Today we took Pam to Iowa State University’s Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center for a blood transfusion. This is the teaching hospital with top of the line medical care for large and small animals. I do warn you that there are medically graphic pictures to follow. I borrowed my nephew’s truck, my ex-brother-in-law’s brother’s trailer, and my dad to drive.
Pam is so weak and run down from the anemia that it took three separate tries to get her to walk onto the trailer. I wasn’t sure I was going to get her to stand up to walk off. Riding on the trailer was not a good thing for her, but it really was her only chance to get better.
We unloaded all the girls. I brought Pam and three potential blood donors. They were so nice to everyone. They brought all the girls food and water.
They made sure Pam had a very green tempting hay. It certainly had the other girls jealous.
They first drew blood from Pam to make sure the anemia was not being caused by something that wouldn’t be helped with a transfusion. Normal PAC cell count for a goat is 48. They would consider a chronic anemia in need of a transfusion when they reach 14. Pam’s count was 5. She didn’t have much chance of survival without a transfusion. Joe was chosen as the donor because she was the
While they began the transfusion, they also took a fecal sample for testing. Because she was treated with Ivomec at the first sign of bottle jaw and illness, we didn’t expect her to have much of a worm problem, but at least we could rule it out as a cause of the anemia.
Joe weighed in at 168 pounds, while Pam weighed 98 pounds. Joe’s a big girl. What can I say? She’s also made of flubber. They calculated that they could safely take 1.2 liters of blood from Joe. It would raise Pam’s red blood cell count to 16%. It would last for a week and give her a chance to feel better and start eating and healing.
I held Joe while they shaved a spot on her neck, gave her a shot to deaden the area, and put in a catheter.
They took the blood from Joe and put it in a bag.
It was an extremely slow process.
I’m so proud of Joe and how good she was. After they started, they decided it would be faster if she were higher and gravity could help draw the blood out, so they took her to another area. After they got one bag fairly full, they brought it back and began giving it to Pam.
By this time, Pam was completely worn out. The results of the fecal exam came back. She had coccidia, which wouldn’t have been covered by the drug I gave her. She also had barber-pole worm eggs–15,000/gram. The vet said the highest count she’d ever seen before was 8000. This also means that the worms are drug resistant. They kept Pam to figure out dosages on a different class of wormer–the last class of wormer legal for goats. Her prognosis is not good, but she’s in good hands. Her blood count is higher now. They’ll work on the worms. If she feels well enough to start eating again, she’ll have a chance.
You’d think having them tell me more than once that I did everything right would make me feel better. I couldn’t predict that she would have drug resistant worms for a type of worm I’ve never had to deal with before. It really doesn’t though.
Linking to Farm Friend Friday and Farmgirl Friday.