Pippa Is Home

Pippa is home. Things didn’t go exactly as planned.

Some of you know, Pip has been struggling with energy and weight loss the past couple of weeks, despite adding extra calories. She was diagnosed with afib, a heart arrhythmia and an enlarged heart.

This is not a common diagnosis for a goat, and our vets at CSU in several departments got together to make a plan to bring her heart back into rhythm, which meant a procedure to shock the heart electrically. There isn’t much background on this procedure in goats, we seek new ways to treat those who were once only thought of as “food” animals.

On Wednesday, she was sedated and wheeled over to cardiology, and just like on TV, they got out their defibrillator paddles and prepared for an electric current. BAM! Her heart went back into the correct rhythm and things began to flow right. Everyone cheered.

5 minutes later, her heart returned to afib. Unfortunately, that means there is no way to talk her heart into sustaining the correct rhythm.

So this will be hospice. We have a new, more digestible soft chopped hay product and have some strategies to help her gain weight and feel good. We’ll monitor her activity level and how well she can enjoy life, and absolutely spoil her with every ounce of our being. She is surrounded by friends, both goat and human ones.

We thought we prepared ourselves for this time, but I’m not sure we understood completely what exactly we were preparing for. How could we? How do you prepare to lose the animals you’ve cared for since the day that they were born, through their youth, maturity and elderly years? The animals who changed the course of your entire life and value system? The ones who convinced you to trade in all of your worldly possessions for lives and love?

With four of our oldest goats, our original herd members, going in to CSU for diagnostics and procedures in the last week, Nico, Fern, Norman and Pippa, our bill today was just over $5000. We could truly use some help, as we navigate the “new normal” that widespread aging is bringing to the sanctuary, and gives us the time to focus on really making their final days full of beauty rather than those of worry.

Share this post