when I moved the leg around.
Now time will tell. It will either work or it won't. We would like to keep him around but it is a quality of life versus selfish desires. It really is no fun shooting your pet. DMP


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