I think it is inevitable that, when dealing with livestock and horses,
you will get periods of time where the critters are determined to find ways to try to kill themselves and leave us at a loss for investment, never even mind the sweat and tears and love involved.
We have just had such a time. Money is tight, as it is with most people,
and we've had, in this order, in the past 8 weeks (I couldn't begin to tell you what we've had in the last 9 months, so we will just go with the last 8 weeks):
Meggie, a Nubian doeling, with a serious dog bite injury that required expensive antibiotics and a debridement surgery
It has since closed, the hair has grown back and all looks well!
This was the mid point of healing, after surgery. It had looked much, much worse.
What to learn from our calamity: 8lb dogs can do extensive damage in a much larger animal. Dog's mouths are full of dangerous bacteria. Just because it doesn't look too bad, doesn't mean you should treat it as minor. I'd have saved a lot of money if I had made certain to clean these tiny wounds 100% to being with. I should have shaved it, cleaned with a needle-less syringe each wound and covered in betadine while using an antibiotic to begin with. I did, at least, give a Tetanus antitoxin when it occured!
Bo, our Nubian yearling buck, had a bout of polio that required our vet our after midnight, a bottle of RX Dex and Thiamine
What to learn from our calamity: If your goat appears to loose his vision and is down or standing around starring at the sky with obvious loss of vision, treat with RX Thiamine, and do not wait until this happens to have RX Thiamine and Dex on hand from your vet.
Dusty, our Aussie, keeps getting hot spots even with the use of frontline and allergy shots from our vet
What to learn from our calamity: LOL - That stuff didn't help us. He still has the hot spots regardless of flea treatment and meds.
Lady Ann got choked and required a vet out (Dr. Brown wasn't in town that day) last Monday to the tune of $300 with no success in treatment, meeting with Dr. Brown for more banamine and injectable $50 per dose antibiotics to prevent aspiration pneumonia on Tuesday and a meeting - because he could not make it out - Wednesday to pick up what it took to tube her ourselves since the choke wasn't resolved, which was traumatizing, but a success! I had opted to not renew her insurance policy just the month before! She is still recovering, but we hope and pray all is well.
What to learn from our calamity: Just soak your pelleted feeds. It is easy and quick and can save their life and you a lot of $$. Never feed anything not soaked that is dry - beet pulp, alfalfa pellets or pelleted feed. Also, DO NOT forgot or opt to not renew your equine insurance!
Summer Breeze was clipped too short and got a rough sunburn on her neck, and it is healing, but it looked rough and required a lot of ointment!
What to learn from our calamity: Use a 2 guard when clipping and if you clip too short - put a t-shirt on the goat or sunscreen 2x daily ;)
Then JC hurt his right leg in some manner - nothing visually amiss other than a limp - but that required some Bute and stall rest.
What to learn from our calamity: Stallions like to hurt themselves - period.
But I believe there is always bound to be a respite after such rain - surely!
It all had me pretty down. The expense is almost insurmountable! The toll it takes on one's mind and spirit is equal to the expense, but truly, the joy of living with the animals and on the land with a goal of homesteading - in reality - is worth it and nothing anyone hoping to work toward sustainable, self-sufficient living has not felt at some time or other.
Raising children in this way is simply the only manner I can fathom!
I grew up with dreams of such an life, and I am determined to provide it for my children and to see it through for my own self, too