Monday, May 16, 2011

The best laid plans...

don't amount to a hill of beans around here!  After losing most of my precious weekend to lamb-assist and parent-assist, I had big plans for yesterday.  Then I walked out to do morning chores and found a very, very sick lamb.  It was Hickory, Cocoa's ewe lamb twin.  The first thing I thought of was bloat - and her belly was pretty tight  - but her legs were out rigid, she was extremely warm and panting rapidly.  So....I called the emergency line for the vet and made arrangements to drive the hour up to the clinic to meet her (she was up to her elbows, literally, in a cow emergency) and then called Melanie to see if she had Banamine.  She didn't, but bravely volunteered to drive down and do my morning chores so I could break the land-speed record.

A hair-raising drive later, Hickory and I pulled into the clinic parking lot moments before the vet.  It turned out to be a neurological problem - not bloat.  Not being sure of the root of the problem (polio, tetanus, white muscle disease) they treated her for everything - Hickory, the ovine pincushion.  Her temp was 106.5!  She had settled down by then (probably glad to be out of the speed-demon's car), but was knuckling in the front when she went to stand.  Sooooo, two hours later, a wobbly, groggy and very expensive lamb and I arrived back home and I settled her into a giant dog crate in the kitchen (lent by Kay).  She then proceeded to stand and bleat at amazingly loud decibels all morning, all afternoon and into the evening.  Seeing that there was no sleep in my future if she stayed in the house, I called the vet again (temp was down to 103.4, thank goodness) who said that she could be let back out with her mother.  Praise all things good.  Hickory had a little bit of a bumpy start with her reunion with mom, but I finally saw her nursing and she seemed to be doing less knuckling.  Did I mention that we've had rain since Saturday afternoon?  It had held off long enough for me to finish my #1 task on my weekend to-do list - clean out the little coop and move the little pullets into it.  I tried not to stay awake all night listening for lambs, rain, coyotes, evil spirits, and was more-or-less able to do so.

Needless to say, no photographs were taken this weekend.  I did also accomplish shoveling a pickup truckload of dirt into my raised beds, finishing just as the first raindrops fell on Saturday.  It wasn't a total loss.  Now I face a week's worth of shots for the little pincushion - assisted mightily by Kay.  I may have to live to be 105 just so I am able to pay them back for all their help and moral support.  And much-needed humor.

Oh, and Marie-Claire has hatched an egg!  I swear I will take pics once the rains stops -- by next weekend.


  1. Oh no, that's terrible news - I really hope things improve this week, you have put so much love and effort into these little guys! You have some lovely friends to step right in when you need it. Congrats on the egg :)

  2. Poor little bugger! You have to be wiped out for sure! I can just see the little thing crying in the crate :(

    You have wonderful friends! Such a blessing!

  3. No rest for the weary. Glad she is on the mend.

  4. Try to stay upright yourself this week . . . but if you can't, don't make like Super Woman and make YOURSELF sick! (Who's going to drive YOU an hour to the vet's? I mean doctor's.) Sending you strength and hoping things calm down soon. Maybe some sun rather than rain during the week would help?

  5. Erin - yes, it is always a heartbreak when something goes wrong. She seems better today, so fingers (and hooves) are crossed.

    APG - You would not believe the amount of sound that can come out of something that small - and for how long that sound can go on!

    Jane - Weary is right - but it's part of the 'job' and there are a lot more good things that happen than bad.

    Mama Pea - I am upright, thanks to about a gallon of good, strong coffee! H's temps were back to normal, she's getting around much better and is a real trooper during her endless shots. Sun would be very nice - can you send some?