Vet2Be's buck was not properly dis-budded (removing the horn buds of a goat kid before or soon after they erupt using a disbudding iron) so his horns were growing at awful angles. (The buck came to us when he was about 6-8 months old. This was not one that we had disbudded). One horn was growing into the back of his eye, the other was growing into the back of his head. We had to saw them off about every 4-6 weeks to keep the horns from piercing his skin. All the other goats at the farm have no horns, the buck was the only one with horns. It is preferable to have either all horned goats or all goats with no horns in a herd. So this guy's horns needed to come off.
The vet decided he would rather give the buck a sedative through the fence. The buck isn't all that hard to handle, but he is a little 'pushy' when it is breeding season, and it is breeding season! He's starting to rut and get stinky!
When the buck looked good and sleepy, then fell over, it was time to go to work. The vet trimmed all the hair close to the horns so that he could see the skin. Then he used a scalpel to cut the skin down to the bone close to the bucks skull.
Next the vet used a wire bone saw to saw through the horn. One horn was a real horn, malformed, but it was growing firmly from his skull. The other horn was a scur, it was attached but moved when you pushed on it. It was not as firmly attached to his skull.
It took a while to get the wire saw through the real horn. There was plenty of blood, but it didn't seem as if there were too many 'bleeders' (blood vessels squirting blood). The vet worked up a sweat getting the first horn off! The scur was quite a bit quicker to cut through.
The vet packed the opening (the holes go into the bucks sinus cavity) with gauze and covered it with more gauze. Then he sprayed the wound with BlueKote to reduce the chance of infection. We also gave the buck a shot of Tetanus Antitoxin just in case he might get tetanus. It is always better to be on the safe side.
Vet2Be checked on the buck every 10-15 minutes from 7:30 PM until midnight. Goats have to remain upright. If they lay on their side for too long they cannot belch gas and will bloat. We ended up having to prop him up with an old bale of grass hay on one side and a stump on the other. We had plenty of fresh straw under him so that his head wouldn't be on the dirt. We also covered him with an old wool blanket because it was getting slightly chilly last night and there was a little light rain. By the time midnight rolled around his head was up, his eyes were open (sort of!), and he was munching on some of the hay that was next to him. It took about 5 hours for him to come out of the sedation enough that we felt we could leave him the rest of the night.
When we checked at 6 AM this morning, he was in his goat house and he seemed fine. He has been a bit slow today, but he doesn't really seem to be bothered by the surgery last night. He is eating and drinking normally.
We are very glad the weather is cool today. Hopefully that will keep the flies down, we'll spray with fly spray if we need to.
Not a pleasant procedure, but a necessary one since the buck's horns were growing at the wrong angle. I am very grateful for vets who will come out to our property and do the procedure here. I think it makes it easier on the animal to be in a place they are used to.
When the camera gets back I'll take some 'after' photos to show how the skull is growing in over the holes and how the buck is doing.
The moral of the story.... if you choose to disbud a goat make sure that you do it properly so that you don't have to dehorn them later.