On Friday, I noticed our baby goat, Nuevo, was getting an enlarged lower belly. I suspected a urinary calculi even though bladder stones are pretty rare in male goats so young. I called our vets’ office. Unfortunately, they were both gone for the weekend. They suggested giving him ammonium chloride which might dissolve the blockage. But there wasn’t any at the clinic, and I spent the day calling drug stores and other vet clinics. No, they didn’t have any, and no, they didn’t work on goats. How frustrating! I had some luck in older goats, in the past, by dosing with vinegar as the acidity helps dissolve the stones enough that they can pass. But on Sunday morning, Nuevo was dead. We were crushed. He had become family to us, but life goes on even though you have a heavy heart.

I’d bought Will a pressure washer for his birthday earlier this month as his old one was a cobbled together affair that he’d gotten cheap at an auction. It kind of worked but required lots of messing around to get going. So he put the new one together and brought Old Rusty into the yard to clean him up. After all, it had been parked in the trees for five years and was covered with sap, dirt, and tree fungus. Pretty ugly, all right. It was amazing how much better Old Rusty looked after being cleaned up. Not so rusty, after all. Maybe we’ll rename him Old Trusty and cross our fingers.

Old Rusty before being pressure washed
And see how the wash job improved the looks!

After cleaning the dozer up, Will took it out to the Wolf forty and started pushing stumps out near the Wolf garden. Working was a good way to learn the machine as every one is different, even if slightly, than the other. Yep, that dozer was a good buy!

Old Rusty at work on the Wolf forty.

Our tomatoes are shooting up and I’m being kept busy moving them around to get the best sun, and watering them, sometimes twice daily, as they sure dry fast in direct sunlight. We had another six inches of snow but today it’s melting like crazy. They say it’s supposed to get in the mid sixties! Will is busy leveling the perimeter where the railroad tie footing will be going for our new permanent greenhouse. I’m sure he knows how fast those little seedlings will be growing very soon. Spring has sprung but we’ll still see more snow. — Jackie


  1. I know how you feel. I have I think, 12 horses buried in my two pastures. Also have three dogs there.

  2. On a more positive note – this past Saturday I started seeds (4 different veggies) from my seed order from Seed Treasures. Lo and behold, only a mere 4 days later, one pot is germinating.

  3. Jackie, I am sorry for your loss of Nuevo. Animals are part of life on Earth and do become members of our families. Each one has its own individual personality and character so we definately feel the loss when one leaves.

  4. I have lost 2 dogs in the recent years. One I had since a puppy and the other I adopted
    from a rescue place at 9 yo. They were both 14+ years old when they passed away.
    I still miss them today as they were very special dogs both English Labs. Its hard to
    lose an animal. So sorry that it happened to Nuevo. I guess we women become
    attached to our animals because of our mothering instinct.

  5. I feel your pain. I took a calf for one of my friends because she couldn’t get it to eat. The mother had come down with milk fever. I brought her home and had her in the house. She started doing well and then would go backwards. It was like 3 steps forward and 4 steps back. I called the vet and got some lactaid ringers and at first I thought we were all set. Then bam backwards and after about 2 wks she passed. This was last Friday and I am still crying, but that’s farm life. It never gets easier, but the farm life also brings great joy. God Bless!

    • An old farmer once told me “Better in the barn than in the house.”, meaning better to lose an animal than part of your family. True but sometimes some critters become part of the family….

  6. My sympathies, Jackie, on the passing of Nuevo. Tears came to my eyes and my heart constricted as I read your posting. For the time God gave you guardianship, he was a “special gift”. He certainly had a heart brimming with gratitude and love or all the love and care that you expended on Him.

  7. You can often find ammonium chloride at a feed store. Not a prebagged only place but the old fashioned kind where they actually grind or roll corn and make feed fresh. Ammonium chloride is an ingredient we add to goat diets. If the stone is low enough you can feel it, you can sometimes crush it with your fingertips so it’s small enough to pass. That’s a last ditch effort–not ideal. Sorry for your loss. But if you are like me you want to know how to take care of the next one!

  8. So sorry about Nuevo. i lost an 11 year old ram last week and boy does it hurt!!!! Ralphie was the king of the sheep and protected them well. Luckily, here in E. TN. we have a wonderful large animal vet clinic that does farm calls. This is cattle ( Angus) country plus loads of horses. They have come out for both sheep and goats for me. Nuevo and Ralphie both had wonderful lives. RIP Nuevo and Ralphie.

    • We have good vets in Cook but they all weren’t around. The ones in the bigger towns don’t do goats. I did what I could but still feel sad.

  9. Jackie, when I had kidney stones I treated them with tumeric, black cumin seed oil and Bragg’s ACV. It took awhile but eventually they dissolved enough for me to pass them. I’ve had one kidney stone since then and the same treatment dissolved it.

    • Yep, I’ve heard of that. Trouble was Nuevo was completely blocked and didn’t have time on his side.

  10. I’m so very sorry to hear of the loss of Nuevo.
    Our animals do become family to us.
    Sounds like lot of things beginning to grow there.
    Nice Rusty is doing well and not so rusty after a good clean up.
    All the snow piles are finally gone here in Iowa and seedlings are going crazy waiting for time to put outside. Temps still vascillate between 40 and 70 degrees but won’t be long it will be plenty hot and humid here.
    Have a wonderful week!

  11. I have had problems with my vet being out and I can’t bring my kids in with this problem.
    I give the Chanca Piedra(a pill). I give daily and I haven’t lost them. They turn right around.

    • Thank you for the information on Chanca Piedra. I’d never heard of it before but think I’ll buy a bottle. Just in case this should happen again. I’ve literally had hundreds of goats (used to have a goat dairy) and this is the first time I’ve ever had a goat with urinary calculi and certainly never had a two month old kid with one. You learn something every day.

      • Jackie, some of the local herbalists and massage therapists in my area recommend chanca piedra for kidney stones. It apparently has the nickname of “stone crusher” and is supposed to be quite effective for kidney stones. I haven’t tried it so can’t give an opinion but heard it is helpful.

  12. I’m sorry to hear about Nuevo. It is also sad to hear about vets as here in California there are several schools but I’m not sure many want to go into that field . Yes it leaves farmers and homesteaders at a loss. I guess you should get some of that medicine and others and keep on hand . Love the dozer

    • I have lots of both human and animal meds on hand but as I’ve never had a goat with a urinary blockage before, I wasn’t prepared for it. There’s always something you missed, I guess.

  13. When I had goats I learned goat medicine via a book. I’d show our dog vet what and why I needed something and he’d give me a prescription. One time I couldn’t figure it out. Vet wouldn’t come out. He agreed to see goat in his Ofc after hours if we took goat through back door. We did that but vet couldn’t figure out what problem was so…..sat with goat in my lap going through veterinary book for goats. Figured out problem and dosed him. Within days I had bouncing baby goat back.

  14. One of our vets retired but still is involved in the practice. He supports 4-H and has helped a number of kids get into (and through) vet school. I know of only one who was a “large animal” vet. There is a severe shortage of “large animal” vets – I know of one state that pay off the student loans (so much per year of course) if the vet came back to practice in the state. The US is short on doctors – human and animal. I often wonder if some/all was intentional – not like the number of humans and animals (of all stripes) wasn’t increasing all these year.
    Sorry to hear about Nuevo. Whenever one of my fur babies crosses the Rainbow Bridge, I remind myself plenty of others needing a good home. While I still miss the fur baby, soon there will be another one join the family – just a matter of when and from where.
    Old (T)rusty cleaned up rather well. Power washers definitely increase our “elbow grease”.

    • It’s so darned expensive to go to either vet or med school today. A lot of young people don’t want to be saddled with hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt due to years and years of schooling. Can’t blame them; there has to be a better way.
      I thought Old Trusty cleaned up pretty nice, myself; way better than I thought he would!

  15. Sorry to hear about the loss of Nuevo. Such a handsome little guy. There are to many vets out there that aren’t concerned with the large animals, only the pocket pets for them. I am sure if your vet had been in town he could have helped and even vets need a break. Old Rusty-Trusty looks good after the wash job and seems to know his business in Will’s trusty hands.

    • Yes, vets do need breaks. I sure don’t hold it against our vets that they weren’t here when I needed them. It was just luck of the draw.
      They always say a clean vehicle always drives better; I guess that goes for bulldozers too.

  16. Sorry about Nuevo. Vets sure ain’t what they used to be; it’s the same around here. People with large animals have to try to be their own vet or bring one in from out of area. The locals ones just want to deal with the spoiled little pets (where they can charge an arm and a leg).

    • I’m sorry to say a lot of vets have gone that way. It’s hard on us folks with homestead animals.

    • I blame it on the vet schools. They put very little emphasis on attracting students who want to be large animal vets. Rather, they admit city kids with high test scores and no experience with anything larger than their family Labrador.

      Most vet schools in the US are at land grant Universities. Voters need to ask politicians to pressure the schools into producing the vets we need. And then we large animal owners need to make sure we are willing to pay these vets what they are worth so they don’t feel the need to move to town and open a small animal practice in order to make a decent living.

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