Nibbles - before I almost killed her
There are a lot of good resources out there on how to trim your goat's hooves. I am not one of those.
A couple days ago I almost killed Nibbles trying to trim her hooves. Sometimes I can..(ahem)..wax a bit dramatic.. but when The Big Man starts to get concerned..well, then I'm not really exaggerating.
Here is how I normally trim hooves:
Wait until the 4H kid next door can come over and do it.
I should have done this a couple days ago. But I figured if a 16 year old can do it, so can I. I couldn't have been more wrong. Wow!
Nibbles was in the milk stand and I figured it was high time to get her hooves trimmed up. She was fine for the front hooves but started kicking like a mad fiend when I tried to do her back ones. The Big Man was holding her and I was being jostled around and then she was kicking and I was trying to clip.... and both forces worked against each other and then she was bleeding everywhere. A lot. Like “Holy Goat! Would you look at all that blood!”
I had cut way too far up on her hoof and she was bleeding a lot.
Then there was a lot of drama. Me hopping about, Nibbles hopping about, The Big Man telling me (sternly) to “DO something”, more hopping, Nibbles bleeding, me running, me calling, me running and calling, then we discovered why the goat experts always tell you to have “Blood Stop” powder on hand at all times. Of course we don't ever listen to those experts.. so I had to look up what else you could use and the answer is:
Yep. Regular old corn starch. I prefer Argo.
I put some good ol' Argo in an empty cat food can, made her step in it and this worked to clot the blood while I ran to the neighbors to get their always-on-hand “Blood Stop.”
By the time I got back most of the gushing blood had stopped. Now there is some contention about whether that was due to the corn starch or The Big Man holding poor Nibbles in a yoga-like position that could only be named “Kicking Jackass.” I returned to find him holding her back foot high above her haunch. But hey, it worked.
Blood Stop is a powder and you just shake it on. You shake on a lot. And it works. Stops the blood just as advertised.
We kept her incarcerated for a day in the garage with its cement floor. The problem with cuts on goat's feet is that it could put them in contact with tetanus (a kind of bacteria) which can be present in the ground...the bacteria gets into the wound, then your goat flops over dead.
After holding her hostage in the garage all day to be sure the bleeding stopped, then putting a LOT of clean straw down in her stall, and keeping her inside another day... we think we are safe. But we'll see. There is conflicting information about whether treating her "just to be safe" will do any good. So we are keeping an eye on her and will watch for any signs of stiffening or convulsions.
In the meantime she is doing great at milking and seems to be back to her own sweet self. Today she was goosin' around and head butting Debbie. In the background little Ginger was skip-popping all over the yard, then took off running after one of the chickens. Provided that Nibbles doesn't flop over dead, I'll give the goats an A+ today.
Now I need to go and order some Blood Stop powder – and so should you.