This is in memory of my special Sweet Potato. She was a Nigerian Dwarf Goat that we rescued in 2002. She was always very friendly and had a special personality. She got sick the end of October 2005 and was sick for just short of a year. She couldn’t stand or walk anymore. She had a cancerous tumor in her uterus removed. She developed pressure sores on her hocks and needed bandaging every day. She had a bad infection for months and required injectable antibiotics every day. She was also anemic and again needed injections of medicine to help the anemia. She went through so much in one year and her attitude was absolutely amazing. We would take her outside every day when it was nice enough to be in the fresh air even though she couldn’t walk. Luckily we had mostly nice weather. She would get herself around the yard by "crawling."
We never did find out why she couldn’t get herself up or walk anymore. We tried holding her up with a towel and making her "walk" every day and when she wouldn’t make the effort we put her in her red wagon and pulled her through the yard and brought her back into the house for the night. She really loved riding in her wagon. Then one day after about 8 months of not being able to stand I looked out the window into the yard and I saw her stand up and walk about 20 feet all by herself. I just cried. She did it.
We built her a fenced in area for her to walk around safely during the day and brought her in at night and did our same routine. Then the veterinarian said she could stay outside and we built her an enclosure. She could go in there during the day out of the weather and we closed her in at night to keep her safe. She was out on her own again for about 5 or 6 weeks and then she started to fail. She wasn’t eating as well, her stools were not right, and we knew something was wrong. But what.
Then on October 6, 2006 she couldn’t get up to stand on her own again. If we got her up she could walk, but she couldn’t stand up from a non-standing position. Her temperature was very very low. The vet came on his day off to see her and took blood. When the results came in the next day, they were mostly normal for the first time in a year! That night (October 7) at about 6 p.m. I closed her in her house and she was standing. I went outside at 11 p.m. and heard her crying. When I checked on her, she was down on her side. She seemed comatose with her eyes open. I took her to the veterinary emergency hospital and her temperature didn’t even register on the thermometer. They warmed her and gave her IV fluids. She seemed more stable and up and alert when I left at about 1:30 a.m. The next day the hospital called and said they thought she was hungry and for me to bring her some food. I did and sat with her for a few minutes. That night at about 7:25 p.m. the veterinarian called and said that she let out a couple of bleats (cries) and died. We were devastated. We took her body to her regular vet and he performed an autopsy and didn’t find the reason for her death. He then sent several samples (heart, brain, liver, etc) to Cornell for diagnosis. All the results came back inconclusive. Her vet felt that it was circulatory and her heart gave out.
So we don’t know why she lost use of her legs and had so many ailments for so long, we don’t know why all of a sudden she was so much better and able to get up again, and we don’t really know for sure why she died. She is the most amazing goat because she stayed happy and content and loving through all she went through. We miss her more than is imaginable, but we know that she at least had several weeks of being a goat again before she died. We loved our Sweet Potato more than words can ever say.
My Sweet Potato, I will love you forever and ever and miss you even longer.