for people who love the littlest dairy goats
I disbudded my two doelings yesterday and they were fine all day yesterday and even this morning but this afternoon, one of them is having a lot of pain and has puss on one side. She and the other doeling both have one swollen eyelid as well. They were 11 days old yesterday when I disbudded them. She has been staying off by herself and very quiet while the other runs around playing and being a kid. She is definitely grinding her teeth too. I took her temperature and it's right at 104 which I guess is a low grade fever. What can I do for her? I'm reluctant to give her an antibiotic unless her temp goes up more. I'll check her in the morning again. She's nursing fine as I just witnessed as I was putting them to bed. I made her mother stay in a stall with them tonight-- for the last few nights they have had the whole barn with the herd.
Sounds like you know that grinding teeth means a kid is in pain. The swollen eyelid means the iron got a little too close to their eye. That happened when the vet disbudded our first goats. He was using a huge calf disbudding iron. I've never seen puss on a disbudding site. It's hard to imagine that it could have gotten infected. The iron is supposedly to be about 1000 degrees, and it cauterizes and seals up everything. Any chance she might have been rubbing her head on something afterwards? Years ago I remember a kid doing that, and I was worried it was going to get infected, but it didn't.
This is not the first time I've had puss on a disbudded wound. It has always resolved itself and the kid didn't seem to notice. I did notice that their mother had licked them and licked off the Allushield I had put on. I use a 1/2" iron and it doesn't appear to have gotten any closer than usual to the eye. I've never had them swell up on the eyelid before either. I'm mortified that I hurt her. I have to say I've never had my iron get as hot as it did this time. It was glowing red. I did it for about 5 seconds on each side but I think I went back over the first side for a few seconds again but then decided they didn't need it and stopped. That side is where the eyelid is swollen. On the second doeling I only did it one time but she also has a swollen eyelid but doesn't seem to be in pain. Should I wait it out and see how she is tomorrow? If her fever goes up, I guess I should think about antibiotics? What do you think?
If the iron has never been glowing red before and you held it on there the usual amount of time, it might have been too much. A temp of 104 is pretty high, assuming you didn't find her laying in the sun or anything like that, which could have artificially raised her body temp. I'd probably go ahead with the antibiotics now.
I only have LA200 (oxytetracycline) and penicillin. Apparently oxytetracycline should not be given to nursing kids as it is ineffective. So, last night I did not treat her as I don't think penicillin is effective at all.
This morning, GOOD NEWS, she is up and jumping around like a mexican jumping bean! Her eye swelling is gone and it looks like the wound stopped draining. The other kid has some draining going on and her eyelid is still swollen but she is energetic and happy and they are both eating well so I think I dodged a bullet.
Thank you for your advice.
It's so hard to know what to change in routines when the outcome is so different with each one. I think if the iron is as hot as it was this time, I need to adjust and go shorter times and check to see if it looks good. I have only disbudded one other kid this whole season as the rest were all polled (both my bucks are polled). I have one more kidding coming up next month. Really hope for more polled kids again.
That's why I cringe when I hear people say to hold the iron on the kid's head for a count of 10. People have gone through a goat kid's skull by holding the iron on for too long. A vet professor told me that, AND it happened to someone on a Yahoo group many years ago just before we had to disbud our first kids. So, for that reason, we just do it for a few seconds, lift off, look, and repeat until there is a copper ring. You can always burn again, but once you go through the skull, you can't go back and change that.
I'm so glad to hear your doeling is doing better this morning!