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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a Saanen buckling who has had problems since he was five days old - I've posted in the 911 section. Rex has been kind enough to encourage me through two rounds of SEVERE bleeding from his horn disbudding burn. He's recovered, eating well, had a round of Pen G to ward off infection after his second bleed and recently completed a round of Sulmet for cocci. A few days ago he finally dropped the scabs from disbudding, although there was some very minor seeping on the side which had bled.

This afternoon I got home and found he had suddenly developed a lump the size of a marble on his lip and a lump larger than an egg on his head - both on the same side of his face as his bleeds. Another sudden trip to the only goat vet in the area revealed that he has awful abscesses. It looks like infection started from the horn site and traveled under the skin. The vet said it isn't my imagination, these things really can come up that size in only a few hours.

Soooo.... He's staying overnight to have the abscesses lanced and drains inserted and start a round of serious antibiotics. He is from a herd tested for CAE, CL, and Johnnes, but I told the vet that if when she lances the lumps she feels there is any risk at all of CL, to put him down. She doesn't think so - we stuck a needle into the large lump and immediately got a gush of gooey liquid pus, not cheesy (caseous) at all.

I'm pretty discouraged. When - and how - do you decide that a kid isn't going to grow up to be a good packgoat? He's much smaller than the other three bucklings, perhaps 2/3 or 3/4 their weight. He just isn't as robust as the others. The vet also commented that he seems underdeveloped for his age. If he were clearly dying it would be much easier to decide, of course. And if he were intended to be purely a companion pet, it wouldn't matter how small he was. He's already cost more in vet bills, first aid, stress and worry than all the others combined. How do other people decide? When do you quit?
 

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What are your choices? Put him down because he won't be a big healthy packer, or pour lots of money into him and hope he willbe? Theres lots of middle ground. Why don't you not decide either way? give him what you can right now, but don't loose sleep or a lot of $$$ over it (from here out), put him "out to pasture" so to speak...how old is he now?

theres always BBQ. and if you couldn't do something like that, i'll bet there are plenty of folks on craigslist who could...just sayin'...
 

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Don't be discouraged. You are only talking a couple days at the vets office and some antibiotics. As for size, I imagine this infection has been brewing for awhile so that probably has a lot to do with his development. Once you get this straightened out he'll probably grow like a weed. Even if he don't, some of my best packers only weighed 175 lbs.

The decision on when to keep a goat is a tough one. One day I walked out to the barn and realized I had 50 pack goats and only about 20 were really ever going to amount to anything. That was the day we quite making emotional decisions and started looking at it like a business. Now we base those types of decisions on economic factors. That allows a more detached view of the situation and I feel we make much more logical decisions. Basically, if it is something that can easily be treated with a good chance the goat will make a full recovery, then we do it. If it is a serious condition requiring a lot of money and minimal chance of recovery and a lot of pain and suffering for the goat, then we don't do it. Everything in the middle depends on how good the goat is.
 

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A guy down here has a hundred goats he uses for brush clearing. I asked him for a recommendation for a vet. He said, "Vet? What's a vet? It's a goat."

I am a bit more attached to mine, but if it came to big vet bills I would have to think twice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies - this is one lucky buckling. We'll see how he does. He's got a good cheerful personality and sticks right by me on walks even when you can tell he's tired. He's trying - I'm just feeling discouraged and worrying what his next crisis would be.

And besides, right now he's definitely freezer-proof because of drug withdrawal times before slaughter ;)
 

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I have one out of 5 that is on the small side but he is a quad, his brother is a little larger. All of mine are taking off. One did not get his horns burnt in the right place so he is growing his horns. You picked up your goats a couple days after I got mine. Do you remember what does they were from.
 

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I wouldn't give up to quickly on a kid. I have one that the breeder actually put asside thinking it was dead. (I think he was one of triplets and the other two were does---and she's a dairy breeder so the does take president) Anyways...she realised he wasn't dead and paid him some attention and got him up and going. She asked if I wanted him when I picked up the other boys and I just couldn't turn him away to the slater house. He was so cute and had great color too. He was small and skinny. Almost looked cut out of cardboard. I thought he could always be a good pet goat to someone. He wasn't sickly but had strange feet that needed more attention than the rest too. Well he is 2 years old now and doing great. I wouldn't think he is small anymore. He is the same size as some of my other 2 year olds. His feet may require a bit more attention but not much. I would have to say that he is one of the friendliest goats I have, always eager to work and is just as able as the rest of them.

My other best goat refused to take the bottle. I had to force it down with a syringe with a small tube on it. Then he started to take the bottle and when I had a sitter watch them he got constapated and quit eating again. I had to really work with him on getting him regular again and eating again. He was trouble to say theleast as a kid...but now he is my best bud and always eager to be with me.


Some just have a ruff start.
 

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I second that last story. With alot of effort we pulled a 3 month old out of aspiration pneumonia. He had lost a lot of weight and had probable lung damage. Raising him for a pet I found him to be beautiful inside and out. We had him at 10,000 ft elevation at age 1, not packing he did great. He's packing light weight on steep terrain this spring at age 2 and has no problems. It is a big investment to gamble on a goat that may not pack. I have no regrets.
IdahoNancy Oberpacker
 

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