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Pluto and Moose

15 Sep

I keep telling myself that getting the copper in the goats will make things easier.  I’m still waiting.

You might recall, I had to wean Pluto and Anubis really young because of Dolly’s severe anemia from the lack of copper and raising kids.

Pluto and Anubis

She is still struggling with anemia, but she’s holding her own.  Of course, she still comes in when I milk in the evening and gets sweet feed.


It wasn’t long until I saw signs of copper deficiency in Pluto, but I gave him a scant gram of copper and he did start to perk up.


Then we had our week of nonstop rain, and both boys and Antigone ended up with the diarrhea.

Antigone, Anubis, Pluto and Harley

They were also given copper.  All three were wormed for roundworms and coccidia because goats who are low on copper are more likely to have parasites.  And they continued with the diarrhea despite my best efforts.


After a couple rounds of Pepto Bismol (thank heavens they love that sweet cotton candy taste) and probiotics, Anubis really has improved and is doing well.  He’s growing stronger again.


I moved Antigone and Pluto to the Love Shack so I could monitor them more closely.  Antigone finally started eating again, and she’s chewing her cud, but I just can’t get the diarrhea to stop.

Yummy Pepto!

Then there’s Pluto.  The big difference is that he would never touch the sweet feed or loose minerals.  He just spiraled into nearly dead.  He had every treatment the other two did, plus vitamin B.  He still got worse.  He was completely pot-bellied and wasn’t eating.  He grew paler, and everything just kept getting worse. (This is only over about a week that he went from a bit of diarrhea to near death.)  Finally, when his rumen completely shut down, I talked with my vet and in a last ditch effort to save him, I gave him a bottle even though we knew it would make the diarrhea worse again.

Taken three days before his worst

After a couple days of bottles, he seemed a bit better.  I finally took him to the Iowa State University Lloyd Veterinary Hospital for a blood transfusion.  Pluto made it through the transfusion, but they decided to keep him through the weekend to try and get his digestive system back on track.  I’m pretty sure if I had taken him earlier, he wouldn’t have even made it through the transfusion.

Pluto in the hospital this morning

Moose got to go to the hospital too.  I’m guessing Moose doesn’t remember when he was last at the hospital to get a transfusion of blood from his dad, Fionn.  Five years later, I know now that it was copper deficiency that caused that one too (he even had a clean fecal at the hospital).  Anyhow, we loaded all 207.2 pounds of him onto the truck and went to ISU.


Moose’s red blood cell count was excellent!  The copper he had in May is doing its job.  It’s easier to meet those needs when they are not babies, old, pregnant, or nursing.  He got to come home the next morning.  I went to get him, but forgot about the Iowa State football game.  The ISU vet hospital is right by the stadium.  I had a long line to get off the highway.

Then I still had to go the two miles to the hospital.  It took forever!  Luckily, some gentleman took pity on me and let me change lanes to get on the right side so I wouldn’t miss my turn.

Then I could see my turn.  Still. It took forever.  They were actually waving traffic past the entrance to the hospital because those lots were full.  They did step aside for me.  Something about the big cage in the back of the truck probably let them know I wasn’t a tailgater.

We got lots of smiles when Moose was standing up watching the crowds walk past when we left.

The vets at Iowa State did tell me that it’s a horrible year for parasites.  Pluto made their 7th transfusion this week.  After his fecal results, I also changed Antigone’s treatment to match his.  Hopefully, that will get her past all this mess too.  Then we are one step closer to this getting easier again.  I hope.


Today, Moose and the CyVets are my heroes.