I was a total goat newbie - well a total farm animal newbie - and honestly didn’t even know what zoonotic meant…. Soremouth is called Orf in humans and it can be passed from animals to humans - eeeek. Luckily my playing in the dirt and receiving slobbery animal kisses for years must have given my immune system a boost because I wasn’t taking ANY precautions and the vet was visibly alarmed by my lack of protecting myself from Eli’s ugly open sores on his face when I was handling him. After a two very long weeks, he got over soremouth and was finally able to start gaining a little weight and then I was able to get him healthy enough for his neuter.
He became such a stoic perfect big horned goat, and grew into a very suiting attitude of owning his paddock as well.
He made sure he always got snacks first, and used his horns to get the chickens out of his way if they started pecking too close to his personal bubble.
He was really hard to handle, and just recently I found a farrier who could trim his hooves in a much less stressful way than being held by the stanchion - which stressed him out so much, I was afraid he’d have a heart attack. The new fairer had some unicorn method and the calmest energy and Eli actually went to sleep while getting his hooves done. It made me feel better that I’m his senior years, he didn’t have to be stressed about this necessary part of his life.
Last fall, he started walking pretty stiff, and I started him on MSM. That seemed to help, and then in December, I added injectable glucosamine to his regimen. I wasn’t noticing he was getting better and the big sign for me was when I got him a brand new pool. As you all may have seen on my Instagram over the years, a plastic baby pool is his all time favorite. Well, Friday I got him a new pool, and he old-man walked over to it and put his front legs in, but couldn’t pick up his rear legs to get in…
I called the vet to see if we could try some pain meds just to let him have a little more time to enjoy his new pool pain free. I tried the new meds, which were supposed to work pretty quickly, and sadly they just weren’t helping. So I came to the decision yesterday to plan for his last days…
He has lived a life way longer than any male goat his size over ever known. At his peak, he weighed 225lbs. He is thought to be a purebred Saanen dairy goat and the males usually don’t make it past 10 years, so I feel extremely lucky I was able to be chased and scared up fences for as long as I was - ha!
His ‘wife’ that he was rescued with is still with us, although she is completely blind due to her love of head-butting and knocking her ocular nerves loose in the last few years. Their daughter who was a surprise to me when she was born just a few weeks after their arrival, is still with us as well. This fam of goats was the first rescue goats I got, and they have managed to outlive the others that came after them. I’ve lived them all, but I’m not sure I’ll ever get anymore goats. I think when the others decide to move on to the great beyond over the rainbow, I will at least enjoy the freedom of not having little destroyers around.
I leave you with a plethora of happy Eli pics….
I hope you all are enjoying your Sunday morning… Me and Poptart are heading out for a little road trip soon!