When he and his sister initially arrived, they were just under a year old. I purchased the two three-month-old Nubian goats from my neighbors, who were hauling them to auction. My mother named them Jack and Jill. We call the young male, “Jackie.” Jackie and Jill were two of a set of triplets, born to a mother not strong enough to care for the three babies.
Jackie and Jill thrived with us. However, nine months later in May of 2000, Jackie’s will to live was put to test. I was moving a 50-pound bag of grain from my car in a driving rain. With the bag of grain over my shoulder and attempting to close the gate behind me, I stumbled face-first into the mud.
Looking back, I noticed Jackie trying to follow me through the gate. Quickly, I closed the gate and Jackie put his two front legs to the top of it. Jumping back down, he stepped on an exposed wire poking up from the bottom of the new gate. The puncture wound was severe and instantly shot a stream of blood. I immediately cleaned the injury.
I was under the mistaken impression; tetanus could only be contracted through punctures caused by rusty nails. I was not too overly concerned. However, 10 days later, while looking through my kitchen window, I noticed Jackie attempting to move but could not. His mouth hung half open and his front legs were stretched out in front of him.
Alarmed, I telephoned my veterinarian and he soon arrived to examine Jackie. He diagnosed Jackie with tetanus, saying he probably would not live. I told the vet to imagine Jackie would live and to give me the appropriate medicine.
The vet carried Jackie into my home and laid him down on a blanket in the kitchen. Jackie remained there the next 14 days. The vet taught me to give sub-cutaneous injections, just under his skin. Twice daily, I administered tetanus and antitoxin medications for the next two weeks. The vet said if Jackie lived, he would never be restored to complete health.
I firmly maintained my belief Jackie would heal properly. In order to keep his circulation moving, I massaged Jackie’s legs and body. I learned from my husband, tetanus spores live in the ground, surviving up to 40 years.
Within two weeks, Jackie’s actions showed me he wished to return to his animal kingdom. He lifted himself off the blanket, placed his front hooves on my kitchen counter, peering into his pasture. Jackie followed me out the front door, being reunited with his family.
The vet said Jackie made a full recovery because of his youth. I believe otherwise. The path to Jackie’s and my desires were paved. Jackie lived through his ordeal, returning to complete health because our whole-some determination was present.