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It’s Not Always Bunnies and Rainbows

January 24, 2011

Sometimes, life on the farm takes a hard, unexpected turn. Lambing time is fraught with risk–newborns are fragile; I know this and prepare as well as I can. Weather changes are something that can be anticipated and dealt with to a certain extent, if one believes the medium to long-range forecasts. But the sight that greeted me this morning is one I have not seen in the thirteen years since I added the Maremma livestock guardian dogs to our farm: today I found our prized yearling ram, Knoxville, was the victim of a predator attack. I don’t know when it happened or whether it was a dog or a coyote, but he was in dire shape when I found him. His left ear was gone, a good chunk of his hide was missing, and the left side of his face and neck had the skin ripped off. I immediately called the OSU Large Animal Vet Hospital and told them what had happened and that I was on my way.

Drs. Simpson and Genova from OSU work on Knoxville's wounds

He was already going into shock when I found him, but because it was so cold, he had not lost a lot of blood. The doctors and 4th year student worked on him for over three hours, and he was able to stand later and is eating, both good signs.

He immediately started munching the alfalfa 🙂

I deliberately left out the most graphic nature of his injuries in the photos I snapped. His prognosis is better than 50%, but the risk of infection is high, and we don’t know how just how severely functions like chewing and salivating are compromised. For now, he is in the capable care of the veterinarians and students at OSU. I’ll post updates as I have them, but we sure would appreciate prayers and good energies sent his way. He’s a tough nut, but he has a hard road ahead.

I’m too numb from all of this to write more, but I promise to share some thoughts later this week. Thanks for all of your support.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. January 24, 2011 10:58 pm

    Oh my gosh! This is terrible. You know I have ask – have you seen any areas where wild pigs may have been tearing up the turf?

    Poor little fella. I’ll keep you all in my thoughts.

  2. January 25, 2011 6:03 am

    Ah, Nanc! I’m so sorry! Knoxville and you all are in my thoughts and prayers. It’s amazing that he survived and that you found him in time. I can only imagine what it was like to see him like that.

  3. January 25, 2011 6:04 am

    Surely that OSU orange on his leg will bring him seriously good energy! 🙂

  4. Gailynn permalink
    January 25, 2011 9:55 pm

    Sending lots of prayers and good energy to you two. Mercy.

  5. January 26, 2011 2:20 pm

    Oh, poor thing. Is it a good sign that he wanted to eat?

  6. January 26, 2011 9:45 pm

    Hey y’all thanks for all your support. Tricia, it’s a *great* sign that he is eating. He is doing very well, all things considered. Linda, we were laughing when the vet wrapped his leg, calling it “Tennessee Orange,” since he is from there 🙂 Denise, no signs of pigs (knock wood).

  7. March 8, 2011 1:32 pm

    How did I not see this post? I’m so sorry, Nancy…ugh. Double ugh. Poor baby. It’s now March…did he survive?

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