I was sure my car would never smell the same again! Poor Peaches had diarrhea. Let me go ahead and apologize for telling you about my goats bloody poop, but this is what taking care of all these animals has reduced me too. I'm no longer fit for civilized conversation.
The goat book starts by saying that diarrhea in a goat can be a symptom of many different diseases, and that it should be taken very seriously. Great. I thought for sure it was from eating fresh spring grass, and put her on a diet of only hay. I also had to wash her entire backside, tail, and the back of her legs, which were green with muck. Peaches didn't enjoy this bath, and swished her sopping wet tail like crazy, flinging soapy water all over the place. Thank goodness I wear glasses so I only got sprayed in my mouth and not my eyes too, right? Gag.
When it didn't go away after several days, and I started to see bright red blood on her backside and tail, I got worried. My goat mentor friend suggested I have a vet check a stool sample for worms. So Thursday evening found me standing in the goat shed with an old coffee can waiting for Peaches to deliver a sample. You know how a watched pot never boils? Well, a watched goat never poops!
While I was waiting to collect the sample, Peaches squatted to pee, and when her sphincter relaxed, I could see inside her anus and it was a horror show! Bloody and swollen and awful. Not that I've ever looked inside a goats butt before, but I was sure this was not normal. Poor Peaches.
I was up early Friday morning to deliver the sample to a vet, and when a few hours later I got the call that she didn't have a worm problem (that herbal wormer really does work!), and was told that the vet thought it would be best for me to bring her in for an exam, I was afraid to put it off any longer, so I left work early, and crammed my poor sick goat into the back of my car.
The last time I took Peaches to the vet to have the cyst on her neck drained (gag) and tested for CAE, I took her to the same young woman who castrated Rufus. That vet had a barn-like building with stalls for horses. Peaches messed all over the floor and I was told not to worry, they would hose down the floor. Peaches was sliced with a razor and the mess was sort of wiped off with a grungy rag that was picked up off the floor, and I was told if I didn't like the blood that was running down her neck, I could hose her off when I got home. All righty then.
This time, I took her to a posh small animal clinic slash groomer, and we were treated just like the other cats and dogs that were there to get their nails trimmed and fur groomed. When peaches messed on the floor of the pristine examination room, I got to clean it up with paper towels. I overheard the lady at the desk take a call from someone who had a ewe in labor, and when she got off the phone she asked the other lady "What's an ewe?" to which the response was, "I don't know. Is it a goat?" I got to demonstrate my knowledge of livestock when I told them it was a sheep. They were quite impressed. Uh-oh, Peaches.
But, the vet, who I'm sure knows what an ewe is, was very thorough. He checked her eyelids, listened to her stomach with a stethoscope, and palpated her abdomen. He said her sample had just a few Haemonchus eggs, which was normal and nothing to worry about (I looked them up and this is barberpole worm, which is only in ruminants, and can't be passed to dogs, cats, or humans -whew). He said Peaches had good color, normal stomach rumbling noises, and didn't flinch in pain when he poked around on her. He said he wanted to check her blood for Johne's disease, and if she had it, it was best to cull the goat.
Cull the goat. Cull the goat? Kill the goat!! Kill Peaches?! Well, let's hope that test comes back negative!
He said that for some reason Peaches stomach was unbalanced, and that it was causing colitis, which is why she was bleeding and I saw the horror in her rectum. When I asked if there was some medicine that I could put "down there", he gave me a funny look and sternly said that "no, nothing needs to go down there." He gave Peaches two giant blue pills which were sulfamethazine bolus, and sent me home with four giant white probiotic boluses to give her each day, and gave me a wand type pill dispenser that I can use to stick the pills way back in her throat, behind her tongue. Her diarrhea was mostly gone by Friday night, and thankfully, I haven't seen any blood either.
He said if the test results come back and she has Johne's disease we would need to have a conversation about what needs to happen. I can tell, he wants to kill my goat!