Today was an interesting day.
Last week it became clear that one of Draga's lambs (the one named Sol by Amy) was not doing well. I pulled out my sheep books and began to administer all manner of 'cures' but to no avail. On Saturday evening, he collapsed and had a seizure right after going pee. I thought he would die but he didn't. He never got up again on his own but he lived until sometime last night. I continued to administer to him faithfully and hopefully. All the while continuing to read voraciously in my books and online for some clue, some clear answer. More than anything I wished I just KNEW more. I wish I was trained as a vet so I could have some clear idea of exactly what to do.
Then when I found him this morning and Dean and I lifted him out of the sheep shed, I decided that I would do a 'post mortem' to see if I could determine the cause of death. So later, after Dean was at work, I put my knife to his belly and cut him open. Arguably one of the hardest things I have ever done The minute I pushed the knife in, pee gushed out and it gushed and gushed and gushed and gushed. He had a urinary calculi (urinary stones) that had blocked his urethra. He died from his bladder rupturing. All the reading I have done since, seems to indicate that there was nothing that could have been done to save him once had had the stones and it became lodged. He doesn't fit any of the criteria for a sheep likely to get stones. It was just a freak thing. A metabolic disease. And somehow that makes me feel so much better.
I went through so much during this week of tending to a sick lamb. My first reaction was to berate myself for my ignorance and my inadequacies - to blame myself. Which made me feel almost desperate to 'fix' him. I processed and wrote and prayed and contemplated. And gradually I came to an entirely different place. And when he died, although of course, I felt bad, I was okay, too. And I accept that this is the way that he needed to die. And once I discovered that he was not diseased, I decided that I would feed him to the dogs. So I set about butchering him. After all, its not that different from a chicken, is it? It was hard and unpleasant but it was also exhilarating that I could actually make myself do it. I still don't think I could kill a lamb but maybe I'm getting closer...
6 hours ago