Has anyone seen the 1987 movie, Princess Bride, directed by Rob Reiner? Itís a delightfully funny fractured fairy tale. In it the hero gets tortured by the villain and dies, well, almost. When friends take the hero to the village wizard (Billy Crystal), the wizard proclaims him as only being mostly dead and is able to save him.
And this brings us to young full blood Snookumís who kidded this year, she had a handsome big boy. This was her second kidding so I really expected at least two kids so I waited around the barn to see if any more would pop out. She acted happy as a lark, not a bit distressed, quite pleased with her son. An hour and a half later and she was still acting the same, I just felt that something wasnít right. She acted fine, son acted fine, but it didnít fit. She really should have had two. It just nagged at me, nothing I could really put my finger on.
So, I asked for Leeís help. I held the doe quiet and Lee gloved up and went in to check. He found a kid stuck to the very back. He carefully got it out and when it came out it looked dead, the way a kid looks when inside too long. The kid was flat looking, eyes open no life showing, and had a dull look to the coat.
Lee sadly said, "Dead." And, then the kid did one gasp.
Lee said, "Itís a dying spasm." And, the kid gasped again.
He quickly started gently pumping her chest and was getting no reaction and handed the dead little thing to me. I picked her up and hung her upside down and gently shook her like a rug to clear out her lungs, pumped her chest gently a few times, no reaction. I walked over to a pile of hay on the stall floor and dropped her flat on it a couple of times, that weakly brought her around.
But, she was oh so weak. The heart was beating, she was slightly breathing, the eyes still werenít blinking. Snookums had been following me around to see what I was doing with her kid. Lee set up a heat lamp because the kid was cold, the inside of her mouth was ice cold. I laid her under it and Snookums started licking her baby as I gently toweled her.
We milked Snookums, getting just enough colostrum and I mixed some dextrose in it to give the kid a sugar hit. Iíve seen grown goats and kids who were terribly sick, perk up after being given an oral dose of dextrose, giving the other medicines a chance to save them.
I gently drenched her with ten ccís of colostrum and dextrose. Not much of a response. Snookums was still working on her little girl. We worked and worked on her and finally I told Lee I didnít think the little thing was going to make it and just to leave it under the heat lamp in Snookumsí care and let it slip away with mom caring and talking to it. This was at ten p.m.
We keep the baby monitors on during kidding and at midnight that night we heard the loud crying of a kid. We were afraid some mother was accidentally standing on her kid. We ran down to the barn and there stood the little kid we thought was going to finish dying, trying to stagger around to nurse. Oddly enough, Snookums was terrified of her kid.
She was use to the kid just quietly lying there. Now the kid was up and screaming and staggering around like she was drunk and chasing her. I held Snookums for the girl to nurse and Snookums went into a frenzy of fear of the kid. She probably thought it was the Night of the Walking Zombie Kid.
I wasnít going to have the kid stepped all over, so declared her as an official bottle kid and took her to the house where she sucked down 3 ounces of colostrum with a dab of dextrose in it. After that feeding she refused anything for the next two days. It was like she suddenly shut down and was determined to die again.
By this time Lee had given her the name of Mostly Dead (M.D.), named after the hero of Princess Bride, who had been mostly dead, but was saved. I kept M.D. in a big Rubber Maid tub in the living room and every two hours would trickle a couple of ccís of colostrum and dextrose down her throat and I slept on the couch at night to get up every two hours to do this.
She was looking worse and worse and more determined then ever to die. At noon on the third day I heard a yell and went to check on her. There the little scrawny thing had stood up and was demanding to be fed. I gave her 4 ounces of colostrum, knowing that supposedly their little stomachís would not absorb colostrumís great stuff after 12 hours or so from birth, but decided it was the richest stuff I had. She wolfed it down and wanted more! Nope, we were going to do this slowly.
Now sheís a boisterous bottle baby, demanding her bottles, bouncing all over the place. Lee asked if she would be brain damaged from being inside mom so long and then not eating or not getting near enough colostrum as most kids.
I seriously asked him how you could tell when a goat was brain damaged?
A good friend, Cathie Keblinger, changed her name for us. Oh, sheís still M.D. but instead of it standing for Mostly Dead, it stands for Mostly Dancing. Now M.D.ís main concerns are her bottles and hoping the big giants will come by and pick her and her other bottle roommate up and love on them.