Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Thoughts on nursing the sick in tough times...

Last spring our daughter and son-in-law became the proud owners of a new, (1936 vintage) home!

They had lots of work to do, and part of that entailed tons of yard work.  They pruned the bushes, and yanked out a few overgrown rhododendron bushes.  We lent them our truck, and on one occasion we needed to borrow the truck back, so we hauled home the bush debris to burn here on our property.  My husband unloaded the brush one Sunday afternoon while I fixed lunch and as we sat in our home eating our lunch, our goats helped themselves to the brush outside.  Within just a couple of hours, they were drooling and shaking their heads and vomiting.  I had kept goats for over a decade, and did not know that rhododendron brush (especially ones that have wilted) are extremely toxic to goats!!!  By the next day it was obvious that something was terribly wrong, and I researched what to do for them on the internet.  I ran into town and purchased some activated charcoal from the feed store.  I also purchased some Probios "goop" to give them.  I mixed two different tonics that were prescribed by helpful people at a web site called "Goat911" and monitored them for 48 hours.  Out of 10 goats, we lost 2 babies.  Here is the recipe for the recommended tonic I used to try and detoxify them:

¼ cup cooking oil
 ½ cup strong/strong cold tea (6 to 8 tea bags removed) ["English" tea]
 1 teaspoon ground ginger
 1 teaspoon baking soda
 MIX ALL TOGETHER and drench the goat with it all.

How does this work?

Oil puts a lining on the stomach preventing more poison going into the system, tea is the antidote, and ginger relieves pain, baking soda helps bring up the gas.

My next episode was more recent....  Our two year old Golden Retriever/Beagle do got into something and slowly lost his appetite over the course of about two weeks.  Then he started vomiting sporadically,  just before Christmas.  He ran a fever, but drank fluids ---- and slept.  I tried to find a vet to help, but due to the fact that it was the day before New Years Eve; they were all booked and told me to call back on Monday.

So, I went into town on New Years Eve and purchased some Pro-bios "goop" and tried to purchase some activated charcoal but they were all out.  So, I purchased a bottle of Penicillin and some syringes.  I drenched him twice a day with Sulmet mixed with honey water (Sulmet is an antibacterial and I was hoping that if he had some sort of gut infection due to eating something off of the ground that this would help heal his gut.)  I also put some colloidal silver water in his drench.  I also gave him some anti diarrhea  medicine in case he was suffering from an upset stomach.  He didn't start showing improvement though until I had given him 4 days worth of Penicillin (1/2 ml; 2 x a day) shots, intramuscular, given on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday)

I must add, I cried like a baby the night before I purchased the antibiotics and such; and I cried and prayed out to God to give me wisdom and guidance as to what to do.

On day 3 of the antibiotics he was like a new dog, he barked for the first time in over a week, he licked us and wanted to be petted and he started eating again.  Today he played with his kitty "Dinky" (a new kitten we acquired over the summer) and has eaten almost non stop all day.  He is playful and affectionate.  I am so thankful, I was so afraid we would lose him.

So, moral of the story -----  know what sort of things are toxic to your livestock and try to keep them out of reach from them;  and try to have things on hand to treat them as soon as you suspect they have gotten into something they shouldn't have! 

Activated charcoal; Probios (powder or goop) and Penicillin are things I will try to always have on hand.

I am grateful for Vets; but I am also grateful for the wisdom of those who have had to deal with things on their own when vets weren't available.  And as a side note, we had a dog years ago who got into something and was suffering with diarrhea and lack of appetite so we took him to the vet.  They pumped his stomach and started him on antibiotics and fluids and asked to keep him overnight.  I went to pick him up the next day, and the bill was over $700 dollars.  I was floored to say the least!  The activated charcoal is supposed to absorb toxins, and I think in many cases it could take the place of having to have the animals stomach pumped, as in the case of my goats.  I would have used it on my dog, but the feed store was out of it.  Drenching the goats and my dog with fluids helped keep them hydrated and sooth their gut.  Antibiotics was added to fight off any infections they may have acquired.

I hope this information might encourage you to not give up in desperate circumstances.

Night all, from my Home, Sweet, Simple Home!

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