This week’s #VermontShepherdess moment is about Puppy Pedicures! Only joking. Trilliam begs to differ that the pups were ‘helpful’ at all today!
Regularly scheduled hoof checks are an important part of healthcare with our Angora Goats, affectionately known as “The Muppets.” Some sources suggest every 4-6 weeks for hoof trims, some say longer, some say shorter, but it depends on so many variables that you can’t prescribe one for all.
We’re noticing that our Muppets are growing a lot of toe this past year. That means that we used to trim their feet every 3 – 5 months and now we’re trimming every 3-5 weeks to stay on top of them. The weather plays a factor, the ground they walk upon wears them or not, their nutrition contributes to more or less growth, genetics can make a difference – like I said, a lot of factors.
I can’t be sure why everyone’s toes are growing so much more this past year, and with that the Muppets are taking turns with maladies associated with the long toes. Miranda, who helps me on the farm from time to time, was getting the tools while I kept Trillium in a “chair hold” for her appointment today. I can’t easily hold the goats while trimming their hooves if they have tenderness, such as Trillium did today, so it’s great to have help.
Miranda trimmed her toes and then on her front left hoof, which I’d noticed was causing her to limp, we put a direct application of an antibiotic and gave her a dose of an anti-inflammatory to help reduce the swelling and pain associated with it. It wasn’t a bad abscess, but nonetheless she was limping and we didn’t want it to get worse. We’ll watch her over the next week to make sure she improves.
Other treatments we have tried with success have been to wrap the hoof after carefully cleaning and applying different ointments and remedies, from goopy-hoof-balms to sugar & Betadine soaks. There are as many ways to take care of sore hooves as there are farmers and veterinarians with experience caring for them. I’ve not heard the same recommendation twice. Ask your veterinarian for their advice and see if you can find an experienced hoof trimmer to help you learn the ropes if you’re new to hoof trimmin