Jesus the three legged goat kid

Goats are well known for their mischievous and playful personalities. However, as is the case with most young animals, goat kids will often push the limits of what they can climb and jump off.

Why the name Jesus?

His owners bought two adult goats as part of their smallholding. One morning they were told by a neighbour that there were goat kids in the paddock. After dismissing it they went out to check and found two little goat kids in the manger. Each goat had given birth to a kid overnight unexpectedly, so they were named Mary and Jesus.

The challenge of treating a month old kid!

We first met one-month-old Jesus when he took a tumble while playing and ended up breaking one of his hind legs. The owners approached Avon Farm Vets for assistance (and we aren’t strangers to treating broken and dislocated limbs), so as to put on a cast to stabilise the break while it heals (as with humans). But you try telling a one month old goat to rest up!

Under sedation the break was set, and the leg put in a cast. With lots of pain relief and regular cast changes we had hoped the leg would heal. Unfortunately despite fixing the original break he developed serious pressure sores all over the area in the cast, leading to further dressing and pain relief. By the time he was four months old, it became apparent that the area of sores over his pastern had broken into the joint, putting him at risk of serious infection and further pain.

Difficult decisions

At this point we had a difficult decision to make. The risk of infection from the sores over the joint and the difficulty we had managing his pain meant that he was close to being put to sleep to prevent suffering. Another option was to amputate the leg.

Amputations are often carried out in small animal practice and can be hugely successful in removing pain and extending a pet's active life. Although not often seen in farm animals.

After discussing the pros and cons with Jesus’ owners they decided to go ahead with the amputation. One evening, with the help of our local small animal hospital, we admitted Jesus to remove the leg.

He stayed overnight with our on-call vet and was up and eating again within hours of the surgery. He started with a few wobbles but quickly got the hang of being able to run round without picking up his broken leg.

Three legs and happy!

We are now a month post-surgery, and he has a new lease of life on three legs. He has slowly built up his exercise from box rest to spending his time fully with the other goats back to their usual antics of testing the limits of the electric fencing and planning escapes.


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