The vet brought along a student from VA Tech, which was nice. I'm rather complimented that the vet thinks this is a good learning experience location. I enjoyed the running lecture the vet was giving the student during today's visit, and I tried to only add things when I wouldn't interrupt or sound like I was trying to one-up him. He's a great guy, and a devoted scholar -- anything he doesn't know, he admits, and he likes learning things from me about angoras. The vet explained to his vet student about not wanting to do shots in the first trimester due to the possibility of reaction by the developing babies, but that it was a good idea to do the inoculations before birth because of the boost it gave to the mothers during the stress of birth. He also explained about the parasite problems in Virginia, and the various ways we are trying to combat it. There is a FAMACHA lecture coming up for vet students, and he recommended that she attend it.
Sancho, Jared and Loki are all in great condition. Because of the coccidiosis from two summers ago, Loki will always be a miniature with a somewhat compromised digestive system. However, the alfalfa/goat-feed daily ration, the free-choice minerals, and good hay from West Wind Llamas is doing the trick this year. Loki's horns are continuing to grow in well - one of the indicators of good minerals and protein.
Toby, Theo and Nylan are all doing well too. There is an interesting not-really-a-problem at the bases of both Toby's and Theo's horns. I think the vet called it hematosis (bruising, basically). The horns are very pink with red spots where they have been smacking each other or the fence. The vet doesn't seem too worried about it, and the kids don't seem to care either. In fact, we were speculating that Nylan's pigmentation is the only reason why it doesn't look like he's got the same issue. The vet recommended that I set up a castration appointment for Toby and Theo after they are sheared. He prefers to do this kind of surgery in the winter because there is far less chance of infection or flystrike, and of course he prefers not to fight 6 inches of mohair curls. Also, it's obvious I don't have the coccidia problem licked. The boys are still pretty small for their age. But they are doing a lot better than Loki at one year, and have way better overall body condition (not skinny!) and will probably continue to grow properly if I can stay on top of the parasites.
Jessie, Goldie, Sashimi and Crystal are all pregnant. The vet took one look and asked with emphasis what their due dates were - they are much bigger now than this time last year. I told him we were on kid watch for a start date of January 27th, and he agreed that was what he was seeing, at least for Crystal and maybe the redheads. Sashimi is probably going to be another month or so, so call her mid- to end of February. (This is compared to March for Crystal and May for Sashimi last year.)
The vet wanted to do an ultrasound to show the student what it was like. I picked Summer for the ultrasound because she is the least far along and so I wanted confirmation that she wasn't just "fat" at this point. The ultrasound was done with Summer standing up, and the picture came out lecture-hall clear. There were two large placentals (obvious donut shapes) like micky mouse ears on top of a curled up baby goat. Summer appears to have just the one single fetus in her, and it is probably about halfway cooked. That would put her due date somewhere in mid- to late March.