Sunday, May 4, 2008

About death


If you are squeamish you may not want to read this post, as it goes into some odd details


In an order to keep it real around here, and to live up to my title of 'Kick ass Real Goat Farmer', I am going to share something with you.

Yesterday(last night really) we ended up losing two baby goats, in the birth process.


5-3-08 049

Sprint is a 5 year old, and this was her 3rd time kidding. The last time she kidded it was a breeze no real problems to speak of. The kidding before that had been HELL, with two GIANT kids, who were all tangled up in each other.  I was able to intervene early enough(and she was doing her part) to be able to salvage the kidding and get 2 buck kids(of course).

Yesterday's kidding was MUCH MUCH different. It all started about 2 pm. My dad was out at the pen and noticed that she was passing some blood. So I went out threw new shavings into the stall and dragged her happy butt into the barn. I tossed her up onto the stanchion to do a perfunctory exam and see how far along she was. I did an exam, found her to have a water bubble presenting, but did not break it since it wasn't out of the vaginal vault yet. I found her to not be fully dialated, but didn't consider that odd, as she wasn't showing any real signs of labor.

I put her into the stall and sat down to watch her, and almost immediately she passed the water bubble that had been presenting, and broke it. With in a few minutes she was having 'bursts' of contractions. That's where she would have 2-3 hard contractions, about 4-5 minutes apart.  So I sat, and I waited, and watched, and watched and watched. I had the camera ready since it  looked like it would be a 'normal' birth and I would be able to get some good shots for my kidding series.

About this time, is when the kids probably died in utero according to the vet(more on this in a moment).

So Sprint quickly passed, another bubble that didn't really seem to be doing anything. I attempted several times to go in and check her progress, but as she was still not dialating; I wasn't able to get any farther in than my 3rd knuckle(and I have narrow small hands). At this point I noticed that she had cotyledons on the sack(which should have been a clue that something was horribly wrong). So I sat and I waited some more(it was now probably 4:30ish) after another short wait I decided I'd had enough and was going to pick "My Gods"(aka the vet) brain. So I called and of COURSE it was after hours(because when isn't it on the weekend?) but I got through to him on the Large animal hotline. I explained the situation, explained what I was seeing, what I was feeling, and got his opinion. He said to wait a half hour recheck her progress, and if there was none to go ahead break the sack, and start feeling around.

By the time I got off the phone with him I was FREEZING so I went inside for a half hour or so to warm up. I went back out to check on about 5:30 ish. I got her up on the stand broke the sack, and started fishing. I was able to get into about my wrist where I could feel a foot, and a head, but I wasn't able to trace it back to the body to make sure they belonged together. At this point I started getting an inkling that something was pretty messed up in there, my mind of course going for the horror scenarios that I have encountered.

I called the vet, and left a voicemail for him explaining what I was going on. I quickly got a call back and was able to describe what I THOUGHT I was feeling(a long dead kid) and than quickly discussed options, all while I was still fishing with the other hand. We quickly came to the decision that I should bring her into the office so that he could assist.  Of course while all this was going on we'd had some visitors show up(nothing quite says 'welcome' like a messy kidding!) so I told my dad to get them to leave as we needed him to drive to the vet for us. He got them to leave and they quickly got the car ready to go as I stood there feeling rather useless.

The three of us got loaded up into the van, mom holding her head me holding other parts. I don't remember much of the car ride, though i DO remember it was the most akward car ride I've been on in a while. I remember hoping to high heaven that we didn't get pulled over(I can only IMAGINE how that conversation would have gone with the officer).

We arrived after what seemed like forever at the vets office(it was probably 20 minutes). Got sprint out and situated on the concrete to wait since we had, beat the vet to the office. We waited, and waited and waited at one point seeing a Vet truck coming down the road, got all excited only to have it pass by. Sat for what seemed like ages(all the while I'm still holding kids in) only for the vet truck we'd seen earlier to return and pull into the parking lot(it was the vet).

So we quickly got down to the nitty gritty business of pulling the kids while hoping that it didn't end up being an emergency C-section(those ain't cheap!). Thankfully once the vet got in up to his elbow he was able to figure out that what we had was 3 feet, and 2 heads presenting(which is a mess). It was then easy to push one kid out of the way and grab the single front leg of the other, and pull it out. A beautiful little brown doe.  He went back in and got a hold of the second kid and made a comment about having a good feeling. As he pulled the legs out(in a proper kidding the head rests back and on top of the front legs like a diver) I looked at them and commented that it was probably a buck kid(the legs were big). He pulled the kid out and examined her for a moment determining that she too had not made it. I had already checked mine(that I'd been working on half a foot away) and found it to be a doe. So out of curiosity I took a peek at the BLACK kid and found it to be a doe(of course).

From there we just got cleaned up, discussed post care(normal) and headed home.  I have pictures from during the waiting process, but am unsure wether to share them or not as they are most definatly for the squeamish or faint of heart.


David said...

What a post. I just discovered your blog and am a big fan early in the game, Thank you for this

Law Student Hot Mama said...

Aww . . . poor babies. There go my ambitions of being a goat farmer!

Though I always liked the idea of being a clam farmer . . . .

Mel said...

Wow. What a day you had! Sorry about the kids, though. Hope the rest of your week goes better!