Leilah & Chocolate

On February 23, 2023, we received a request from an owner to take one of her three-week-old Pygmy Nigerian Dwarf goats who suffered frostbite injuries when she was born.  We agreed but asked the owner to keep her with the mom for two additional weeks so she could continue to nurse.  We then asked if there was a goat they were retiring or another baby they would like to send with her for companionship.  The owner agreed and delivered Leilah, the handicapped goat, and her half-sister Chocolate to us on 3/11/23.

When Leilah arrived, the owner let us know she lost the bottom of both back feet.  Her legs were tightly bandaged, so we were unable to see the damage at that time. Both of the goats were extremely fearful, and Chocolate, who was able to run away from us, was so panicked she slammed into the fencing to avoid being touched. We decided to wait until the following day to remove Leilah’s bandages so she would not be overwhelmed on her first day. 

Removing the bandages was a difficult and slow process with surgical scissors.  After removing the first one we saw the damage was much more severe than we were led to believe.  A significant portion of her lower leg was missing.  As the second bandage was being removed, we could see a much smaller stump and found the lower section of her leg at the bottom of the bandage.

Over the next few weeks, we treated Leilah’s little stumps with an antiseptic spray to avoid infection. We sat with the two little goats and spoke to them in a soft voice until they became comfortable being touched. Socializing them and gaining their trust has been a long process but they now view people as friends.  Chocolate runs to visitors for attention and Leilah happily anticipates being picked up and will snuggle her face into your neck.

Initially Leilah was able to walk on her front legs, with both back stumps in the air. But within a month she had grown to the point that supporting her weight with just her two front legs was no longer possible.  We are using a dog wheelchair to allow her to walk around and graze with her sister, and her new friend Petunia.

Our plan is to give her prosthetics when she is grown so she can have full mobility.

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