This is going to serve as my 'catch up' blog - filled with a recap of the the last three weeks which have been filled with hard work, sweat, tears, and worry over Milly. I started planning for the new fencing at the end of June and on July 3rd noticed Milly had what seemed to be a spider bite or horsefly bite on her back. I put some 'BluKote' on it and kept an eye on it until it scabbed up and healed. Milly seemed to be fine other than the area itching a bit (which I just assumed it was the scab that was irritating her). I continued to measure off the area to be fenced, bought posts, and started driving posts in.....after about 30 posts, I decided to take a break and go buy the actual fence - I had picked up some used fencing off of Craigslist, so I needed to figure out exactly how much I had, and how much I needed to buy.....After rolling it out, I only needed to buy one roll of 330 ft hogwire. Not bad! After my diversion trip to the feed store, I continued to drive more posts. I noticed Milly seemed to be a little weak in her rear legs and thought maybe she had been laying weird and they went to sleep on her. I continued to keep an eye on her while I was working and the next day she was staggering a bit and knuckling her rear hooves. I called her vet on July 14th and he was heading out of the country that night. He said it could possibly be an injury and maybe she had some inflammation in her spine and that he could look at it when he returned in a week and a half. He gave me the name of a doctor at the UGA Large Animal Hospital and told me to get in touch with her if I had any problems while he was gone. With the help of the awesome neighbor, William, the fence was finished and it was DONE RIGHT. Corner posts and all. Damn fine looking fence if I do say so myself! The next few days I observed Milly and gave her electrolytes, grain, even fed her some raw milk thinking the extra vitamins might help her heal faster... No luck. By Monday, July 18th, I called the UGA veterinarians to come out and take a look at Milly. They said it appeared she had the meningeal worm aka deer worm aka brain worm.....wow. They gave her some meds, took a fecal sample, and advised me on what the Meningeal worm does in goats and said they would come back out for a re-check on Friday. I researched what this thing was....a worm that lives all stages of it's life in white-tail deer with no ill effects, can paralyze a goat, sheep, horse, or cow if left untreated - even cause death! My poor Milly! I was so terribly upset and just sat in the field that night and cried as I held her hoping that I hadn't waited too long to seek treatment! All I want is for her to be healthy and happy! The next morning while drinking my coffee on the porch, I saw TWO praying mantis! One green and one brown - these are supposed to mean good luck according to old wives tales and I sure hope luck comes my way in the form of Milly's recovery... The next few days prove to be very tough as I have to learn how to give [Milly] injections of Thiamine and a steroid to help her heal. Two injections in the morning and one at night. Not fun AT ALL, but she does seem to be improving and I am hopeful that she will recover!
Token of good luck???
Dance for me Miss Mantis!
Morning silhouette at the 'acre' of beautiful Ellie
The kids have the old fenced part of the field to themselves while Milly is on the mend...
Ellie visits the 'kiddie' side after I milk her in the mornings so that Ellen can get whatever I missed (;
Ellen is a little more independent and 'tuff' like her daddy - she thinks hugs are for babies and she is above that!
Ellie trying to strike up a conversation with Forest
Two-headed Saanen beast!
Mmmm-mmm, Ellie! Your milk makes my coffee so much more special! Thank YOU!
This is the stanchion I bought from Double Durango Farms, made by Dianne - Ellie thinks it is PERFECT!
Ellen coming around for some discrete lovin' because nobody else is looking....
Baby looks so pitiful when I get home from the farm if she didn't get to go....While I was fencing, I had to leave the little booger at home in the evenings...
Every morning she got to get up with me and go though!
Whew - fencing is HARD WORK! Time to observe all my hard work...
The culprit behind Milly's mysterious illness, the meningeal worm (to learn more about this parasite click HERE
This is also the phantom pear thief!
While I was putting up the fence, all the animals thought I was just being mean and ignoring them - ESPECIALLY since I was in plain view the whole time and not paying them ANY attention - how DARE I? After each day working my butt off, I headed over to let them all know I did in fact still love them...soon they would be in the new field and would see just how much I did!
Beautiful rainbow over the 'acre' on my way back out there one evening..
Milly's face looks fine and she is eating fine, but usually goats and sheep are tough animals and don't show any signs of sickness until it has really taken a toll on them. The doctors did a fecal test and found no intestinal parasites, but the meningeal worm is actually in the BLOOD!
Misty is happy that Milly is feeling better...
Ellen constantly uses Ellie as a step stool to reach higher branches...
The sunrise on the way out to the acre:
...and it is done!!!!
Thanks for devoting an evening to help me with this massive pile of limbs, Ryan!
Corner posts done right! Thanks William!!
A little video of Eli & Ellie acting like kids upon entering the new field:
Even at dusk, these sunflowers shine bright!
Milly's curved back from the parasite attacking her spine..
Milly is starting to eat well again, though!
The spot that I initially thought to be a spider bite or fly bite was actually the first physical sign of the meningeal worm doing damage in Milly's spine...
still weak, but improving!
"I AM feeling better, mama!"
Eli enjoying the new forage.
Lauren's sheep were also checked out by the doctors and Speckles had severe anemia (white inner eye membranes) thought to be the result of worms. Here is a great link to sheep maintenance. Lauren thought only if they had cloudy eyes did that indicate any illness or sickness, when in fact sheep and goats may show no outward symptoms sometimes until it is too late. Check your sheep and goats eyes on a regular basis to make sure their inner eye membranes appear healthy - Luckily the doctors were able to treat Speckles before they left. It has been a very hectic few weeks, but everything appears to be on the mend. Thanks for keeping up with the 'acre' and I will regularly update regarding Milly's improvement.