Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Times Like These
Make me want to just find all the animals good homes and give up homesteading. This past weekend a neighbor came by to ask us to check her sheep. She had a pregnant ewe down and didn't know what to do. We went over and I knew right away it was ketosis. The babies inside of her had taken all her nutrition and she was skin and bones. We pumped her with everything we had that would help and even got some color back into her gums and eyes. Sunday morning she went into labor but was too weak to push. I had to go in and get the baby. It was a very big headed ram. Its lungs were full of fluid and though we worked 20 minutes suctioning and doing CPR it didn't take a breath. We could feel another baby moving but when I went back in I could not find the baby at all. We gave her antibiotics, along with electrolytes,probiotics, warm molasses water, etc to try to keep her going till Monday morning and the Vets office opened. My neighbor just didn't have the money ask for emergency weekend calls. Little Momma hung on. She was resting while I sat by her when the neighbor brought me a sandwich. Little Momma opened her eyes, raised her head, and looked right at my sandwich. I broke off some of the toasted bread and she actually snatched it out of my hand. She ended up eating all the toast from the sandwich and drank half my mountain dew. I was so happy to see her alert and eating. I gave her a bowl of warm oatmeal and more warm water. The temps were in the 20's and wind chill was 12F at night. We closed her stall, hung a heat lamp,, and a heater. It was nice and warm but not too warm. We all took turns being with her so she wouldn't be along. I came home to feed and check on our animals and when I got back William said her body temp had dropped and she wasn't responding. I sat down and rubbed her back and talked to her. Promised her more mountain dew and toast if she would just take her meds and drink some warm molasses water. Got those in her and she perked back up. Sat with her and sang to her, prayed for her, and just racked my brain on what I else I could do. Finally Monday got here and we got her to the Vet ASAP. The first Vet finally found the second baby upside down hung underneath the pelvic bone. It took 2 Vets over 30 minutes to get the baby out. Her jaw was hung on the pelvic bone. Of course she was dead. I had held Little Mommas head and talked to her while all this was going on. She didn't cry out. Just looked in my eyes the whole time. She got pain meds, more antibiotics, IV fluids there and some for us to give her at home with pain meds. They told us to keep giving the antibiotics I had given her before we took her. To keep giving her the electrolyte paste, Vitamin B, probiotic, and warm molasses water and to keep her warm. We took her back to her stall , got her settled and we came home for a little while to get chores done. I went back once during the day to give meds and water. Neighbor had been doing every 2 hours like she was suppose to. Little Momma raised her head and put it in my lap. I sat with her awhile and talked to her. Shared some mountain dew with her and promised I would be back to say good night. Little Momma looked into my eyes and made a little crying noise. Felt like she didn't want me to go. I should have stayed. Instead I rushed home to feed our animals. Little Momma took her last breath right before I got to her stall. I have cried like a baby and she wasn't even mine. I felt like I let her down. I think if we had lent the neighbor money for weekend emergency visit she might have lived. The Vet had told us that she probably wouldn't make it. That we had done all the right things and that if they had been there the second baby would still have been stuck under the pelvic bone and they would have still had a hard time getting it out. I know all these things but I still see those eyes looking right into mine. I still see her raising her head even though she was weak to lay it in my lap. She trusted me and I let her down. Having animals means that there will be times like this. That we have to handle illness and deaths. Even though times like this make me think about walking away from it all I know I won't. Though I am sure I will make lots of mistakes, second guess myself, and even let another animal down that trust I will keep giving my love and care because they are a part of me. But I will never ever forget those trusting eyes looking into mine. Little Momma will always be in my heart and mind.