A Tough Lesson About Barber Pole Worms

In Livestock by Laura CrossleyLeave a Comment

Today, we’re saying goodbye to Penny.

Yesterday, she was lingering behind the the herd. Being quite a bit smaller – it was typical to see her as the last one running up to our calls. However, what Aaron was seeing was different. She was lethargic. At the very least, she was still eating and drinking – so I picked up a thermometer and various meds from Tractor Supply. Since I made it home after dark, we planned to take care of her this morning.

This morning, though, she was much worse. She was drooling. Her nose was gross. She wouldn’t walk. Aaron found her in the brush and carried her to the house. We called 7 “local” vets to finally find one in Atchison – about an hour away – where we could take her.

Aaron loaded her into the back of my Jeep and drove that way as soon as we got the go ahead that someone could see her. There was no question in our minds that we had to do something to help her.

Penny came to us a couple of weeks ago when we bought most of the herd at a local farm auction. She was notably spunky right off of the bat. Her copper color and sweet, petite scale made her an immediate favorite. “We’re going to call her Penny.” And, it stuck.

At the vet, she got a quick check. The doc then informed Aaron that we were dealing with Barber Pole Worms. The result is an unfortunately anemic goat. By the time we’d seen her take this turn, she was swiftly moving toward respiratory failure.

We had to let her go.

To say we’re heartbroken would be an understatement. We never want to see an animal pass – and, direct or indirect, you always feel responsibility for them. Losing two goats in two weeks is a full punch to the gut. Thankfully, we’ve learned a ton from this process and now know how to check their third eyelids for signs of worms (in addition to watching poops and checking temperatures like we were before).

Little Penny, your spunk will be quite missed. We were lucky to have you here – even if only for this shortest of time. Thank you for being ours, bringing us smiles and teaching us a few things along the way.

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