Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

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Hi everyone, I am wondering if anyone has had this procedure done to their buck and could get feedback on the healing process.
My young buck had bad scurs and was causing harm to my other buck. With breeding plans for the end of the month/early Nov.~ I was fearful for putting my does in with him.
So I had him dehorned by my vet, the horns were cut off and he burned the remaining growth. What a horrible thing it looks like. The holes in the top of his head are deep and the sinus cavity is exposed. The blood has stopped but the cavities are full of fluid and of course bits of hay, etc. I have tried to keep it clean. He is in a large stall with everything he needs right now, because of the rain I have him closed in for the day.
I was wondering does anyone know how long does it take to heal? Its hard to believe that bone can grow back on his scull to close that area up. The poor boy. He had banamine for pain for the procedure day and 2 days after. He is hardly eating, he hasn't touched his food or water (that I know of) but he is nibbling on his hay a little bit.
He did get strong antibiotics and the area does not look infected. So that is good.
Mary Colman

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Comment by Mary Colman on October 22, 2009 at 9:10pm
Hi Donna Rasmussen, because I use my vet alot, he would advise me to bring the little guy in (this time of year) and he would disbud them again.

Hi Donna Rasmussen, my only suggestion, what my vet advised, if they are still young and its still small buds or horn bits, to have them disbudded again. Go to a qualified person with experience if its not your vet. I feel fortunate that I have a vet that offers a livestock discount. I had to dehorn my buck because I should have had him disbudded again last early spring and I waited too long and he grew odd shaped horns and he was causing injury to my older buck so I had to make a decision and had it done this fall. He is healing well but not without a few sinus issues. Good luck with your little guy.
Comment by Deborah Niemann-Boehle on October 22, 2009 at 8:55pm
Donna, $100 for a regular disbudding is ridiculous, although I've heard of it before. When vets say they can't make money in large animal, this is why. There is just no way they should charge $100 for something that does not take a DVM degree and takes about TWO minutes! That's $3,000 an hour to do something that any 16 year old could do. That's why people with livestock learn to do their own. When I had my first goats six years ago, the vet charged me $10 each to disbud my seven kids, and he charged $5 for castrating the three little boys. I thought that was reasonable, but having 30 to 35 kids a year now, I've had to learn to do it all myself. But at $100 each, no one would have a vet do the disbudding for more than one or two kids. If you were close to me, I'd tell you to come over, and I'd be happy to show you how to do it.

Donna R, if they're just growing a little, it's not a big deal. A couple of my boys have little scurs. I have one that has a pretty bad one that's starting to curl around towards his skull. That could get bad. We used a saw to cut it back a little. You can't cut much, or it'll bleed. It's a very skinny saw. I think my husband called it a coping saw. Some people will burn bucks a second time if they see any growth at all by a month after disbudding, but we haven't done that. Now I kind of wish we had on this one guy.
Comment by Donna on October 22, 2009 at 8:23pm
It really sounds horrible! I hope to find somebody that can help me learn how to do that. I took one to the vet before and they did a good job but charged $100. Couldn't afford that too many times. I don't plan on having many goats anyway. I am more interested in the fiber and spinning and weaving.
Comment by Donna M Rasmussen on October 22, 2009 at 8:23am
oh my gosh that sounds awful, I have one little boy who is growing little bits of horns, he was disbudded but they still grow a little, the breeder I got him from told me to just keep trimming them like his hooves but the trimmers I got don't seem to do a very good job and he isn't all that cooperative...any suggestions??
Comment by Mary Colman on October 8, 2009 at 7:47pm
Looks like Pendragon is doing much better. The area where his horns were, is healing, and if all goes well he won't do anything foolish and cause injury to his head. He is eating more and his spirit seems to be returning. He is following me around a little and he goes over to the fence to see how his buddy RoundUp is doing. Yesterday he was only eating hay, avoiding his grain. I decided to give him some probios with vitamins last night and it seems like it has really helped his appetite thru all this stress.
Comment by Mary Colman on October 6, 2009 at 9:42am
I know its important to have that iron hot!! and have the right tool for the job. I have watched it done by 3 different friends and decided I don't think its something I want to ever do. My Vet does a good job so I'm sticking to him for now. He only charged me $21 for two kids last time and that included a Covexin 8 booster and a shot of Dectomax (wormer).
Comment by Deborah Niemann-Boehle on October 6, 2009 at 9:35am
I'm so glad he's doing better. If a person has never seen a kid disbudded, it is possible to really do a bad job. Someone bought a couple does from us last year, and this year they had their first kids. Luckily, they realized they weren't doing a good job with the disbudding and called me. They were just reading about it online. I told them to bring the kids over, and all they had done was burn the skin on the horn buds. If they hadn't brought them to us, the kids would have grown full horns. One of the other problems they were having is that they bought a calf disbudding iron and put a "goat attachment" on it, and the attachment wasn't getting hot enough. We have a smaller one, so it fits perfectly on our goats' horn buds. It glows red, so it does the job quickly and thoroughly.
Comment by Mary Colman on October 6, 2009 at 9:26am
Hi Deborah, this buck was disbudded when he was a kid but apparently it wasn't done very good. When I got him they were about an inch or so. Unfortunately they grew quite a bit this summer and my vet told me to wait until fall and he would dehorn him. (because of flies, and luckily now that its Oct I haven't seen any flies on him).
I had a friend disbud two of my babies this summer and one of them started having growth, and I decided I would stick to my vet for now. He does a great job. My last two that were disbudded are doing great.
I had to make the decision to have this buck dehorned because he was hurting the other buck and I was afraid to put a doe in with him.
Today he looks like he is healing and all looks good. He is resting alot and still just nibbling on hay. My vet wanted me to wait at
least a month before breeding him and a lot longer before I put him back with the older buck.
Comment by Deborah Niemann-Boehle on October 5, 2009 at 10:16pm
Hi Mary,
Was this buck disbudded as a kid? I've never heard of scurs this bad before. Your description sounds like a dehorning. I don't have any personal experience with this type of situation, but I've heard it described before -- pretty much the same thing you said. I know someone who started a cattle herd and decided she didn't want any horns, so any cow that wasn't polled was dehorned. Some of them didn't wake up after the procedure.

Did your vet give you any idea how long you could expect the healing to take? In the future, I'd suggest disbudding buck kids within a week of birth or as soon as possible thereafter. The longer you wait, the more horn growth you'll have to deal with, and the harder it is on them. Some people disbud buck kids within a couple days of birth.

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