Donít answer that question with, "With my fingers." Iím thinking more about health
here, not listening to smart alec comebacks. Health is a serious thing. Not only is your
health important, but your goatsí health also.
You have to be careful about being healthy, though. It can be dangerous. If you are
the sensitive type like myself, everything you read about health you take very
seriously. Raise up your hands on how many of you have had to quit buying health
magazines. Especially those women health magazines (guys, put down your hands,
remember what I said about being a smart alec?) because you had everything they
In the beginning of time, when I was in college learning to be a special education
teacher, I had to watch this empathy I had because of the field I was in. After reading
about all the problems of a special child, I was totally amazed how a mongoloid,
autistic, dyslexic, barely trainable person like myself ever made it through college and
receive two degrees.
When I started reading about goat health, the same thing happened. No, I didnít think
I had a goatís disease (I did wonder about one or two of them though), but I thought
all my goats showed all these symptoms sometime in the past, present, and Iím
betting, in the future. I had to check this out closer, make sure I had all the
medications for everything.
The Nairobi sheep disease, Peste Des Petits, and the Trypanosomiasis diseases gave
me quite a pause. I couldnít even pronounce them, except the one with "sheep" in it.
How on earth could I call and tell the vet what my goats had, if I couldnít pronounce
it? When I ran across Papillomatosis, I relaxed. Everyone knows that one. Warts!
Your goats have been out kissing frogs again. Nothing to help that one except to let it
wear off in a year and hope they donít kiss anymore frogs. No worry on that one.
Then one evening, the worse thing in the world happened. Our older fullblood Boer
buck wasnít acting "right". No, he wasnít going around quacking like a duck or
meowing like a cat. He just wasnít acting right. He was acting tame.
We hadnít fooled with this buck much and he pretty well thought all people were
down right yucky. Trying to catch him to worm him or give him shots was a real
rodeo. One day I flippantly said to Lee we needed to trim the older buckís feet. Lee
said, fine, how we going to catch him?
No problem I said. I went and got feed while Lee watched, wondering what I was up
to. I went into the buckís building, poured the feed in and left, only ducking behind
the building. The buck went into the building, I snuck around the building, and with a
mighty leap dove into the building and grabbed his horns to hold him. Now remember,
this is an almost grown fullblood Boer buck. Heís already better then 250 lbs.
The next thing I knew, we leaped out of the building. This greatly puzzled me since I
had no intentions of leaping anywhere. But, for the moment I was under buck power.
Ha! I can stop you, boy, I thought. Iím hanging on for dear life, up against the buckís
shoulder, holding onto his horns with a death grip. Instead of running along with him, I
stuck my heels into the ground. Talk about plowing the north forty. It never even
slowed him down.
On my second trip around the buckís pen, Lee leaned over the gate and yelled, "Do
you need help?" I seem to be surrounded by smart alecs.
But, the question made me mad enough to grab hold of the buckís beard with one
hand while the other is hanging onto one horn. I set my feet even more, threw my hip
into the buckís side and was able to start circling him by turning his head by the use of
While we are dizzily circling, the buck gives up and stops and Lee comes in and puts a
collar on him so we can tie him and trim his feet. Another story there, but I wonít
That gives you an idea how wild he is. Now, here is this buck standing there, sleepy
eyed, and not moving when I come near him. Not good. He has to be sick. I sit down
on the water tub and study the situation. He really doesnít look good. His eyes look
off, not perky and wild. Plus, heís not leaving the country because I walked into his
I sit and think over my options and decide thereís no help to it, heís got to have his
temperature taken. Iíd have to go tell Lee. I can just see our obituaries now, " After
big buck has a thermometer stuck up his rear, he stomps his owners into the ground.
What pieces we could find are now buried here where theyíre wild ideas may now rest
in peace. May we all learn from this." Signed Ravenswoodís Daily Movement.
I tell Lee and he shakes his head, knowing this could be the end. I go get the
thermometer. As we walk into the buckís pen, he just stands there. I walk up to him
and scratch the top of his back. He stands there. Not good. I then get hold of his
horns. He just stands there. Lee comes up and gets hold of his horns and braces
himself for the buck to explode. Nothing. I stick the digital thermometer up the buckís
rear. He doesnít move. Not even when the beeper goes off. He doesnít have a temp.
If he doesnít have a temp, he doesnít have an infection, so no antibiotics. What do I
do when I donít know what to do? I worm and give fortified B-complex shots. So I
did that. He still doesnít move. Lee turns him loose, and I stand there scratching his
back, puzzling over this new tame buck.
I go back and sit back down on the water tub and ruminate on all this. I go over all the
diseases Iíve been reading about. I finally decide on bloat, even though his belly really
doesnít look bloated, or urinary calculi.
I go to my goat medicine cabinet and get out generic milk of magnesia, baking soda,
banamine for pain, and if it is urinary calculi, I get out my methigel. I decide against
sitting a big buck like that up on his rear and trying to pull out his privates to see if any
of it is purplish in color, meaning a "stone" caught that is holding his water back. No
way. I put that goat health idea aside.
Once again I go into his pen and he lets me catch him. Lee comes in and holds him
and I drench the big buck with the generic milk of magnesia, the baking soda, give him
a shot of banamine, and squirt methigel down his throat. Lee turns him loose and goes
back to doing chores and I sit back down on the water tub and study the buck. Half
hour later the buck is walking briskly around, eating hay, drinking water, going out
grazing, even chases the livestock guard dog to play. Wow. And, heís keeping away
I tell Lee if that buck comes up demanding another pain shot, Iím going to be highly
suspicious, especially if he lets me scratch his back.
All my health reading has paid off. The buck is well and back to his normal self with
just the use of a few medicines. I didnít have to do anything exotic, just study every
disease in the book, memorize, and buy all the medicines. Well, at least some, Iím still
waiting for some African medicines to arrive. And, now I have my stampeding buck
back. Life is good.