I'm wondering if I'm being unfair to my goat and making him suffer

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Post by Guest »

I need some non-biased outside opinion. I'm wondering if I'm being unfair to my goat and making him suffer. Moose is 12.5 years old and about 4 years ago suffered and spinal injury that almost completely took away his ability to stand, and therefore, his life.

With lots of physical therapy, he got back to a place where he can walk around (crookedly) on his own but is unsteady and usually needs help getting to a standing position. He's always kept up a great attitude and is very determined, but winters are HARD.

His joints creak, he walks very stiffly, he slips and falls on the ice, so sometimes he won't leave the barn for days if he feels it's unsafe. During the spring, summer and fall, he's a happy goat. But winters and mud season here last about 6 months, and I'm dreading putting him through another one. And I'm not around to help him much because I work an hour away during the ski season. But I still feel like he's really enjoying even his challenging, limited, life. And the other reason I have trouble letting him go is his best friend Banjo, who follows Moose EVERYWHERE and stands guard if Moose falls. Anytime I take Moose out of sight Banjo cries his little heart out until he is safely returned (there are other goats around). I just can't imagine separating them for good.

Is it cruel to make Moose endure another winter? Or is it more cruel to pluck Moose away from Banjo until he has deteriorated into complete immobility and despair? I'm so torn πŸ’”

Photo: Moose last winter

Post by Ashlee »

Take all the extra snow and pile it pack it against walls so it works as extra heat. Grab extra straw or maybe even gravel/sand and spread it like you would if you were tossing salt on ice. Play it day by day

Post by Amber »

Is it possible to make like a goat walker and secure him safely in a flat run or stall? I would think that would improve quality of life if you could prevent falls in the winter

Post by Maddie »

Get him a heat lamp, lots of straw and hay, just make him comfy.. I bet extra heat would make his joints feel better. Get creative.

Post by Jess »

If he's in reasonably good condition and you think he is enjoying life I would let him continue. He probably doesn't understand his world is limited. Make the barn comfortable and safe and let him stay in when it's miserable and plow him a spot to go outside when it's nice and you can. My 2 cents for what it's worth. My sheep don't venture very far from their shelters/bale in winter either.

Post by Denise »

They are the cutest 🀍🀍 , ....I've been following this lady NikkiVasconez on Insta and she's an animal communicator and her videos are all about this kind of stuff, also like when your pets will let you know it's their time... but me personally, I think he still has a lot of life and spunk left in him, I mean I'm old and I feel achy everyday but I don't really want to go yet 😏......I would just make his barn experience or your front porch or wherever super comfy in the winter πŸ₯° and keep him around, he'll probably let you know when it's time

Post by Anita »

Can you somehow make him an ice-free path? My husband always snow blows a path around the yard for the dogs. I do hear what you're saying, we just went through this last winter with one of our dogs. She lived for being outside in the cold and snow, but she was losing strength in her legs and if she slipped she couldn't get back up again. We had to really limit her world and that was rough.

Post by Mary »

We lost our 31 year old Thoroughbred in June. His companion mini horse was very depressed and we lost him to colic 6 weeks later. It is such a sad time, I knew they were besties but we were unprepared for just how close they were. We are in Michigan, the boys would just hang out in the barn during slippery and bad weather, they had access all the time to their huge stall. We were concerned for the Thoroughbred because he had mobility and arthritis issues that this winter would do him in. We buried them next to each other. We used to throw old hay down on their walkway paths. They always chose to stay together. Wish I had answers, pain management can only go so far, maybe CBD? Best wishes, just wanted to tell you our experience, their bond was truly beautiful
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