As you can see from the beautiful picture on the right, we lost one of our goats this weekend.
Kinley, and Denali showed up at our house in a flurry of dramatics. They were unexpected, and we welcomed them in with loving open arms.
Kinley, wasn't a big fan of me. When they came to our house I had to chase him down a couple of times and he has held a grudge against me since. He kept his distance from me, if at all possible.
Last night, we had some friends over and happened to stay up late. Riley came out and said that one of the babies was lying on it's side like it was dead. I went in and rushed Kinley out of the pen. We weren't sure what was wrong with him, but we did what we could to keep him alive. He had three medics working on him, cooling him down and giving him fluids. We got him stabilized and comfortable in the house.
To the best of our knowledge, we think that Kinley contracted tetanus. His back legs and mouth locked up, and it slowly spread through his body. I slept with him for 2 hours. I believe I may have been forgiven for chasing him. He snuggled up in my arms, and cried for me when I got up. As the disease spread through his body, his muscles contracted and wouldn't release.
When tractor supply opened I went to get Kinley his tetanus antitoxin. By that time I got back home Kinleys front legs and a neck were locked up. I did what I could for him, and I snuggled with him all day. His body was stiff, but he could move his eyes around. I told him everything that was going on while petting and holding him. At one point, as he was laying there, a single tear came out of his eye. I started crying. They say animals don't cry out of emotion, but it seemed more than emotional to me.
I made him as comfortable as possible, if I had to leave, one of the boys sat with him while I was gone. He could look around with his eyes, even though he couldn't move his body. I held him up until his last breath, with tears running down my cheeks.
We are trying to build up a homestead, and deaths are expected. Kinley's isn't the first we've seen, nor will it be the last, but to watch a slow painful death is hard. I had hope and faith the entire time that at any point he would start feeling better.
The research I did on tetanus wasn't pretty. I am running on lack of sleep, but if I remember correctly it is a bacteria that lives in a spore. It can lay dormant in dirt for over 100 years, and in a goat for 1-3 weeks. Don't quote me on that. Unless you catch the disease quite early on there, isn't much that can be done.
I will miss Kinley, and I know that Denali does. Denali is in the house with us. Tetanus is contagious, through animals, humans, and locations. I gave Denali all of his shots, and he is living in our bathroom for now. I don't want to take any chances, losing one is hard enough.
I miss Kinley. He had his reservations about me, but all was resolved, even if under the harshest circumstances. Kinley may not have had a long life, but in the end he was loved. These babies came to us for a reason, maybe his sole reason was to know what love is, at a time that he needed it the most.