a preponderance of punctuation marks (reedrover) wrote,
a preponderance of punctuation marks

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Details on Loki eating mountain laurel

Loki got through a mild poisoning incident on Saturday. I learned a lot from it.

Loki, Aerin and Summer got out of the front pasture sometime on Saturday morning before 8:30 AM. They spent probably three or four hours in the back orchard where the end of the goat field touches the garden.

We returned the goats to the front field at 9 AM using the typical combination of bucket o' bribery (sweet grain) and gentle prodding from behind. Summer showed her typical interest in the grain, but Loki was only mildly interested. He was mostly going along because he is a good boy and does as he's asked.

By the middle of the afternoon, Loki was standing with his tail down and his back hunched. Once in a while he would stretch his back legs out a bit and stand as though he were at a show. At about 3 PM he scoured bright green mush -- it was almost a pudding consistency. It was runny and bright leaf green. This was a bit of a concern, but all my books say that goats suddenly given good pasture or a major change in diet can react that way. And Aerin gave the proper rabbit pellets right after Loki scoured. So no biggie, he must have eaten something he wasn't supposed to, or just too much of it.

Loki was burping up and chewing as though he were ruminating something mildly unpleasant, or that his mouth hurt. At first I wasn't sure if he was ruminating or grinding his teeth in pain, until I saw a little green seep through his lips.

I thought I'd give Loki something for his tummy, so went inside for Pepto and molasses. I mixed that with a little grain to get his attention, and brought it back outside. As I came back up to the field, CK reported that Loki had just thrown up. We couldn't find the green deposit in the green grass. I offered Loki the bucket of grain and Pepto. He sniffed it, gave a big sigh, and threw up all over it (in the bucket).

We kept an eye on him, but he seemed to be recovering. By 4 PM or so he was standing with his tail up again. He passed a little bit of water, so UC wasn't an immediate issue. As we finished up in the field, I brought out some sheep grain (not sweet) out for everyone. Loki was interested enough to come nibble at it a bit.

I called the vet to get some reassurance. He suggested that perhaps Loki had eaten too much mountain laurel on his way back to the orchard, and so he was dealing with the goat equivalent of food poisoning. The vet said that, due to the multiple bright green returns, Loki had probably cleaned all the icky indigestables out of his system, but that if he did not eat by nighttime to call the vet back and set up for a dosing of activated charcoal.

Happily, by nighttime, Loki seemed his regular self (if a bit shaky).

Sunday morning, Loki was back to normal, pushing for his share of food and attention. This was a great learning experience precisely because it all came out ok in the end, and I got to witness firsthand the goat reaction to mild poisoning.

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