Friday, 15 November 2013

A story of old goats

As you may remember from earlier blogs about Betty and Wilma, some of our goatie girls are getting on in years now and are starting to suffer a little with 'old lady' ailments.  BTW .. Betty and Wilma are just taking life very easy now and are fighting fit and looking great at the moment!

Sadly, the same cannot be said for dear old Daphne goat.  She has not been quite up to scratch for a couple of weeks and has been a little chesty from time to time but she always trotted into the parlour at feeding time and scoffed her meals quite happily.  But yesterday morning was a different story.  She had to be coaxed in and would not even sniff at a nice apple .. that's serious.  She was all fluffed up, struggling to breathe and had quite a bad cough.  She looked utterly miserable.  So, I gave her a good dose of medicine and spoke with our lovely vet Peter who promised to call in later that afternoon.

As is customary on these occasions, by the time Peter arrived, Daphne was in fine spirits and happily stuck her head into a bowl of food as Peter was trying to examine her.  It always makes me recall a famous Monty Python sketch where an old man shouts "I'm not dead yet!!" ...

But the prognosis is not good ... Peter handed me his stethoscope and invited me to listen to Daphne's heart. First the left side ... then the right side.  Thinking that I had put the stethoscope in the wrong place, I said to Peter that I couldn't hear her heart on the left hand side.  'Mmmm yes' said Peter.  But I could hear it beating (very rapidly) on the right side.  'Mmmm yes' said Peter again .... So her heart is on the wrong side! Mmmm yes ..... And that usually indicates that a mass of some kind is pushing the heart over to the other side .. that's why I couldn't hear anything on the left.  Almost certainly a huge tumour of some description.

So, it doesn't look good for poor old Daphne.  There is nothing we can do apart from give her lots of cuddles and treats.  As soon as she starts to feel poorly again, then we will have to take that heartbreaking final decision and let her go.  We have no idea when that might be .. could be days, could be weeks.

This was Daphne this morning ... filling her face at breakfast time!

And tonight my beloved Flora is not at all well.  We are not allowed to have favourites .. but I love Flora dearly and it will be a very black day when she finally goes to that big goatshed in the sky.  She is almost 10 years old now so it is inevitable that day will not be too far away.  But I still hope that she may live forever!!!

As the temperature plunges rapidly towards zero tonight and I have just passed the first gritting lorry of the season, I am destined to spend the night in the barn with my Flora.  Plenty of thermals and a nice warm hat methinks! Although Flora is quite a large girlie and so I should be nice and warm snuggled up next to her.

So if I look a bit jaded at Wimbledon market tomorrow, you will have to forgive me!

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