January 22, 2010

An Unlucky Break

I don't know what got into Pepper a few nights ago. A young Nubian buckling, he seemed to go from cute bottle baby to hormone driven horn dog over night. Lately he has been spending a lot of time at the gate to the doe pasture, tongue hanging out, pawing the ground and trying to convince the girls that he is mature beyond his young age and boyish good looks. I knew his adolescent buck hormones had driven him goofy when I caught him trying to romance an overturned bucket in the backyard one day but neither my husband or I expected him to do what he did the other night.

Pepper has a routine, it is the same one he has had for months. Since he is too young to go out with the big Boer bucks but obviously too mature to go out with the doelings he has had the run of the backyard during the day and we shut him in his pen at night to keep him safe; though that seems ironic now.

My husband had just shut him in his pen for the night when out of the blue Pepper decided he was going to jump the cattle panel fence that his pen is made out of. He almost made it over, almost. Neither one of us seen him jump, Jamey was walking away from the pen when he heard Pepper let out a yell and the cattle panel shaking. He ran back to the pen in a matter of seconds to find Pepper hanging from his back leg and he quickly lifted him down and set him on the ground outside of his pen but it was too late. I did not see this happen but I knew it was bad when I heard Jamey bellow out a string of cuss words that didn't quite hide the break in his voice. I calmed Jamey down but Pepper didn't need calmed down. He was back over at the gate to the doe pasture again standing on three legs and trying to romance the does on the other side like he didn't even know he was hurt.

I knew the second I looked at his leg he was though, it dangled at an impossible angle for any intact bone. It was not a pleasant thing to see but at least luckily it was not a compound fracture. This was 10pm and I knew we would not get a vet out that night. We would have to splint it and take him to the vet first thing in the morning. In the almost eight years we have raised goats I have seen and treated a lot of different things but this was the first broken bone that needed splinting. I cleared off a table and we brought Pepper in the house and gave him a shot of Banamine for pain and inflammation.

Then we gathered up what materials we had knowing that we did not need something long term but just something to get him through the night until we took him to the vet first thing the next morning. I would have preferred to have a lighter weight PVC pipe cut lengthwise in two to use but we had to make do with some slightly curved trim boards cut to length. We also had scissors, cloth for padding (cotton or gauze wrap would have worked much better) vet wrap and tape. The cotton balls were there for extra padding if needed, though we didn't end up using them.

This was definitely a two person job even with a young goat like Pepper. We laid him on his side on the table with the broke leg up. It was easy to determine that it was his cannon bone that was broken. Carefully aligning his leg straight it was then wrapped snugly with cloth padding and taped. Then the two boards were positioned on each side of his broken leg and slightly past his hoof so that his weight would be on the boards and not his hoof and that was taped. Then we wrapped his leg with vet wrap starting at the bottom and working up, being careful to keep the vet wrap smooth and snug but not too tight as to impair circulation. His toes were left exposed to air so I could check them for swelling periodically. It just had to get him through the night. Pepper was then put in a small room until morning to keep him from getting any more ideas about jumping or running on his leg.

First thing the next morning as soon as the vet clinic opened we loaded Pepper in the car and drove him to town. He rode the whole way in the backseat with his head laying between the front seats to be close to us. The picture below is Jamey and Pepper outside the vet clinic. In this picture it looks like Pepper's whole foot is sticking out of the splint but that is actually his other leg. It is important the splint goes slightly past their hoof so they are walking on it and not their broken leg.

Pepper was very well behaved in the waiting room at the vet clinic. He was the center of attention, being such a charming goat in the waiting room. He visited and made friends with everyone. Though he didn't much care for being held to get his leg X-rayed. The receptionist thought he yelled like a woman but I didn't tell Pepper what she said.

After the X-rays were taken it was back out to the waiting room again to wait for a little bit but as long as he was getting lots of attention and nobody was holding him down on any tables, Pepper didn't mind.

It wasn't too long until we got to go back and look at his X-rays to see his broken bone. The vet said we did a good job aligning it when we splinted it. He was going to just leave the splint we had on him because he said he couldn't align it any better than we had it, but we all felt like it needed just a little more padding since we didn't have any cotton padding and had to make do with a washcloth. So they kept Pepper at the vet's office for awhile and put a new splint on his leg with more padding. Then they called us to come pick him up.

We brought Pepper home and put him in a small stall so his leg can heal. He has another follow-up appointment with the vet in a week. He will most likely be wearing a splint for six weeks. Poor Pepper, but he is getting lots of TLC and treats to keep his spirits up while he recovers. I am certainly praying that his leg heals well and he can get back to his old antics soon. Minus any fence jumping of course.

29 comments:

GardenofDaisies said...

Oh my goodness! The things hormones will drive a goat to do! I am so glad that Pepper is splinted and healing. You are such good goat parents. :-)

Danielle Barlow said...

Oh My Goodness, what a worrisome night you must have had. There is nothing worse than that sinking feeling when you see an injury and know it is serious. Still, sounds like he was lucky to have an owner who knew exactly what to do. Now you just need to find a way to keep his hormones under control!

Honeycombmama said...

What a night huh? Hope Pepper heals up fast and is back to his courting antics in no time, minus any injuries;)

Kathie @ my net finds said...

awww, poor guy! :-( he's lucky to have you two to patch him up!!!

Alix said...

Oh no! Poor Pepper!

See? All males are seriously alike, be they goats or of the human persuasion. They'd rather get romantic even if their limbs are all askew than miss an opportunity. Sad thing is... Pepper made a valiant effort, but never got what he was looking for.

I once was leading a very spirited Thoroughbred through a metal paddock gate when he got all spooky and kicked at it making contact with a sharp rusty edge and severely slicing his hock. He immediately pulled up on the hind leg and was spinning around on three legs pulling me with him. Blood gushed everywhere. I was so scared! Luckily, the horse's owner was a nurse and she took over putting the horse in cross-ties and washing the wound. The vets responded quickly to our 911 call and before I knew it, the horse was sedated (swaying this way and that, but balancing on three feet) and the vet was hunched underneath the huge animal cleaning the jagged flesh and suturing the leg. It was such a remarkable thing to watch, but I still felt so guilty that the horse got hurt while I was leading it.

Glad you know your stuff, Jennifer, and were able to come to Pepper's rescue. Looks like he's going to be fine. But... get him a date, will ya?

XO

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

wow, that was about a happy as ending that you could get for the circumstances.

I don't have all that much goat experience, but I don't think my little Nigerians aren't quite as aggressive sexually as the standard size goats. Do you know? Don't get me wrong, they LOVE the girls, maybe not as strong as your standard goats though.

JoyceAnn said...

Never a dull moment , glad to hear Pepper's leg is doing well. I'm planning to get goats soon , so glad I found your blog , your info about goats is wonderful. Although this happening scares the crap out of me , but it sounds like you all handled it well. I don't think I'll be getting a buck for awhile.

~ Many Blessings ~

Sarah and the Gentlemen said...

Wow. Good job on the splinting. I'm so glad that Pepper will be okay.

Mom L said...

Ahhh, poor Pepper! The things that male, never female ;), hormones cause. Is the small room the equivalent of being grounded for a goat?

Nancy in Iowa

Pricilla said...

Oh how scary! He's lucky to have such caring owners...

IsobelleGoLightly said...

Oh my! Poor Pepper! I don't think we goats do a lot of "what happens if I do this" thinking! I'm not a jumper but my friend Gimli is. He can get over a five foot fence if he feels like it. Thankfully he hasn't felt like he has to get anywhere and hasn't done it in a year. Congratulations on your doctoring skills! Something that my lady needs to learn in case one of us gets injured and our doctors aren't available! Kisses from Isobelle!

Jamie said...

Hope he heals quickly. Ah the adventures I have to look forward to when I get my goats.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

poor pepper. i bet he didn't even learn a lesson...men!!! what a good job you did splinting him! he is so lucky to have such good parents! i hope he gets better soon.

Martha Ann said...

We're sorry this happened but thrilled to know Pepper will live to horn-dog another day. We linked to this at AllThingsGoat.com. http://is.gd/6POgb

Kelly or Alex said...

You guys rock! I'm so glad that you were near to find the bread soon. So far we only have one wether. We are looking for bucks. They get so excited.

Allison aka Scooty's Mom said...

Poor Pepper!! Way to improvise with the board instead of PVC. Hopefully he will heal soon.

Christy said...

Poor boy! I'm glad you got him patched up. I see I need to add some more things to my goat first aid kit.

Callie said...

You all did a great job splinting the leg! Hope he decides to take it easy and rest up and heal.

Deborah said...

Thanks for sharing,sorry it was at Pepper's expense. After reading about other goat owner's medical knowledge, I feel way under qualified to treat mine. Guess that comes with experience. Sounds like you need to have a long talk with him, while you have his attention.

Good luck with the teenage hormones!

PJ said...

I love your posts! I love goats. I have always wanted 1 or 2, but hubby says "no they're too much trouble" i.e. getting out of fences, over fences and eating everything they see. I would still like some, but alas hubby has the last word! LOL!

Love & Prayers,

PJ

Oz Girl said...

OMG, you sound like you are Grace under pressure... I hate that I tend to panic. My hubby is the calm one in a bad situation - thank god one of us is!

I'm glad Pepper is doing well, and hope that he continues to do well over the next few weeks. I'll try to remember to stop back for an update.

Hope you are all well - aren't you glad the fog finally went bye-bye??!

Amy Manning said...

Oh dear, what a fiasco! Am glad I don't have a buck, just a couple of sweet girls. Did you decide to keep a buck for breeding, or are you just good at keeping bucks? I've heard they can be awfully rough to handle.

Statch said...

He's so lucky you knew what to do! I need to go think about what I would do if something like that happened to one of our goats...

The pictures in the waiting room are adorable.

Jen's Farmily said...

What a rotten little stinker!! I'm glad Pepper has 'parents' who care about him!

You'll have to keep us updated on his progress!!

DayPhoto said...

I know some young boys who act just like him. We have also had desperate females (cows) that are the bane of our existance.

The worst was the bull who went through ever fence in the area and ran all over 'serviceing' every cow he could find.

As soon as we could, he went to the sale.

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com/

Twisted Fencepost said...

Poor fella!
All that just to get close to his lady friends.
I hope he heals quickly!!

Holly said...

Awe the adrenaline rushes, I could do without them but if you own stock they are sure to come once in a while as you already know. I'm glad Pepper was spared a worse break.

Judy said...

Another good emergency splint material is tightly rolled newspaper. Two or three 3/4 to 1inch diameter tight rolls make a great brace. I found this a long time ago in an emergency first aid book. I've since used it and it works. At least enough for overnight.

Kritter Keeper said...

excellent post! i learned a lot! i pray pepper makes a 100% perfect recovery.