Sometimes the cold heavy hand of livestock ownership reality reaches in and punches you right in the heart...
We knew that experiencing and then coping with the death of an animal was bound to be something we faced as we embark down the path of raising and keeping livestock; however with the sudden passing of Bob; our lone male goat; we realized just how attached to these animals we have quickly become.
Just over a week ago we started to notice that Bob was acting a little “off” – he was spending more time on his own, and less time foraging and eating than the others.
After a quick internet search we learned a few things we should check for; such as anemia caused by parasites – and he was showing some of those signs…pale gums, and eye lids etc. Of course like any internet search there was some conflicting info, and the “symptoms” he was showing could also simply be the result of his coloring and/or his personality.
Seeing as none of the others were showing any parasite symptoms (and surely sharing bedding and food sources they would have) we decided to go with our gut and wait it out…unfortunately in this case our gut was wrong, and we waited a little too long to begin testing for and treating against the parasites he had picked up (something we now know is basically inevitable with these animals).
Bob quietly and peacefully slipped away on the evening of August 17, 2015 succumbing to anemia as the result of a parasitic infection.
Although it was a hard learned lesson, we are going to take this somber occurrence as a learning experience. Not only do we now know when and how to perform certain parasitic tests, we also learned how lucky we are to have met and joined several very helpful and generous people in our local and online “goat community” – we are just sorry that Bob had to pay the price for our education…