Friday, 15 June 2012

Alas, poor Tinkerbell

And yesterday was going so well.  But then I arrived back at the goatshed late in the afternoon to find poor Tinkerbell goat looking exceedingly poorly.  She had been off colour for a couple of days - nothing specific that you could put your finger on ... just 'not right'.  But yesterday afternoon she was clearly not well at all.  Although she was still on her feet, she was struggling to breathe, was terribly sunken in her sides, and (worst of all) started to call out very pitifully as soon as she saw me.

Immediately, I got her out to check her over, took her temperature and sat with her for a while.  Her tongue and gums were very white (not a good sign, even in a white goat!) and she was obviously in some distress.  Our marvellous vet, Peter, was there within 30 minutes to examine her.  It wasn't good.  Her heartbeat was very muffled and he was struggling to hear it.  Her temperature was lower than normal and her breathing was very shallow.  His opinion was that she had some kind of serious condition, such as fluid around the heart or lungs.  The prognosis was not good as she had obviously got much worse very quickly during the day.

And so, the painful decision was taken.  I held her in my arms as Peter sent her to the big goatshed in the sky.  Only 3 years old.

When it was over, I took her twin sister Alice to see her. When a goat dies, it's something that I always do if they have a sister or a close friend.  I think it is very important that the surviving goat has a chance to see them so that they know where the other goat has gone, otherwise they become distressed when they cannot find them.  Goats are intelligent creatures and can recognise death. 

Alice sniffed at her sister, turned and looked at me, snorted and then walked away.  Poor Alice.  Poor Tinkerbell.

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