Yes, odd title…and no I don’t mean soup recipe. Browse down for a fabulous ointment and also a homemade electrolyte solution. So,taking right up from where we left off yesterday with our topic of dog attacks and livestock:
Third…You will want to administer antibiotics. Right from the start. Don’t miss a day, don’t skip. Take this and cleaning very seriously. If you are squeamish about shots—you won’t be by day three.
There are a number of ways to do this. You can give a full dose shot of LA 200 every day. You can give a full dose shot of LA200 one day then alternate with Pen -G the next, going back and forth like that. I kind of like the back and forth since Liquamycin (LA 200 or oxytetracycline) is a long acting medicine but Pen G (penicillin) is a daily shot. Each is also from a different family of antibiotics so I personally think it enhances but that could just be my opinion. I have done no official study but just observed different instances where this back and forth was used. You MUST do this at least for 10 days. All the vets I have witnessed/heard of gave one shot and said that is enough. It’s not—they must have a course of antibiotics just as a sick human would. Those that beat the infection do a series of shots. No shots—no live animal in my experience.
I also know all the things about antibiotic resistance. I absolutely abhor random use of antibiotics especially for overcrowded conditions and enhanced feed conversion. However, in the case of dog attack—-infection is a very real threat and will be your main enemy. As a matter of fact—infection is your only enemy. Chunks grow back. Punctures close. Wounds that show tendons or bone eventually fill in. Infection….it kills.
For your future reference here is one table that gives some information about antibiotics used in animals. It is not the do all end all but a good starting point . http://www.sheepandgoat.com/articles/antibiotictable.html
You can also give your animal a shot of pain relief if you have it. Banamine is great but expensive. Some vets will tell you not to give many shots of it (maybe two at most) because it can injure the rumen. However, for other problems we have given banamine for many days in a row ( twice a day for the first 3 days and then daily for another 5 or 6) and the ewe, at a year and half later, is still fine. Also, lambs and kids are growing so supposedly they are much less bothered by it. One friend had a ram lamb break a leg. She really wanted this guy for breeding so for a month and half, based on her vet’s recommendations, she gave him almost daily banamine shots while he wore his cast—he’s fine, healed, breeds, walks and has no injury to his rumen. Now I am not saying it can’t cause problems — just pointing out that maybe a dog attack victim needs a bit more than one or two shots.
If you don’t have the money for banamine or it’s off brand (ask your vet for a bottle—not just one shot—it’s much cheaper per shot this way) you can use aspirin. 100mg aspirin per 10 pounds body weight for goats and 100 mg per 20 pounds per sheep. Goats need different amounts because their metabolism is different —this is true with many medicines so please double check dosing always. *Please be aware that aspirin speeds the excretion of tetracycline drugs during urination so try not to use it too much*
Lastly…ointments, medicated sprays, fly protection.
Each day after you clean the wounds you will want to apply an ointment or spray for infection to each and every wound. You can use one you have, one from your vet, one from the local feed store or here is an ointment that I highly recommend for you to make and keep on hand. This is from a good friend, Alethea, who is getting her Doctoral degree in alternative medicines and nutrition. She and I met through our sheep chat group and have traded info for years on ways to treat livestock (some areas like mine just REALLY don’t have vets for large livestock and we must learn to be our own vets). I won’t go into the gruesome details here but a number of people swear by this for help with infected and maggot infested wounds.
So…..here it is quoted exactly as she sent it to me the other day:
I originally got the cedar salve recipe out of Herb Quarterly magazine
and have adapted it for just about any plant, like comfrey. The
basic recipe is:
Take a handful of white cedar leaves (the amount isn’t really important
since you base the recipe on what you have and you could probably use
whatever cedar species you have), pull the green part off the brown
stems, put the leaves in a pan and cover with olive oil, bring just
under a simmer and then let it sit covered either over a VERY low heat
or just take it off the heat. Come back sometime later (at least an
hour) and strain the oil off.
Reheat the oil and add beeswax, I never guess right on how much wax,
it will be more than you think you need. : )
After it cools a bit but before it hardens, add 1 or 2 vitamin E
gelcaps (depending on how much oil you have, maybe 2 gelcaps for a cup
of oil) and a few drops of essential oil of pine or spruce (I make my
own, I’ll give you that info too). Then pour into jars and let it set
up. If you guessed wrong on the wax and it’s too runny, reheat it
and add more. On the wax, I told a class once to put as much as you
think you need in there and then add 2 more chunks, that should come
out about right.
For essential oil of pine, spruce or even fir, I take the oozing sap
off the tree and cover it with olive oil. I let this sit for several
weeks, shaking the jar if I remember, and then strain the oil. It
will have a very heavy scent. It’s antiseptic on it’s own but use it
diluted as it can be irritating. I sometimes use the spruce/fir oil
on sore muscles, it warms the skin and underlying layers. A friend
uses it for all kinds of things, it’s the panacea ointment at her
place. Her daughter came in complaining of a sprained ankle so she
rubbed spruce oil in and sure enough, it was feeling better in no
time!! : ) I’m sure there’s a little placebo effect going there but
I also think it’s a powerful herb(s) and often overlooked. I don’t
make much distinction between the spruce and fir, sometimes I try and
label pine separate but then I use them interchangeably so I don’t
know why I bother.
Of course, you can go buy the essential oil of any of the pines or
whatever, they aren’t expensive because they are often the by-product
of the logging industry. High quality suppliers of essential oils try
to not buy from places that use logged trees but I have mixed feelings
about this. While I agree it is not supporting an environmentally
friendly harvest of plants for medicinal use and involves heavy
machinery, diesel and erosion, it also makes use of something that
will be bulldozed into piles and burned at the end of the logging
season and that is a total waste. I’ve gone out and hauled in fir
branches for my goats and sheep off a logging site, the loggers would
have burned the branches and my goats and sheep loved them. Seemed a
shame to waste good food. They only cut the fir because it was in
the way to reaching the poplar they really wanted!!! Unbelievable.
Anyway, the cedar salve is another panacea type, everyone I’ve given
it to uses it for just about everything under the sun and it seems to
work! I wouldn’t use it on cats though. Too many of the chemicals in
the pine family are nasty for cats, all those volatile organic
compounds we’re always warned about.
Good luck with it, if you get around to trying it. You’ll find a
multitude of uses for it and it’s a nifty color in the jar, if nothing
else. (Thank you Alethea for this recipe)
In the summer maggots will be a problem—you will need a fly spray also. You can call and ask your vet which they recommend—there aren’t that many and all work about the same – or just go pick one up at Tractor Supply or your feed store. The more clean you keep the wound the less likely it is to get “stink” and have maggots attracted to it. If it gets maggots you must remove them. Everyone of them. Then you must clean clean clean the wound because obviously it is infected if it has maggots.
Now on to overall support. At first your animal will be “shocky”. Keep them warm if it’s really windy and cold out (I know—you shaved the hair but I swear it was for a good reason) and keep them hydrated, maybe even with some electrolytes, and give them some hay to eat. No grain please for the first day or two. I know you feel bad for her but her system doesn’t need grain right now. Depending on conditions (hot, cold, running around, laying down etc) a goat/sheep will drink about 1 gallon of fluid per day on average. My thought is you want to make sure Daisy is drinking at least ½ gallon in the next day. If it looks as if she is not you can squirt it in her mouth a syringe full at a time ( use a turkey baster, syringe with a drench nozzle attachment, something that lets you see amounts and get it all in the mouth). Be careful and don’t squirt it in at blinding speed and choke her of course—but do get it in her. Once she has water and time for it to get circulating she should start to perk up.
Homemade electrolyte recipe:
1 quart water
2 ounces dextrose( corn syrup) They recommend not to use table sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Combine all ingredients
Also we want to support the immune system and rumen. I like to always to give my ruminants yogurt (plain or vanilla—no no-fat or fruited varieties please) to help put some beneficial bacteria back into the rumen after the stress of attack, illness or injury. You can buy a tube of probios type stuff but they are expensive and yogurt will do exactly the same thing. Squirt it in with a syringe or some sort of thing like that. They may eat it on their own—especially goats. I like to feed at least half of a single serve container per day if I feel they need it, though you can feed lots of it if you need to for some reason – yogurt will not hurt them or give them diarrhea or anything like that. We have actually used it as a main food source during a bought with a fungus related poisoning to a sheep—works like a charm until they can eat on their own again. I would also like to stress here that the rumen is were the immune system starts so supporting the beneficial bacteria helps for stress and for an improved immune response.
Another bit of help is Vitamin C and E shots or tablets or capsules. You can get bottles of it from your vet to use for shots, go to feed store for powders or you can get human tablets/capsules and supply it that way. Human form will be cheaper but you have to get it down their throat. Plus and minuses for either choice.
One time a day of each is fine. More won’t hurt –though the C can be a bit acidic – but it will just be excreted out if not needed by the body. It’s not 100% necessary but it does help the immune system. In actuality if you wanted to spend the money and buy a bottle of bo/se (get it from your vet), which is man made selenium and vitamin E in a shot form, then you can give them a shot of this at dosage of 2.5ml PER 100 pounds and another about a week later. It also will help with the stress and immune system. We regularly used this to help any sick sheep on our property. Though some vets insist that it is poison if used more than once a month or even at more than 2.5ml per shot (silly because the dosage above is the dosage the bottle says to use), we have not found that to be true. Canadian vets still use bo/se much more frequently than American vets would feel comfortable with according to my Canadian friends. I have conspiracy theories as to why this is so but I will leave those for another day. And though I use natural/organic selenium for my actual minerals supplied to my livestock I do always keep a bottle of inorganic on hand for situations like this as I find it useful and easy to administer to give a boost in situations such as this.
Now even though I have given you suggestions to help your animal and care for them unfortunately there is no guarantee your animal will live. However you will never know until you try. I personally believe that just like humans they do appreciate the effort we make on their part, even when they have pain, and I believe if they could tell us then they would say such. Yes, dog attack looks horrible (really really horrible) and there is no person that can say for sure which animals will live through it and which ones won’t. Each person has to make their choice not just on how the wounds look but also on the original purpose for the animal and the amount of time and effort (and money) they are willing to put into the saving. That to me is the hardest part because of the emotional attachment clouding the choices and always the stress hovering in your mind that the animal is in pain. No matter which choice you decide to take you have always learned something. I know it doesn’t always seem like it…but you have. That in turn makes you a better caregiver to the next animal you have.
The one regret that I have in the years of caring for my animals has not been causing them to “suffer” by treating them or prolonging their pain. It has been the times that I gave up because I was too much of a wimp to try something “scary”. However as one of my friends said to me (and that I always repeat to myself) if you don’t try….they will die anyway.
Hopefully I haven’t forgotten anything and hopefully you will never need this—but here it is just in case. Good Luck and good learning.