I did not write a daily blog post yesterday. It would have been Post #107 but last night I was too tired, too stressed. I thought I had killed my goat. I didn't but Zeke sure acted like he was dying.
This happened after I had given him a SQ antibiotic injection. Subcutaneous injection, easier than an Intramuscular injection - easy peasy.
Well, Zeke let out a bellow - food falling out of his mouth - he staggered against the wall of the goat house and his eyes bulged. I was inside the goat house with him and Bitsy. I fumbled with the gate latch to get out in case Zeke started flailing and kicking.
At the time The Man and I were talking on the phone. I was talking hands-free via ear pods. The Man knew I was giving a shot and I said, "I think I killed the goat".
I let Zeke out of the goat house, he took a wobbly step, and then started rubbing himself against the fence of the pen. After a few minutes I coaxed him back into the goat house and gave him a little more treat. He was fine. I kept taking deep breaths trying to calm myself. It was a terrible experience for both of us, the antibiotic must have hurt like hell.
It started last Tuesday when Zeke started having clumpy poop and by the next day it was scours (goatie diarrhea) and bloat. Most alarming was the fast breathing and the labored panting which increased with his abdominal distention. Rumen rubs and belly pats didn't seem to help much.
What did work was positioning him on the steps with his front elevated higher than his back end. This posture resulted in immediate gas relief - as evidenced by the wind of methane expelled into my face.
In addition to the frequent "gassing off" I've been giving probiotics, frequent offerings of fresh cool water and sodium bicarbonate, and checking on him constantly. I stare at him a lot too.
He's been passing normal poop since Friday, and is slowly starting to chew cud. His breathing is still too fast and too labored at times but I can easily coax him to the steps.
Yesterday I took Zeke's rectal temperature in the morning, it was 100.8°. Normal goat temp is 101.3 - 103.5 (Merck Veterinary Manual).
I decided to start the antibiotic when his evening temp was 104° and along with labored breathing I was convinced he had pneumonia. And we know how that went....
This morning he walked out of the goat house chewing cud. His respiratory rate and effort not too bad. His temperature check was 102.3° goat normal.
Maybe it takes a little longer for a 10-year-old goat to bounce back. Fortunately, I have time.