Tag Archives: pregnancy toxemia

Betsy comes home

Betsy’s little boo boos (we call Betsy Boo Boo all the time)

Phew!  Betsy and two live babies have joined us back on the farm.  The vet called yesterday afternoon to say that nothing was happening yet, but could she call us at any time of the night in case we needed to make further decisions.  (That was a bit of a nail-biter to take off to bed).  She also told us that after they give the drugs to induce labor the average time is about 30 hours, so we knew it was possible to be between 10 PM and midnight.

Betsy’s doe is quite a girl!

Midnight came and went, and every time I awoke and checked the clock I thought, awesome Betsy, you hang on for some warmer temperatures!  Anyhow, at 6 AM the vet called and let us know that she had pulled two live kids, one doe and one buck, at 11:30 last night.  They are doing fairly well, although the buckling may have had some ataxia (oxygen depravation), and he was the one they were watching.  But we were free to come and liberate them!

Betsy’s buckling in a food coma. He also has some trouble with his leg coordination right now

And so we toodled to Monmouth and picked up Betsy and kids.  The vets had gotten them started on bottles, with Betsy’s colostrum mixed with milk replacer, because they needed sustenance right away, and also because nursing two kids is not going to be to Betsy’s advantage.  She had gotten very thin in the last few weeks and she needs all her strength for herself, not to put into making milk.  The little doe is very vociferous and takes the bottle well, but the buck wants nothing to do with the bottle.  He just wants mama!  He will be our challenge.  Luckily I planned ahead and milked Eleganza and saved quite a bit of her colostrum, and also a few quarts of her milk.  That will definitely help us along here.

It is so bitterly cold that when we got them home, I relented and borrowed a friend’s heat lamp.  Betsy doesn’t have the resources to keep herself warm enough, let alone the babies.  They are all nestled up together under the lamp tonight, and the buckling must be getting enough to eat because his temperature is over 102.  But as with everything else, we will keep checking and deciding how to proceed.

The weather service claims that the windchill advisory will be over first thing in the morning.  I really hope that is true!  This is inhuman.  I don’t know how folks manage to live in the tundra regions.  Mind-numbing wind is a force to be reckoned with, for sure.  I can’t say that I am looking forward to a foot of snow on Tuesday and Wednesday, but if it’s in the high 20s, I will live with it, happily :*)  (I may need to remind myself of this as we are so quick to forget, and everything is relative, right?).

Long days and short nights

Twig just loves the empty hay feeder!

That’s what kidding and lambing season is all about.  And in the midst of all this, I got sick last week with an upper respiratory, and then on Monday woke up with an atomic head cold to go along with it.  I guess that’s what spending most of the weekend outside in the bitter wind did for me.  Ah well, I have to say that I don’t get sick like this often, and it is frequently in March!

The Adventurers’ Club!

Aside from trying to get as much rest as possible, one of the biggest problems we have had on our hands, however,  has been our yearling doe Betsy.  She was shaping up like she was close to going into labor two or three times, but then didn’t, and that was two weeks ago.  Then she began to show signs of pregnancy toxemia.  And so for the last week we have been treating her for this, but her appetite didn’t come back, and she really was losing vigor and tone.  Not having a due date on her I really felt like so many things could be going on, and was beginning to be scared for her.  So yesterday I made the decision to take her to a vet that is not close by, but who has a large animal practice, and the capability of doing just about anything for small ruminants and horses right there.

We determined that she is close to having a natural labor, but the babies are so big and mal-positioned, that we ended up leaving her to be induced, and the vets very likely are going to have to do some kid pulling.  When I saw the X-rays, I knew it was well beyond my skill level.  I am hoping for a good outcome for Betsy in particular, she is my first priority.  We are cautiously optimistic about the outcome for the kids as well.  But that is definitely a bigger ‘if’ right now.  We are waiting for word sometime after late afternoon today, or anytime into tomorrow.

And so here at home her mama Battie is mooning about the place looking in every nook and cranny for her baby.  Sam found her wandering the paddock late last night peeking into every corner up there.  I always feel bad when I have to separate family units.  Hopefully Betsy will be home quite soon and in the pink again as well.