Emergency repairs on one of our milk goats

in ungrip •  last year 

Accepting being a steward of the land often results in Creator calling upon us to do things we never thought possible.  With the will to learn and the desire to do our best, we acquire knowledge, experience and wisdom through the journey.  This happened to us yesterday when we woke up and started on our morning chores.  We were confronted with one of our milk goats who had a large gash in her bag, deep enough to cut some of the milk glands.  She was bleeding and dripping milk out of the gash in her bag.  

The vet would cost hundreds of dollars to fix this, money we don't have.  So we hit the books and learned how to take care of this our selves.  We wrestled her to the ground, washed out the wounds and cleaned it up as there was dirt in the wound.  Iodine and hydrogen peroxide we had, so we used them to clean up the wound as well.  

We found out that nylon thread is what is typically used to stitch skin, so we found some nylon upholstery thread, disinfected it and soaked it in the iodine along with a curved needle.  After washing the wound out over and over again, we were satisfied that we had it cleaned the best we could.  At least there was no visible dirt in the wound any longer.  We soaked the wound with iodine and then started to stitch the wound together ourselves.  Carey had watched the doctor stitch up our son's foot when he cut it this past winter, so she had a good idea what to do.  I think we did a good job.  You can hardly tell the cut is there.

It is hard to see, but the cut starts just behind the foreground teet and arks around the right side of the teet and down past the bottom of the picture.  We put 7 stitches in to hold it together.  We learned that skin is tougher than we thought.  It was challenging to get the needle through the skin, but we managed.  I don't have to mention that the goat did not just sit there for this procedure either.  We had to sit on her and hold her legs to get this done.  The whole process took us about two hours as we were confronted with a huge learning curve.  

It has been over 24 hours since we finished the procedure.  We are milking her off 3-4 times a day and soaking the wound with peroxide to help ensure there is no infection.  We continue to monitor for infection as our goat is not out of danger yet.  We are putting Manuka Honey on the wound to ensure the flies don't lay eggs in the wound.  The honey also has very strong anti-bacterial properties, so we hope that helps deal with any infection that may be present.  

With all that shared, I must share the emotional, mental and spiritual implications of this experience.  We have dealt with emergencies during goat delivery in the past.  I've seen two heads sticking out so I had to push one back in so the other could go first.  We had to deal with having to pull babies as the mom and kid were in distress.  Now stitching up a large gash added to the emotional reality of life on Mother Earth.  With all the issues we have experienced, I was surprised that I felt no panic.  So much shit has happened out here, not much panics me any more.  But I did feel sad and a bit scared as we did not have the knowledge or skills to fix this ourselves.  But we are willing to learn and we had the tools, so we buckled down and did the work.  Fear is a powerful force when we use it for good rather than evil.  When we push through the fear of ignorance we find ourselves expanding our familiarity zone and the fear starts to go away.  But if we run from the fear, we never accomplish that spiritual accomplishment!

Afterwards, Carey and I were absolutely exhausted.  We still experienced an adrenaline rush as our bodies responded to the emergency.  Afterwards we had to rest but we were very happy that we were able to do something to help out our goat.  I am confident that infection will not be an issue due to all the work we did to clean it up.  If we can manage the infection, then that will provide a huge boost to our confidence in responding to other emergencies.  In fact, we have dealt with lots of emergencies out here and we are starting to get pretty good at it.  

This knowledge and experience goes a LONG ways towards dealing with our own emergencies if they should ever happen.  Animal stewardship has provided us with a lot of experience in the area of health care and dealing with emergencies.  I know for a fact that if this happened 10 years ago we would both have panicked and failed to help our goat.  I don't believe in avoiding situations like this.  That does not serve us at all.  I may have felt a bit frustrated in the morning when I found out about the gash in her milk bag, but I am very grateful for the experience and being able to help her out.  I will also admit that slaughtering animals has provided me with a tremendous amount of experience in knowing the anatomy of our animals so that we could help out in situations like this.  

I will never claim to be a doctor or a vet.  I will also never claim to practice medicine either.  What I can share is that I learned a lot through this experience and my knowledge, wisdom and experience continues to grow as we work hard to be stewards of this land and all the life that has joined us here to share in that experience.  I am grateful to Creator and Mother Earth for this journey.  

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  ·  last year (edited)

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Thank you my friend. I am honoured!!!

I am crying as I read this. This had to be one of the most emotionally wrenching experiences. Your handiwork looks amazing, and I am confident she will heal well. Now to treat yourselves for the experience you have had.

And great job! Love,

I think a phone call from Carey's best friend would be really helpful and healing for her. ;)

First thing in the morning.

Well done! We were in this exact predicament a couple years ago. My only hornless (and very timid) goat Leah was cornered by one of the naughty (horned) girls who then hooked her udder and tore it from the left INTO the right quadrant. I watched in horror as blood and milk gushed all over the place. My husband volunteered to put her down (always his immediate suggestion to a suffering animals) but I phoned a retired doctor in our farming valley. Needless to say the dear old soul in his retirement became an instant vet! We saved the udder and our meak little patient healed beautifully. I'm sure with your expertise and excellent natural remedies your girl will be back to normal before you know it

Wow. That is intense eh! I am so happy to hear that you were able to save her! This whole experience has given us a lot of confidence to handle the more serious issues that we face here off grid. Our goat is doing great. She healed up nicely and continues to milk, although there is a little bit of reduction on the side that got cut. To be expected. I hope you were able to watch the doctor turned vet so that you could do it yourself next time. Thank you so much for sharing. While it is traumatic, there is a great feeling in being able to save lives like that. <3

When I was a kid, about 10 years old I went with my friend to the village where his great grandma lived for a weekend, in the transylvanian hills, and his dad took us to a house at the top of the hill at the edge of the village and inside there was a man who had lost his legs back in the 50's, can't remember why exactly but it was something to do with disease or illness because I remember he said that back in 50something he walked for the last time down the hospital hallway and he hadn't thought that it was going to be the last time he was gonna walk because he wasn't there for his legs/feet. Anyway, he was living there by himself, no family, just a few sheep. He had a sheep inside the little 10'x8' house and he showed us the stitching he had done on her, apparently a wolf got her and ripped her open from the neck to the belly. I couldn't believe the sheep survived, I think it had been alive for a couple days and was fairly responsive, and of course he had done this in the middle of the night by candlelight, I don't know if anyone helped him and he had said he heard the sheep in the rain so weather wasn't on his side and I'm pretty sure the only thing he had was Iodine. We were supposed to see some spring that was coming from where two giant boulders were coming together that was behind his house before we went inside. I haven't had to stitch anything up, I'd like to think that I could but it would be a trying experience nonetheless. Do you think superglue would have worked?

Thank you sooooooo much for sharing that story. I just love it! Beautiful. As for the superglue, I don't think it would have worked. The wound was way too large. We did not have any glue anyway, so we used what we had.

Experience is the best teacher, but some experiences are more taxing than others. Being miles away from help forces us to do what we must do and I am sure the Creator guided you in this today!

Thank you. Yes, indeed. Being far away from any help changes our outlook a lot. I'm sure, as a nurse, you would share if we did something wrong or if there was a better way. ;) I pray that things are settling down in your area of Terra Mater.

You did well, @wwf! I admire that you could do this without panic. I find that is a good way to be. It is what I do, fix things first, panic later if you need too. Mostly it is, get the job done, fall apart later!

Things are just the same here, perhaps more violence. Time is getting short for the Ortegas and they are the ones panicking and putting the push on the violence. We have been promised a visit from the EU and the UN for two weeks and no-one has arrived...sigh

Something has got to give over there. :'(

We checked the goat this morning. 48 hours and no sign of infection. I think we are past the worst of it.

If you make that magical 48 hours you have it made!

That news gives us a tremendous amount of relief. Thank you sooooo much!

I hope the goat recovers completely. When humans get stitches, it is good to use hydrogen peroxide initially to clean out the wound but if you use it too much, it dries out the wound and does harm. The last time I got stitches they told me to put a thin layer of neosporin on and cover with gauze. The doctor told me not to use too much hydrogen peroxide.

Good to know. We did not use that much, so I think she will be fine. A lot of the cleaning was done with water. Only after we got all the dirt out did we use hydrogen peroxide and iodine. Thanks for the share. That info will serve us and others well!

or you can dilute the peroxide 50/50 with water :) i also use colloidal silver...but again, i say well done!!! You just have to use what you have on hand. Its always there for us. xoxo

Indeed. the peroxide we used was only 3%, so it was not that strong to begin with. We did well. It has been 4 days now and she is doing great. We did fine and there was no infection. She is happy and healing very well.

I think that it is amazing that the animals know that we are there for them. I can only imagine the struggle of holding her, and being in pain. So hard on all of you. But the love , respect and peaceful intent, facilitated such a quick healing for everyone. I think that speaks volumes!!

I would say you WERE PRACTICING MEDICINE in this instance.

Medicine is and should be a practice and practice makes perfect.

They don't allow doctors to practice nowadays in the US of A due to the drug & surgery agenda.

That would depend on which definition of 'medicine' you are referring to. I don't use 'their' definitions, but instead recognize that yes, we were practicing traditional tribal medicine with the authority of spirit as our guide. From that perspective, I agree, it should be practiced by everyone! The doctors don't practice 'medicine' any longer. They got lost along the way.

Right, I blame all the licensing and top down controls exercised on doctors and vets too, that forcefully compels them to go by the "book" that has been written by lobbyists and lawyers. Best practices would then be discovered by practice and experience as well as what the public is demanding.

You just taught me a valuable lesson on self reliance. I love the dedication to the animals under your care. You might be surprised but some farmers in my country would simply discard the goat as a liability

Our lives depend on our animals. It is well within our best interests to steward them well and do what we can to look after them. The decision to help them is not a matter of cost or weighing if the goat is 'worth' it or not. We do it because the value of our animals is far greater than the market value.

That is pretty intense! I am glad that you had the nerves and steady mind to get it done. Well done!


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Experience is the best teacher eh! <3 Thanks for dropping in and commenting. Peace to you.

Thank you!

No mean feat at all, big kudos goes to you for the level of dedication. I hope she (goat) recorvers fully

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