Yesterday night around 11pm our beautiful goat Junior became ill. He was standing in the corner shivering when his caretaker came to feed him. One of my volunteers and I want down there right away, when I got the phone call. We moved him into the tack room and made him a bed with straw and a blanket thrown over the straw to keep him comfortable. We then put a barn heater in the tack room and turned it on. It was very cold and windy that night so we wanted to make sure he stayed warm. He moved curiously around the tack room and even nibbled on some hay and a little bit of beet pulp and drank a little water. We gave him some tummy meds and Sub-Q fluids. He seemed to be doing alright, so we scheduled an appointment for him in the morning. I checked on him again at 1am and gave him some maple syrup and more tummy meds, which he happily took. At 6am I made my way to the barn to check on junior. It was miserably cold and windy. I was so glad my volunteer and I had moved him inside with a heater the night before.
The minute I looked through the tack room door, my heart dropped. Junior was lying recumbent on his side, on the bed we had made for him. To spite being unable to rise, he seemed in good spirits and didn’t appear to be in pain. I texted my volunteer and asked her to make some phone calls and that we needed a vet asap. I went over to to Junior helped him sit up, and offered him a syringe of water, which he refused. So I offered him a syringe with some maple syrup that he took eagerly. I gave him some more Sub-Q fluid just to make sure he stayed hydrated, since he wanted nothing to do with the syringe water. He ate a little more beet pulp as we waited for the vet.
Dr.Nenn from Nenn Equine arrived, it was my first time meeting her, my volunteer seemed to think very highly of her, and I wasn’t disappointed. Dr. Nenn examined Junior gently, and thoroughly. After her exam she asked how old Junior was. I told her close to 18yrs old. She commented that she had thought he was older. She told us his ruman was functioning , his gums where nice and pink, he was in good body condition, he had no fever, and did not appear to be in any pain. Then she said,” here is the bad news.” As we listened carefully, she explained that he was basically dying of old age and she suspected organ failure. She told us that even with treatment, he would likely die anyways. We made the very hard decision to release Junior from his failing body.
Junior is now free to play in the green meadows of the Rainbow Bridge with his mom and sisters. I know they are overjoyed to be reunited again, in a place where the body does not fail, where there is no cold, or pain, just happiness.
Dr.Nenn’s second patient was September the thoroughbred horse, we rescued him off a slaughter van a few years prior. He had been growing some strange lumps lately and I was glad to have Dr.Nenn present, to check them out. Unfortunately, it was more bad news. September has an aggressive fast moving cancer that is spreading throughout his body. Racehorses are exposed to many chemicals during their careers and sadly the result can often be cancer. We are going to do our best to pay for September’s medical bills and keep him alive and comfortable for as long as possible.