We test annually for goat diseases, but our girls are fat and sassy and don’t go anywhere to catch goat diseases, so healthy reports aren’t a surprise. This year, in anticipation of going to visit the buck farm for their second time, we tested again and were horrified to see a “positive” by Sarabi’s name for the goat disease, Johnnes. Surely not. Disbelieving, we sent off more blood. Positive again.
Johnnes is fatal. There is no vaccine and no cure and no treatment. Very very fortunately, we caught this early when it still had a low possibility of transmission, as later when the disease reaches the stage where there are clinical symptoms, it is highly contagious and can decimate a herd. It is a wasting disease and dear Sarabi was the polar opposite of “wasting” – I’d actually been a bit concerned about sending her to be bred so plump. She was bouncy and still looking for someone to open the gate so she could race out and steal some duck food, one of her favorite food items.
She got duck food this morning, all she wanted, and gummy bears and dates and raisins. She had a peaceful death and not a horrible death by starvation and diarrhea like Johnnes would have given her.
She had a sweet personality, a gorgeous udder, and was an excellent mother to both of the little does we had this spring. If the spider who lives in the corner of our barn had been a proper spider, we would have seen a web that spelled out, some goat.
Goodnight, Sarabi Saffron, you will be so sorely missed.