Betty Is On The Mend

It’s been almost 3 weeks since two dogs got through our perimeter fencing and into the goat pen and attacked Betty, our only goat without horns. Unlike most US goat-keepers, we don’t believe in dehorning goats. Betty was born “polled,” a genetic trait passed down by the buck.

The attack occurred around 5 in the morning. Our dogs woke us up, but John, who lives in the casita near the goat pen, heard Betty bleating and got outside first. He said the two attackers scrambled over the 52-inch cattle panels and then over the 6-foot cedar fence that encloses the back of our property.

Betty had been knocked down and was in shock and unable to move so John and I carried her to our porch to assess the damage. She had puncture wounds in her udder and deep ones in her right front leg which seemed to cause her the most pain. Her skin was torn in several places on her right flank. I cleaned off the wounds I could see with a warm yarrow infusion (it was dark and we were working with a flashlight) and then milked her out since her udder was leaking where the dogs had bitten her. The bleeding had stopped, which was a good sign, and I was able to walk her over to the carport where we keep the hay. She started to eat the hay – another good sign – so I covered her with a blanket (treat for shock) and stayed close. After a bit she settled down next to me and put her head in my lap. It was about 18 degrees and another 2 hours until the vet’s office opened so I wrapped another blanket around the both of us.

The vet used clippers to remove Betty’s hair and expose all of the wounds. She cleaned them well and then gave Betty a tetanus shot, Banamine for the pain and an antibiotic. She showed us how to give the injections intramuscularly and sent us home with 3 more doses of the painkiller and a week’s supply of antibiotics. She told us to keep the wounds clean with a warm Betadine solution – which we did, but also used a yarrow infusion to promote healing – and to keep the bottom wound on her flank open so that the others could drain.

We kept Betty separated from Desi and Tosca for a week much to her dismay. She’s now back in the pen with her goatie girls and is doing well. -Tree

Betty 2 days after dog attack

Betty 2 days after dog attack

Puncture wounds in leg

Puncture wounds in leg looking better

Puncture wounds in udder on the mend

Puncture wounds in udder on the mend

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