The City Girl Farmer


I Have a Caprine Unicorn
June 25, 2009, 4:15 pm
Filed under: Goats

I had a lovely day yesterday, riding with my friend, Mary R.  We were out for 4 hours!!  However it was somewhat tainted by the fact that my poor baby goat, Carmen, got her horn caught somehow.  I saw what I hoped was a shadow along her jawbone, but what turned out to be a little trickle of blood.  She is a bit of a wild child and doesn’t trust humans too much (although I’ve noticed that she finds the grain-bearing humans somewhat more trustworthy).  We tried to catch her and she ended up injuring herself even more.  We finally got help from our neighbors up the road who raise alpacas and cashmeres last night and were able to examine her closely enough to determine that we needed to see a vet. *sigh*

Before

Before

I took her in this morning and the vet said her horn would need to come off.  She was taken out of the back of the car screaming her little goatie head off.  They used a gas anesthesia on her and had a mask over her muzzle and they began to shave her around the wound site to see how bad it was .I thought it was very nice of them to let me watch.  The vet was afraid that she might have taken a chunk of her skull along with the horn which thankfully she didn’t.  It was more like a toenail that had been torn off.  They sliced the skin that was holding the horn and then sawed off the bud from which it grows.  They cauterized it with a laser, wiped the blood off her beautiful wool and we were all done.

The vet’s partner walked in after the surgery and half-jokingly offered to do some cosmetic surgery by pulling some skin up and over the little nub and suturing it.  Right.  I passed.  I don’t think a covered nub would go too far in helping Carmen’s now rather odd appearance.  We discussed removing the other horn to make her symmetrical but the vet recommended that she keep it for self-defense as she is at the bottom of the pecking order.  Interestingly, he said he didn’t think the horns were that helpful with helping cashmeres to stay cool during the summer.  There is much controversy in the caprine world about dehorning and much for this farmer yet to learn.

After

After

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Treating Caprine Bladder Infection With Essential Oils
Shannon

Shannon

Three days ago, I discovered that Shannon’s symptoms of a bladder infection had returned.   I still had Penicillin in the fridge and I had purchased syringes, the milk stand was done so that we had a way to restrain her but I just couldn’t bring myself to do this all over again, especially since the results were rather disappointing the first time.

I recently discovered the use of essential oils for healing human ailments and have found them to be quite effective.  I thought I’d try using them with Shannon.  I figured we could always start the round of Penicillin again if we had to.

Here is the recipe I used:

1 oz. olive oil

5 drops of sage

5 drops of oregano

20 drops of eucalyptus

*Note:  Essential oils can be toxic if not used correctly.  Most must be diluted in a carrier oil.  Some are dual purpose, i.e., if you use a little they have one effect, if you use a lot they have the opposite effect.  More is not always better.  Please make sure you understand their use before you use them on yourself or your animals.

I massaged the oil into the inside of her hind legs where her udder is attached in the afternoon and again in the evening.  The next day there was marked improvement.  She was not squatting constantly and getting a dribble if she was lucky.  There was a little more volume.   I have applied it twice a day and she is steadily improving.   The book for treating humans said it can take anywhere from two days to two weeks to work.  She was treated with Penicillin for a week the first time, so I am planning to treat her for a week this way and see what happens.

Anyone interested in holistic therapy for their animals might be interested in these books:

The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable

The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable

The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy

The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy

Update:  Shannon appears to be cured.  I have watched her pee normally for a couple of weeks now. 🙂  The oils appear to have had a more immediate positive effect than the penicillin.  Her symptoms were significantly improved after two “doses” of oils:  I discovered the symptoms in the afternoon, gave her a massage immediately and then again that evening.  By the next morning she was improving. She was normal within 48 hours although I kept going for a week just to be sure.