I lost another part of my heart Friday night. My beloved Nubian goat Ms. Jewel was dead. MAYBE if I had been here for her I could have caught her illness sooner and helped her more. We’ll never know.
Then again, maybe not. She and her mother Sherry Red both had udder injuries several years ago that developed into the worse case of mastitis. Her mother died within a year of contracting the disease, but Ms. Jewel hung in there.
Between Christmas and New Years Jewel stopped eating. I thought she had bloat so I gave her 120 cc of Peanut Oil, banamine, and penicillin (based on past experience and research in my Goat Medicine text).
The soonest the vet could be out would be Monday, January 3rd. While the vet didn’t notice any bloating, she did notice Jewel’s hard udder and that it was leaking. I explained that about three weeks ago Jewel’s udder started draining which I thought that was a good thing even though her wound was open.
The vet put some penicillin in Jewel’s udder and put her on penicillin therapy. We finished that with shining colors. I cleaned her udder as often as she would let me. She started grazing and eating grain again, so I thought she was out of the woods.
Apparently not, I believe her udder had gotten re-infected and the infection spread systemically. That’s the only thing I can think of. Otherwise, Jewel had a beautiful, shiny coat, bright red eyes and gums; she was eating well.
Friday night when I went to turn on the heat lamps and check everyone’s water for the night; I noticed that Jewel was holding her head in a strange position. The closer I got to her I noticed that she wasn’t breathing; she was in her bed under the heat lamp dead and had apparently been dead for several hours. I fell to my knees, put her head in a more comfortable position, then cried while I said prayers over her and held her as tight as I could for several minutes.
I eventually stood up, turned off the heat lamp, shut the barn door then went back in the house heartbroken.
I guess I won’t trim her hooves tomorrow after all. The Lord had other plans. The good news is that Jewel is no longer in any form of discomfort. That nasty ole mastitis that had enlarged and hardened her udder so long ago was no longer thwarting her run. She’s with her mother Sherry Red along with our other herd members who have passed throughout the years.
There is no tomorrow in too many cases. I’m spending more time with them every day.
The slides above was a typical day when I would bring in goat feed. Jewel was there to ‘help’. She enjoyed nibbling from the feed bucket and I enjoyed watching her. I was amaze at how long her neck was when she reached down really low to reach the feed. Then, when the feed was in the can, she would nibble for several minutes while I fed the rest of the goats. Jewel was fun to live with; she made me laugh every day. I cherish every moment I had with her. Thank you, Lord.