We've all seen the videos. You know what I mean, those gross videos of a cyst getting lanced on a cow or a goat and besides being gross you wonder, "how did it get that big before they did something about it?" Right? Well that's what I always wondered. Until it happened here at our farm. One day Jillian was fine and the next day she had a bump. The second day it was the size of a golf ball! Homesteads can't always afford to call a vet for everything, especially when its a meat animal it really doesn't make sense. So yesterday we had to lance a cyst on a meat goat. Apparently, cattle aren't the only animals on the farm that get these things. Well I definitely feel like a real farmer now. So a cyst had appeared on the face of one of our meat goats from a scuffle of some sort with Becky or the fence.
Puncture abscesses occur when something sharp penetrates the goat's body and can appear anywhere. Almost anything sharp (thorns, briers, sticks, fencing wire, debris in hay) can cause abscesses. Flushing the wound with iodine and administering a tetanus anti-toxin injection is advisable.
Now because she's a meat goat, she isn't milk stand trained, but we knew in order to hold her still(she's a big goat) we would need to hold her still somehow. Getting her on the milk stand wasn't easy but we managed thanks to Jimmy being so strong he mainly lifted her front so I could get her back legs up there and he pulled her head through the bars and locked her in.
Then he held her horns so I could assess what type of cyst we were dealing with and I could see an ouchie that told me she musta gotten banged or bonked there and it caused the cyst to form. I doused and washed the area thoroughly with iodine first, messy yes but I knew that was only the beginning. Once the area was clean and prepped I took a scalpel and punctured the cyst at the original ouchie spot that caused it. It poured out instantly. I had to squeeze and massage the ick and puss out and even when I thought I got it all I knew I had to flush it out, so I got a big syringe tube and began flushing it with saline solution until nothin but saline was coming out. Then I flushed it three times with the iodine. No she wasn't happy and yes she screamed as Im sure this process wasn't fun for her either and probably hurt like hell. Once it was fully rinsed out we closed her up with gauze and vet wrap, now she looks like she's channeling axl rose from that 80's hair band.
Once she was all wrapped up I administered some antibiotics and since we had her restrained it was a good chance to check her over for everything while we had her there. We got our the Famacha card and made sure the eyelids were the right color, good. Checked her mouth and everything else on her body just in case. So other than her ouchie she was a very healthy gal. So we let her down off the milk stand and fed her treats and left her by herself in what were gonna call the hospital pen this week.
A very gross experience but one that gave me a feeling of really being a farmer now. I gotta say I thought it was going to be pretty disgusting so I was prepared for that, but once the process began it really just felt very medical.