A funny picture of our Lilly-Wa
I am late writing my blog today because life goes on, and needs have to be met despite being under the weather. Yesterday, The Bibbed Wonder came in after the afternoon barn chores and reported that our beloved Lilly goat was not doing well. We all went out to check on our girl, and she was a bit off. I have stated before that if anything goes wrong with one of my goats, it is always in the winter. Lilly-Wa was standing, but her posture was off. Her back legs were shaking, she was moving her head funny, her eyes were large and dilated, and when she walked, she stumbled. When she went down, it took a great deal of effort for her to get up. All of these symptoms were disconcerting.
We have dealt with goat polio in the past. Goat polio is a neurological disorder created when a goat's rumen stops making enough vitamin B. If caught early, it is relatively easy to remedy. The thing about goats is they are masters of hiding symptoms until their illness has progressed to a dangerous level. It's an inherent trait: goats are prey animals, and the weak, old, or very young are sought out when predators are about. No goat wants to show signs of weakness. Lilly displays symptoms of goat polio with her shaky muscles, her head pressing, her stumbling, and her starry eyes…we think. The thing is, I am not a vet. We have limited experience with sick goats, but we are diligent in caring. I gave Lily-Wa a shot of thiamine HCI that we had on hand if goat polio should arise again. We also drenched her (squirt liquid down her throat with a drenching tool) with Goat YMCP. Goat YMCP is like a vitamin and mineral-filled super smoothie for goats. We spent several hours with her, and she seemed to improve slightly. I went out again at midnight to give her a second shot of thiamine, and I thought she seemed a bit more stable. However, this morning, she was in the barn alone and back to stumbling about, was tremoring, and pressing her head against the barn wall. Head pressing is a bad sign. It means their head hurts, and if it is goat polio, her head hurts because her brain is swelling.
I wasted no time calling the vet as soon as I checked her this morning. We are currently waiting for the vet to arrive. Lilly is now outside in the field, but she is lying down, and her gait is off. Hopefully, we will have some answers very soon. If you are so inclined, I ask that you send some good vibes, positive thoughts, or prayers for the healing of our Lilly-goat. She is one of the original five goats we started with, and she has a special place in our hearts and our farm family. She also has two little ones, making this even more problematic. I will be sure to keep you up to date with her diagnosis and situation. When one of our goats is sick, it's almost as worrisome as when a human family member is not feeling well. Like a small child, the goats are unable to communicate how they feel and what is wrong. I hope we caught whatever it is early and that it is easy to treat.
Until later, dear reader. Stay safe, be smart, please keep Lilly in your thoughts, and keep washing your hands.