Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Duncan's Story

This is one of those OMG moments when the dread of  loosing one of your animals hits hard.
It all started last weekend, about August 22nd. Duncan was not getting up to eat his hay as readily as he had the previous days. Monday morning he did the same thing. I went over to were he was laying and made him get up. There was a small damp spot under him and as he walked away he was dripping pee. Old age incontinence? Duncan is only 7 he is in good shape still. Next thought as he was straining to pee and nothing but drips came out urinary calculi! Eeeks I did have this happen to an Alpine buck about 15-20 years ago when I fed alfalfa to all my goats. Hey, my boys eat mostly grass hay and no grain. This can't be happening!

This is Duncan after he was sheared in March. He is so handsome I didn't want to lose him.

So first thing I ran up to  Paula's house to get a second opinion which was to get to the vet. I called the vet and we were in their office by 1:30. I can't tell you how much support it is to have a friend who knows about sheep and goats be at your side in these/my panic situations!
Vet Tanya was there to help. These vets are all primarily horse vets. She sedated Duncan and with one lady holding him by the horns up on his butt me holding his front legs Paula sitting on his back feet and husband vet holding Duncans "equipment" out so Tanya vet could put a catheter in the tiniest of holes all to try and flush as she went and clean out any stones. I think this took forever!
No stones out this far from his bladder but she did hit an end to where the catheter would not go any farther. So it was wait till third vet came back with the mobile ex-ray machine. We left Duncan in the truck with catheter sewn to his belly and had dinner across the street from the vets. 
Third vet came back and so did fourth vet and his assistant. The ex-ray machine went into action.  We all gathered around to see the results on the computer screen. Humm, fourth vet thought the catheter was in the bladder plus he saw more stones in there. Duncan was still just dripping pee so maybe just before the bladder there was trouble. So now do a PU, flush out his bladder and risk having a ram who can't make lambs or try anti-inflammatory meds and antibiotics and wait to see what happens. It is now 6:00 or 6:30pm.
It was touch and go for a few days but for the most part Duncan kept dripping pee to keep his bladder from bursting. Paula found information on the computer about Urinary Calculi where it said to drench goats or sheep with lemon juice. For five days poor Duncan got about 2-4 ounces of lemon from once to four times a day. I was at the fair several days and he didn't get the every four hours dose they recommended.
Yesterday he was fighting hard when I tried to dose him and seemed to want to go threw the barn wall last night trying to get away from me and the lemon juice. Ok he is starting to feel too good now. If he looked good this morning I was going to leave him next to his friends, my other ram, Watson and two wethers, K.G. and Sailor. Duncan seemed just fine so over he went next to the guys. First thing he did was stretch out and start to pee. He even turned it off and on all by himself!
He still has me on full alert so as long as he is eating and drinking, water with cider vinegar to keep all the boys acidified, he can stay up in the ram pen. I have my fingers crossed!


Nancy K. said...

Oh, I am so glad that Duncan is feeling better and peeing again! Good for you for taking such wonderful care of the big guy. He is a spectacular ram!

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

You are such an awesome shepherdess :)

Sharon said...

Phew - that was not pleasant for you for him. So glad Duncan yo-yo is back to being himself!

Carolyn said...

That was scary...hope he's out of the woods now.

paula up the street said...

Proud to say on Duncan's behalf that he managed to maintain his dignity throughout his ordeal, even when upside down with his "you know what" up in the air, he simply sighed and thought about better things. What a good boy!