As I said, goats are not our specialty. We rarely see one and don’t pretend to any expertise in that department. Many veterinarians don’t care to see anything but the dogs and cats that they feel most comfortable with. I mean, if you only see a goat once every five years, how good are you going to be in that department? I don’t turn people down flat (we looked at a mouse with skin problems yesterday), but I do try to send them to the doctor I think can help them the most. Sometimes that’s me, but sometimes it’s not.
So… when these folks called 4 weeks ago, and said their goat had a bad leg, I recommended that they see a doctor who sees more livestock. So they did that, but when it got worse they showed up back here instead. Of course, at this point, the foot is unsalvageable. I don’t know what it looked like a month ago, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t look anything like this. That’s an open fracture and the foot has gangrene. I’m not giving you a close-up, and you should be glad we don’t have "smell-O-vision".
I wish that the folks had given the first doctor the opportunity to recheck the goat periodically. I feel sure that he would have picked up on the situation before it got this bad. Instead, we spent 2 hours on Saturday afternoon (one hour of it actually in surgery) amputating that mess. Thank goodness for Veterinary Information Network. The last information I had on goat anesthesia was dated 1992, and I was glad to have immediate access to more current information.
Here’s Shannon with our patient post-op. Anesthesia went really well. Five minutes after this the goat was up walking on three legs again, minus the gangrene. She’s home with antibiotics and pain meds now. I was going to show a picture of myself gazing down at the goat (the very picture of "the gentle doctor"), but I was having a bad hair day.