Thursday, March 12, 2020

Eden's Passing

Eden passed at 6 am. Despite the antibiotics and our best efforts, after her initial rally in the morning (see yesterday's posted video), Eden steadily declined through the afternoon and into the evening. Sean and I stayed the night on the couch with her held in my arms. She became limp and unresponsive at 4:30 am and died shortly after.

Initially, Sean attempted to resuscitate Eden, but with her long-term prognosis being grim, I asked him to let her go. While there was a chance for her to recover and for us to look into surgery if she lived long enough to grow large enough to attempt it, I was willing to do what I could to help her survive. Once her body began to shut down, no matter how sweet a kid, we had to let her go as peacefully as possible. She passed in my arms, warm and loved.

This is one of the hardest parts of farming- the feeling of futility that comes in the face of an inevitable loss. It never gets easier. Often such losses feel like a personal affront to the love, care and great effort expended in the hopes of a good outcome. "Not on my watch!" we determine. Then, sanity and reality return. We are not all knowing. We hold no special powers to correct congenital defects. So, we are left with two choices and it is not in us to quit. We choose to do our best for those in our care, whether that means helping them to fight to live or helping them to ease their suffering. We simply do our best. 

What did we learn from this? After 10 years, we were bound to see a case of cleft palette. Along with a myriad of other conditions, it happens. Now that it has happened here, we will know what signs to look for sooner. The prognosis is still poor, but with early detection, we might avoid the complication of aspiration pneumonia. I've been reading up on the condition on reputable Veterinary and Medical sites since Eden was diagnosed. If you want to read more on this topic, these links might interest you:

From Goat Vet Corner: Cleft Palette Information:

Cleft palette in goats because of eating plants:

Prenatal cleft repair in goats to assist in human applications (We do NOT support intentionally breeding animals with defects in order to cure diseases, but this article is interesting in terms of what repairs might become available to help when this condition happens naturally. Animal testing is repugnant to us.)

I began writing again because I missed it and with the first round of goat kids behind us, and the next set not due until May, I thought this was a good window in which to begin. Lots of posts about chicks hatching, creamery build progress, and happy bouncing kids. In the days to come, I am hopeful to get back to those kinds of happy posts. 

Meanwhile, thanks for visiting with us, Friends. We are glad you are here.
Sonja and Sean♥

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