Sunday, April 4, 2010

Reggie's Scurs

WARNING: There are a few pictures of Reggie's injury and blood included below. If you're squeamish, consider yourself warned.

You might recall in my post, My Romantic Life on the Farm last week, I mentioned - among other farm animal health challenges - my goat Reggie's scur accident. (Scurs are partial horn regrowth that can occur after a goat kid has had their horn buds burned off, a.k.a. been disbudded). Reggie had somehow managed to hurt the top of his head, tearing off one scur and leaving the second one cracked and bloodied.

At the end of that post, we (all the animals and I) were waiting for our small town vet to arrive at 3:00pm. This is what happened from then on...

Prior to the vet's arrival, I had the unpleasant task of trying to wash and disinfect Reggie's sore, little head:

I used a diluted Betadine solution and a soft cloth:

He didn't like me breathing on his head, let alone touching it, so you can imagine the noise he made as I tried to gently clean out the dirt and debris. After a few swipes, I decided it was good enough until the vet arrived. You can see the broken, but still in place, scur on the left. On the right side, the horn bud where he had ripped the scur entirely off is visible:

He was shaking badly again when I finished and so I scooped him back into my lap and held him tightly for a while. The sun provided us some much needed soothing heat:

So soothing, in fact, that my baby fell into a deep sleep:

Earlier, up at the barn, the rest of the animals had been haltered and stalled in preparation for our local vet's (Dr. Sarah) visit:

When Reggie woke up from his nap, I returned him to his goat house. When it was time to take him up to the barn to see Dr. Sarah, he hid from me. I knew his head was bothering him, he never hides. Pretend you don't see him - that's what I did, it seemed to make him feel better:

Once I got Reggie up to the barn, he had a bit more energy and entertained the donkey boys, Chester and Beau, for a bit:

Reggie's enthusiasm was short lived, however. He became very agitated when he heard the sound of the vet's car. Even on a leash, he was bouncing around, trying to get away. This is not his normal style at all:

The vet examined his head, touching -to his dismay- the broken, remaining scur, and it came right off in her hand:

Now he has two exposed, bloody horn buds:

Carrot coin to the rescue. He loves his carrot coins as much as the llamas and donkeys do. Even pain and a bad case of nerves didn't prevent him gobbling it down:

Dr. Sarah explained to me that Reggie was a suitable candidate for a second attempt at disbudding using the disbudding iron. Because his scurs are relatively small, she felt she would be able to kill all the horn cells that would allow regrowth. She emphasized to me that by doing nothing, allowing them to grow back and then trying to manage them through filing and occasional clipping, left Reggie open to injuring himself again as well as to infection.

I had heard that "re-disbudding" couldn't be done, so I was surprised that she was so easy going about this. I asked the same question about fifteen different ways until I was convinced she had successful experience with this and felt comfortable with what she was going to do.

Dr. Sarah then gave Reggie a sedative shot, a long-acting Banamine shot for the pain, and 2 different (long and short-acting) antibiotics in preparation for the disbudding:

Then she had to shave around the horn buds again. He howled so horribly, I teared up and Dr. Sarah gave him another shot of sedative:

After that, he felt no pain. And I was the only one upset about the blood pouring from the top of his little head:

Meanwhile, the disbudding tool was warming up in the background:

Looking back, the worst part of the whole thing was before Dr. Sarah ever got there. Seeing him shake so horribly and clearly be in pain was awful. Once she gave him the appropriate sedation and pain meds, I never heard another peep or saw any sign of discomfort from him:

Reggie was *very* relaxed:

He didn't flinch when Dr. Sarah did the burning:

She was very thorough and is hopeful that she got all the horn cells so that there will be no regrowth:

When we were finished, I carried him down the hill and put him in his cozy crate to recover from the sedation:

Pete insisted on being by his side:

I just love this little guy so much:

And now, more than a week later, although he looks a bit like Franken-goat:

...he is thriving:

Energy and enthusiasm have returned:

along with his extremely affectionate nature:

All is well.


  1. Oh poor Reggie! I gotta tell you, poor Reggie had my stomach upset--- poor baby! But at least now he should be safe. I just love the last picture.

  2. Poor little Reggie, I had tears in my eyes reading about his misfortune. You are learing so much too -- can you imagine that just a few short years ago you lived in the city? How great that it all turned out so well. And that last picture of the two of them wandring down the road is priceless. Sooo Cute!!!

  3. I'm so glad that this had a happy ending. Our goats had this happen when they were little but we just let the sores heal on their own. I guess we were lucky.
    Only Brownie ended up growing horns and now he's so proud of them that we could never have them removed.
    Very well documented post.

  4. I think this ordeal hurt YOU much more than it did Reggie. I'm so glad your excellent vet took care of him and that Pete was his recovery buddy.

    Love the last photo. All is well that ends well.

  5. I didn't think you could repeat a disbudding, either. How interesting. Our little baby got disbudded a few weeks ago and finally his hair is growing back over his spots. Not soon enough for me!

  6. Oh poor baby! Poor Danni, too!
    I'm glad you have such a great vet.
    The last picture is so funny. The placement of Roxie in the picture looks like Reggie has on one of those marching band hats with a feather in it. :)
    I'm glad all is right in the Reggie and Pete world again.

  7. I hope this is the end of those nasty scurs for sweet little Reggie!It was a terrible ordeal for you both!

  8. Poor little Reggie! What a brave little goat. He is so adorable, glad that he is getting back to his own self. So what happened with the lamas and the sore donkey foot?

  9. Thank you so much for posting this. Not only was it very informative and chock full of useful pictures and advice, but it was a heartwarming tale.

    Reggie is lucky to have companions in his life like you and Pete. How wonderful was it that Pete had to be in the kennel with his buddy to see him through the recovery period.

  10. Ow! So glad you have a good vet who makes barn calls! Give Reggie some extra carrot coins from me and the hens.

  11. glad all is well now. I take my boys to a very experienced Nigerian breeder she does the disbudding for me, and she's good, never any scurs. However, I can't breathe for a few seconds while she is burning each goat's head. The goats go right back to playing though.

  12. I'm so glad that little Reggie is all better now! You are a great goat mama! You take care of all your critters so well!!

    I agree with CeeCee, in the last pic of Reggie it looks like he's wearing a hat!! :)


  13. Great that Reggie is well and I hope you never see another scur again.

    I am glad you have a vet that seems to actually know what they are doing. Those seem to be getting rare.


  14. Isn't it awful when you know your animals are sick or hurting? You want to take it from them so that they don't anymore. I love how he fell asleep in your lap.

  15. My stomach was in knots reading through this one . . . so relieved all is well. That last pictures is adorable — but what is the pompom on his head — wait, that's your darling Roxie!

  16. Oh, Danni. What an awful experience - for both of you! I too had tears as I read how upset you were for Reggie's pain and discomfort. I'm SO glad you have Dr. Sarah. As always, your pictures are wonderful. I love that Pete wanted to be by Reggie's side in that crate. I just love the one of Reggie hiding from you. That last picture is just precious of your three babies . And I agree with CeeCee - when I first saw it I wondered what kind of hat Reggie was wearing!

    I sure hope everyone is on the mend at Critter Farm and you are getting a much deserved break from all the worrying.

  17. Glad to hear all went well. I hope the vet got all of the horn cells. Is that a dog in front of Reggie in the last picture or is he wearing a wig? LOL

  18. Poor Reggie!! I'd never heard of this procedure before, but I feel for the little guy. Hope he's feeling better now!

  19. So glad he's feeling better. That must have been harrowing for you!

    Surely hope she got it all!!!!

  20. oh no...poor reggie. i am glad he is feeling better. he certainly is in the best place to go through something like this.hope you had a good easter!

  21. I looked at that last photo, clicked on it to make it larger, downloaded it and opened it in Photoshop, and was convinced Reggie was wearing an Easter bonnet. Thank you, CeeCee, for figuring out it was Roxie.

  22. Poor little guy. What a trooper. This story was heartwrenching & heartwarming, both. I'm so glad to see that he's on the mend and no longer in any discomfort.

  23. Aww, poor Reggie. You are so good to your critters. Even though Reggie and you went through a bit of trauma, in the long run it will be better for him and you! How nice of Pete to stay by his buddy while he recuperated.

  24. I am such a dork - I tear up at this stuff!!:-) It warms my heart to know that you take such good care of these lovely little guys. I am happy that all is good on the farm for now....(except for the rain of course)!

  25. Poor little guy.
    I'm glad he's doing better now.
    goat hugs from all of us

  26. That last shot ... I just love a happy 'ending'! :)

  27. I love Reggie. He is a brave little goat and you are a brave goat-Mom. I had tears welling up in my eyes too. You have a wonderful vet. Love that last picture.

  28. poor little bebeh goat. i love the picture of him sleeping in your lap. it shows so much trust. i'm glad he's on the mend!

  29. Ask Dr. Sarah if she will move to Washington. We need a vet just like her here. You are lucky to have her so close. Poor Reggie. I'm glad she was able to fix his head. Those scurs can be nasty and bleed like crazy.
    Love the picture of him hiding. Goats are pretty smart, aren't they?

  30. that last photo is priceless. I'm so glad he's doing better!

  31. Sigh. Sniff. That sweet little Reggie is such a brave, brave boy.
    This post just made my heart pitter patter at the bond you guys share. I do love that first pic of your shadows. It sure did make me smile.
    But I have to say it then made me sad to see him enduring so, so many scary things. He is so very lucky to have you taking such great care of him. And so, so lucky to have such a great friend, like Pete. Great friends like that....that stay right by your side through everything are a very special thing.
    Im very glad that hes feeling so much better. And that hes back to his everyday walks. :-)

  32. I'm so happy now Danni!! Give them an extra hug for me! Even Pete and Roxy!!!

  33. How could anyone NoT love that goat! What a charmer, even when he is bleeding all over our screens! And I LOVE that last picture!
    I always learn through your blog, even the "romantic" posts, lol. Even my husband enjoys your blog when I read it to him, and he's not that into many blogs.

  34. I am so glad that your Vet could fix Reggie up...

    Now this next statement isn't a judgement right or wrong thing...just a information thing.

    We have never ever had a goat go after us with their horns, nor have we had one do anything with their horns that was inappropriate.
    Just some information :O) for ya for future reference :O). Its each person's call :O)...Even when our buck Harrison had pink eye so bad it temporary blinded him in one eye and that eye was bulging (oh ya not fun)... we had to keep him on the goat trailer away from the other goats..Harrison at that point was not the most tame fellow either... I was giving him shots of that antibiotic that burns :O( ugggg and never once did he try to hurt DH with his big old horns or me... The Vet injected his eye ya that was just gross, DH had to hold him in trailer for that one .... he got totally well and got his eye sight back :O)... but nope never once did he try to harm anyone with his big horns! Just passing some info :O)...

    Its obvious you love your animals very much :O)... Glad Reggie will be okay :O).....

  35. Sweet, sweet Reggie. You are such a good Momma Farmgirl! It's great to see Reggie feeling better now with Pete by his side. You do such an amazing job with your photos and storytelling.

  36. I'm glad the story ended well! Poor guy.

  37. Poor Reggie, poor Danni. I am sure Reggie is well on his way to a complete recovery, I hope you are too Danni. You are such a wonderful "critter momma." My inspiration. Wishing you a Happy Spring and hoping things quiet down a bit for you. Winslow sends his best to Roxy!

  38. OH gosh! I feel so bad for Reggie. But so glad he's doing well now.

  39. Hi, I stumbled upon your blog looking for information about treating a broken scur. Thank you so much for sharing this information. I have two little goats that have scurs just like Reggie.

    I'm glad I found your blog, I'm sure I'll be back.

  40. Hi, I stumbled upon your blog looking for information about treating a broken scur. Thank you so much for sharing this information. I have two little goats that have scurs just like Reggie.

    I'm glad I found your blog, I'm sure I'll be back.


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