That’s what you read in all the goat literature, but you never think it’ll happen to one of yours.
My Pinters was eating and playing normally Saturday evening. Sunday morning, she had some clear to white mucus around her nose, so I thought cold, possibly pneumonia — I’ll keep a close watch.
As I went to the pen several times until about noon, her sides were growing with bloat. We called the vet and he said she’s just going to die anyway, so there’s nothing to do. Obviously that wasn’t the answer for me, so I gave her baking soda, which I’ve read all across goat literature is what to do for bloat. I also got her up and walking, massaged her rumen. It didn’t do much.
Then a friend called someone who has had many goats and sheep, and he said to give her Coca-Cola. P ran to the bar — the only place open on Sunday up here — and that actually got her burping a bit, which is what needs to happen to loosen up the gas in the rumen that is causing the bloat. I did the walking, massaging bit some more. But her sides weren’t really going down.
So then, after another round of Internet research, I tried what we use for everything here — olive oil. And that finally started to work. I continued massaging her rumen and walking her around a bit as one is supposed to do, and her sides were going down. Later in the evening, I gave her another dose, did the same, and her right side was pretty flat by that point. Her left side was definitely deflated as well, but there was still air in there. I was comforted because it had been nearly pointy early in the afternoon, and was now rounded and much smaller.
After that second dose, Pinta walked over to the hay on her own and started to nibble, though she didn’t eat much. I led her to the water bucket, and she drank up. Twice. Long gulps. Then I gave her some green leaves, which she ate slowly but steadily.
I checked on her one last time yesterday evening, around midnight, and her sides were probably about the same as before, but she did eat a few leaves and get another gulp of water on her own (once I led her there). I thought she was on the road to recovery, but something in my heart said things weren’t as good as I hoped. I put out calls on Facebook for positive Pinta thoughts.
This morning, she was lying down, head down in the pen, already looking dead. I went in and held her a bit and realized her rumen still had air in it, so I asked P for his knife and did the last resort, emergency incision that up until then I had only read about in goat literature. Well actually first I did a stab, but that didn’t seem to be letting out enough air, so I went back in and cut.
The absolute scariest thing I have ever done in my life.
Immediately the smell of goatie burps and farts filled the air with several pssst sounds. I pressed and massaged some more to remove even more air. Pinta belched a few times, but by this time she was having so much trouble breathing, and in so much obvious pain, I don’t know that anything could have saved her.
I honestly have no idea what happened. All the ways goats get bloat didn’t fit her situation — she hadn’t had any grain for days, let alone too much. No new pasture, no new anything in her food. Maybe something fell into the pen and she ate that and couldn’t digest it? I have no idea. It’s hard to lose her, but I really hate not even knowing what happened. And what about that improvement last night? My brave little fighter. If she had still been bad yesterday evening, maybe I would’ve done something more drastic then?
Maybes and wouldas. Mah.
Pinta came into this world in my arms, and there was never, ever a moment that she gave me stress or trouble. She was, at all times, the perfect goat, and I’m not just saying that because she’s gone. She truly was a sweetheart.
Paolo and I both loved her in a way, I think I’m safe in saying, no other Calabrian goat has ever been loved, besides her mom, our Pasqualina.
Pasqualina, by the way, seems to be doing OK. I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet for her — same with me, really. I have no idea where we’ll go from here with this goat thing, but there will be time to think about that once the tears have dried. That will be a while. Inconsolable doesn’t begin to describe the atmosphere in the house right now.
We are crushed and heartbroken.
I’m trying to accept that this was Pinta’s fate, that this was what her time on Earth was meant to be, that we made her short life enjoyable for her, that she didn’t die thinking I failed her horribly when she needed me most. I hope she knew how special she was and how very much she was loved not only by us but by people around the world. Around the world! Pinters the goat! I did tell her that often, including in her final moments, so I feel like we were all there with her.
I’m trying my best to focus on all the great times with my baby Pinta, a goat that will never, ever be forgotten, but it’s just so hard right now. God I loved that goat.
Addio carissima Pinters, my sweet, sweet Pinters Magooch.
76 Responses to “Addio Carissima Pinters”« Older Comments « Older Comments
Leave a Reply