Collars and Green Slime

Fun-filled, exciting night. Okay, maybe the fun part isn’t true except where the birthday is concerned. It’s birthday week: eldest son, youngest son and eldest grandson.  Last night, we were celebrating the eldest son and the youngest son was opening his presents since my eldest couldn’t come back up for a while due to his work schedule. I spent most of the day shopping for food and doing the usual preparations around outside work.

Since the goats don’t have horns and look alike, they wear collars so I can identify who is who and have something to grab on to when I need to. I was in the yard checking water since our state has decided to be it’s usual fickle self concerning weather, and it had shot up to over 80 degrees. I left the enclosure and happened to see an older goat kid trying to play with one of our new horned lambs, and his collar got caught on her horn as she jerked back.

As I’m leaving the enclosure, I hear coughing. I almost ignored it, because one of our Oberhasli tends to cough off and on when she eats quickly. I stood there for a bit and realized it wasn’t the goats. It was the sheep. I went back in to check on them. Halfway to their little barn, it was quiet. Coughing then quiet sometimes isn’t a good thing. I decided to check on them anyhow. Switching on the light, and glancing down, one lamb was standing there with big eyes, mouth open and neck stretched. I looked at her sides. They weren’t moving. If she had hands, I’m fairly certain she would’ve had them around her neck or banging on the milk stand next to her. Even if I hadn’t dealt with this before when a goat choked, I would’ve recognized the signs.

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Our Jacob Sheep Lambs.  The one on the left is the “chokee”.

Goats went flying in all directions as I shoved them out of the way and got the gate open.  She hadn’t moved.  She was like a statue which was a bit freaky. Grabbing her, I locked her between my legs, and started massaging the daylights out of her throat. I kept rubbing her, and foamy green was coming out, but no hay or cud. At one point I thought the cud went down, and she was clear. She was breathing some, but it was obvious she was still choking.

By this time, my youngest son had heard and saw me over the barn camera in the kitchen, so he came flying out to help. I’d gotten her throat a bit more clear, but she was still obviously having issues. I did the only thing I could think of: I gave my sheep the Heimlich maneuver. Oddly enough, one of the Facebook groups I’m in had a member with a choking donkey, and I found a video for her on how to do it. Good thing I actually watched it, though I did it from behind.

By the time I was done, she was breathing and seemed like she was done choking (sometimes they fool you), her sister was freaking out and trying to go anywhere but where she was Green cud-smelling slime was all over the lamb, me, the stall and the hay bag. Her breathing was much better, and she called her sister with a very weak creaky voice, but she was breathing and making noise which was all I cared about. Her twin ran over to her and stood between us like she was daring me to touch her sister again. I told her I was on her side, and I didn’t want to do that again any more than she wanted me to. I sat with them until I was fairly certain she was okay and done choking.

I checked on her before I went to bed and first thing this morning to make sure she was okay. Two animals choking in one day. Yeesh. Both have the same solution. I’ll be working on that today.

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