A Basic Design Flaw

13 Oct

Bud wasn’t feeling well on Thursday evening.  I wasn’t sure what it was, but he had a bit of a phlegmy cough, and I thought he might have  a low grade fever.  His eyes were also a bit pale, so I treated him for a respiratory infection and wormed him.  He seemed about the same or a bit better Friday.  Saturday morning, he was outside shivering.  I thought that was due to the fever again.  When I went out Saturday afternoon, he was lying in the building and just barely grinding his teeth, which is a sign of pain.  He also had a bit of mucusy stool on his back side.  I immediately called the vet because this was completely different and obviously not a lung infection.

Bud Osboer

Bud Osboer

When my vet came, he wanted to see how Bud moved.  He watched carefully and then did an exam.  Bud had no fever, but the vet did say the stool could be a sign of straining.  He was worried about urinary blockage.  After the exam, he thought he might have felt a full bladder, but he wasn’t completely certain because Bud wasn’t standing hunched or straining or acting like he was trying to pee.  Still, he recommended getting him to Iowa State University’s vet hospital.

Male goat urinary tract

Urinary blockage due to stones is very common in goats, primarily wethers.  Girls have a short, straight urethra that typically doesn’t get blocked.  Males, however, are not designed well (see my inadequate sketch above).  They have a fairly long urethra.  It also has a sigmoid flexure, that is an S curve.  It’s not uncommon for any little stone to get lodged in that curve.  Also, the end of their penis has a urethral process, which is just a teeny, tiny extension that is TINY.

Edited 10-26-14:  Boeris was nice enough to illustrate the urethral process. 🙂

goat urethral process

Their ultrasound exam confirmed a urinary blockage.  His bladder was very full, and she could see extra fluid around the urethra indicating a rupture.  She immediately outlined several options.  First was sedating him a little bit to get him to relax so she could try to work his penis down the sheath, and they would remove the urethral process.  That didn’t work.  She kept losing it in the area of fluid.

The next choice was the massively expensive because it’s an after hours emergency surgery.  Well, if we didn’t do emergency surgery, he would have died.  There’s no way it would have fixed itself.  I silently thanked the great goat god Pan that I have an off-farm job I wish I didn’t have because I can make completely irresponsible financial decisions, and I consented for him to have surgery and went home to wait.

When she called after the surgery, he had come through and was recovering.  The blood work indicated that his kidneys were in horrible condition.  His bladder was also in very poor shape because of how much it had been stretched.  The goat’s bladder is like a balloon.  It doesn’t usually burst, but it gets larger and larger and more thin and will eventually begin leaking when it gets too thin.  Even though it didn’t burst, it was not going back to its proper size, and he had lost most of the mucosal lining on the inside.  She was very adamant that on a scale of minor to severe, Bud was SEVERE.

The immediate concern after the surgery was flushing his system and trying to get his kidneys functioning properly again.  He had lots of IV fluids pushed through his system, and this morning, blood work showed that he was greatly improved.  She was actually surprised at how much his kidneys had improved.  Since the kidneys are healing, that leaves the bladder.

Bud 1ew

During the surgery, they removed his urethral process.  Hopefully that will prevent any stones getting stuck there in the future.  Because his urethra needs to heal, they also put in a catheter.  The tube comes out under his belly.  The hope is that he will be able to heal and they can gradually reduce the catheter and he’ll be able to go back to his normal plumbing. (I don’t want to know what happens if he doesn’t heal properly and regain function.)

Bud surgery ew

The vet did say he most likely still has stones in his urethra, and they want to make sure he can pass those before he comes home too.  With all this, he’ll stay there until next week some time if all goes well.  They will also analyze the stones to determine their composition and then we can adjust his diet if necessary.  That’s usually what causes the stones, some kind of imbalance that allows stones to develop.

I’m going to share this with Alphabe-Thursday for the letter v.  V is for vet’s that I am so grateful for.

49 Responses to “A Basic Design Flaw”

  1. margaret October 13, 2014 at 8:58 pm #

    How terrible for the poor goat and you. I do hope he makes a good recovery.

    • Teresa October 13, 2014 at 9:09 pm #

      He does have a good chance of making a full recovery. He was quite healthy before, so that is in his favor.

  2. Jan October 13, 2014 at 8:59 pm #

    We had to take our schnautzer over there.They’re wonderful. So hoping Bud comes through for you! I’ll keep him in my prayers & you too!

    • Teresa October 13, 2014 at 9:09 pm #

      Thanks, Jan. He is doing well with their care.

  3. Anonymous October 13, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

    I love you.

  4. becca givens October 13, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

    Poor male of each species — one of my older male cats experienced similar problem — fortunately no surgery — but catheter and hospitalization for a week. Praying for a speedy recovery for Bud.

    • Teresa October 13, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

      Thanks, Becca. There is a drug they can give to try to dissolve the stones, but poor Bud was way past that. Sorry to hear you’ve had a similar experience.

  5. Mary Ann October 13, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

    Teresa, Thanks for showing all this. I have been through it, and it is not a happy situation. For what it’s worth, Bud looks 100% better than Kaycee, and about the same as Kody did. I’m so glad they were able to help him.

    • Teresa October 13, 2014 at 9:22 pm #

      Thanks, Mary Ann. We still have to take it slowly and hope his bladder will go back to normal so that he can control it, but I’m optimistic.

  6. Mary Ann October 13, 2014 at 9:23 pm #

    Oh, a further comment. I had THREE wethers, and the third was banded by his breeders… and the other two were neutered by our horse vet who also did dogs and cats. We think, we are sure… that there was a mistake with this neutering. All three goats were fed the same and brought up the same, but the two neutered by this vet were the ones who developed stones. The other, brought up exactly the same… never developed them. The vet had to actually read her manual to figure out how to neuter them, and each only took five minutes. Nope… we would never, ever do that again. We regret it, and have regretted it, ever since.

    • Teresa October 13, 2014 at 9:25 pm #

      It’s hard to tell. Diet plays a part, age when wethered, and genetics all can have an impact. I do prefer banding when they are 4 – 5 months.

  7. Karen Seek October 13, 2014 at 9:39 pm #

    Wow –lots going on !! Hoping for a speedy recovery of him and your finances !!!! xoxo

    • Teresa October 13, 2014 at 9:44 pm #

      Thanks, Karen. I’m hoping the best for Bud too. He’s such a sweet guy.

  8. Jeanne October 14, 2014 at 1:07 am #

    Thanks for your explanation, Teresa. Poor Bud! I’m sorry he’s suffered so much. I pray that he will heal completely and be back home and in great health soon.

    • Teresa October 14, 2014 at 6:46 am #

      Thanks, Jeanne. I’m optimistic for him. He’s such a good boy.

  9. Eileen October 14, 2014 at 6:01 am #

    Poor Bud! I hope the surgery does the job and Bud recovers quickly.. Sending prayers for you and Bud!

    • Teresa October 14, 2014 at 6:47 am #

      Thanks, Eileen. I think all those good thoughts must be what’s helping him improve so quickly.

  10. Alica October 14, 2014 at 7:06 am #

    Oh dear, Bud! I sure hope he can make a full recovery!

    • Teresa October 14, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

      Things look good, but we’ll just have to give time to heal and see how he does.

  11. Pat October 14, 2014 at 6:59 pm #

    Hoping for a full recovery for dear Bud.

    • Teresa October 14, 2014 at 8:04 pm #

      Thanks, Pat. Me too.

  12. artmusedog October 15, 2014 at 7:59 pm #

    Lots of healing hugs for Bud and you are one brave and conscientious woman ~

    artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

    • Teresa October 15, 2014 at 8:02 pm #

      Thanks. No choice but to be brave when you’re in that situation.

  13. Jim October 15, 2014 at 10:12 pm #

    Teresa I am glad you took Bud to the hospital. I am supposing that the University one is less expensive? Your drawing is excellent. I understood it all.
    Good too that the kidney’s are healing. Our dog, Katrin, is on two kinds of pills (one formulated by the pharmacy, two a day for that one) and a special blended dog food fore her kidneys. It is helping some.
    I will keep posted, I feel sorry for Bud having to wear that catheter, It looks uncomfortable for him hanging down like that. He has a good ‘Mom’.

    • Teresa October 16, 2014 at 6:52 am #

      Definitely not less expensive. They are just the only ones that will do this type of procedure. But it’s my Bud. 🙂 Thanks for the good wishes.

  14. Gattina October 16, 2014 at 1:37 am #

    Poor Bud he must have suffered a lot ! Wish him all the best for a quick recovery !

    • Teresa October 16, 2014 at 6:53 am #

      I do feel horrible he has had to go through this. I wish he would have told me what was wrong, and I would have taken him over much sooner.

  15. Dominique Goh October 16, 2014 at 6:50 am #

    Poor bud.. hope that he gets well soon.

    • Teresa October 16, 2014 at 6:54 am #

      Thanks. He is improving each day.

  16. Heather October 16, 2014 at 8:33 am #

    Poor Bud! thank goodness for good vets!

    • Teresa October 16, 2014 at 7:22 pm #

      You can say that again!

  17. Betty October 16, 2014 at 9:20 am #

    I would have had the surgery done too. I’m glad you were able to afford it and I hope he keeps improving. I’ve had those stones with male cats. In fact, at one point I said I’d never have another male, but when they showed up I had no choice but to keep them. So far…so good. It’s been a while since we had problems but they’re all on a special diet. You’re a good goat mom.

    • Teresa October 16, 2014 at 7:22 pm #

      Thanks. I’m not sure anyone can really afford such a surgery, but what do you do. I’m at least in a position that it’s possible for me to do it.

  18. Rocky Mountain Woman October 16, 2014 at 9:39 am #

    Poor Bud and I understand the concept of keeping the outside job so you can make those hard decisions with the option of having the cash to go forward.

    Here’s to a quick recovery!

    • Teresa October 16, 2014 at 7:23 pm #

      Thanks! It seems to be a necessary evil with my large herd.

  19. Laurie Kazmierczak October 16, 2014 at 1:37 pm #

    Good thoughts and prayers for your goat’s recovery…glad he is in good hands♪ http://lauriekazmierczak.com/variations-on-a-pine-cone/

    • Teresa October 16, 2014 at 7:23 pm #

      Thanks. He really is in good hands.

  20. pattisj October 20, 2014 at 5:22 pm #

    Bud is a handsome fella! I hope he’s feeling better, and his plumbing problems will be all better soon.

    • Teresa October 20, 2014 at 6:17 pm #

      Thanks, Patti. He’s working on healing. 🙂

  21. Beth-Ann Maureen December 4, 2015 at 1:15 pm #

    Hello there! How is Bud doing? My Elmer is receiving the same surgery right now at University of Iowa and I am hopeful yet praying everything goes well..

    • Teresa December 4, 2015 at 1:29 pm #

      He is doing amazingly well. My best wishes for Elmer.

      • Beth-Ann Maureen December 4, 2015 at 3:01 pm #

        so happy to hear this, thank you! Did he ever have anymore stone issues?

      • Teresa December 4, 2015 at 3:13 pm #

        No, but I did lose another wether to stones last month. I think the cold weather changes the chemical composition of the clover and causes the stones. Next year I will pull them off that pasture by the first of September.

        I did not know Iowa had an animal hospital. I am grateful to be near Iowa State.

  22. Beth-Ann Maureen December 4, 2015 at 3:56 pm #

    Oops, I believe you correct, Elmer is at Iowa State, forgive me, I am a Connecticut transplant and haven’t lived here too long!

    • Teresa December 4, 2015 at 4:11 pm #

      They do good work. Dr. Schleining (sp?) Would probably renember Bud as long as he was there.

      • Beth-Ann Maureen December 4, 2015 at 6:17 pm #

        I will mention Bud to them and tell them he is well if they don’t already know, I imagine they may be keeping tabs on him? Bud was one of the first ones they did, I only know this because I asked about the long term prognosis and they said the oldest case the had was around one year and it was a new procedure. They also said so far so good for everyone!

        And Elmer is out of surgery and resting now, he ate a little too, his BUN and CRE are still elevated though, maybe we can keep up with each other and let each other know if any issues arise so we can better notice and signs and symptoms that may happen. Elmer is also s/p a PU one year ago, and its been a nightmare to say the least, for both myself and poor Elmer

      • Teresa December 4, 2015 at 6:36 pm #

        So glad to hear. We can certainly keep up. Glad to hear he came through.

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