March 15, 2010

A Difficult Kidding

You've already seen baby pictures of Dream's doeling, born on Tuesday last week. She's about an hour old in the photo above. It was a difficult kidding, and I thought I'd share it with you in case you ever run up against a similar problem.

I found Dream in labor in the early afternoon, and eventually I saw.... um.... ears! Not a nose, not a hoof, but two ears laid together like the numeral "11". Oh, this was not good. I felt around with a finger and thought that the nose was pointing up towards the doe's spine.

I knew that the kid would not come out in this position. I prayed. I remembered a friend who had to have her husband hold a ewe up with her nose to the ground so the lamb would fall back inside a bit and my friend could reposition it. I was pretty sure this is what I was going to have to do too. The kid's head was right up against the pelvic bone and I couldn't find the nose with my finger. (This is the part I really wanted to share. I would never have thought of tipping the doe up in the air to use gravity to move the kid away from the pelvic bone so I'd have room to work.)

I called a friend and she told me the same thing - tip the doe's hindquarters up in the air, push the kid back in and find the nose. Finding a hoof would be even better, and pull it forward. If necessary, grab the jaw and pull the kid out.

My husband lifted up the doe's hind end and the kid fell back inside just enough that I could get my hand in and find the nose. It was underneath, not where I'd originally thought it would be, but I felt the nostrils and then slid across an eye. I found the jaw and straightened out the head, and as the doe contracted I guided the nose out. The kid was obviously dead, and the doe rested for a short time before she tried again, and I pulled downward on the kid as she pushed; the kid crashed onto the ground. A big buckling.

As Dream licked off the kid and talked to him (poor thing, I thought, I'm going to hate taking the body away from her), I called my friend back and reported. As we talked, another head presented! I did not expect twins as Dream wasn't very wide this year, and the buckling was big, but in just a few minutes a small live doeling was born! We had a happy ending after all!

This was Dream's sixth kidding, and she'd never had a problem before. Since I had to go in, I gave her penicillin against a possible infection, with a follow-up injection two days later. I'm allergic to penicillin, but there just isn't any way around this; I am the only one in the family willing to give shots. I just have to be very careful.

I am truly thankful that:
- I was home when Dream kidded
- dh was also home so that he could help
- my intervention was successful
- the dead kid was followed by a live doeling!
- and for Julie's help and encouragement on the phone

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