Gandalf: I left my horns in Manchester, Vermont

This morning, Gandalf, our Shetland wether, woke up with a greatly reduced blood flow where his broken horn drooped from the side of his head.  The shine was in his eye again and the swelling was down around his upper cheek.  I could inspect him closely, cuddle him in his stall, without my stomach flipping.

My sheep vet showed up mid-morning and conferred over the situation, offering me suggestions.  I decided, after getting an estimate, that I liked the general anesthesia vet-office surgeryoption to remove his broken horn and wrap him with some gauze and tape.

Thankfully he is about 75 pounds and Dr. Treat, ever-faithful-friend-Kerry and I could carefully lift him into the truck for the 1/2 hour ride north.

When Gandalf and I arrived at the small animal hospital in Manchester, Vermont by noontime, the doggy-dentals were finishing and all of the pups, in various stages of waking up, were rehab-ing in their kennels around us.  I was furnished with a rolling stool (Yee-ha!) and Gandalf considered the option to go into a kennel or stay in his crate while we waited.  He chose to stay in his crate.  No kidding.

Decisions: Crate or Kennel?

Decisions: Crate or Kennel?

Two cats, Murphy & FatCat, that were thrilled to have our attention, mewed & purred  against their metal bars while I stroked them, avoiding their little love-bites when they felt inclined.

Murphy, the bored kennel kitty, curious about a sheep

Murphy, the bored kennel kitty, curious about a sheep

At last it was time for Gandalf to have his surgery.  I ended up opting for having both horns removed.  His remaining horn had a split in it and was weak looking.  All I could think of was if he ended up in this same situation in the future, I’d be kicking myself to Saratoga and back.  I also opted to decline sitting in on his surgery because it occurred to me that what had me so anxious was my attachment to him.  I had so much emotion going into it, I think I might’ve been a first-class hindrance by second guessing or questioning the doctor during the procedure.  I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been helpful.  Maybe another time.

Gandalf was a great patient and woke up at the end, agreeable to his new Team Blue headgear.  There is some bleeding where he was disbudded, but it’s not oozing.  He’s on the road to wellness.  We’ll change his bandages in a day or so, watch him to make sure he doesn’t irritate/rub the area and re-open the wounds after they clot, and in 6 weeks or so, he’ll be able to join the others again.  I’m pretty sure I don’t want to chance him opening the wounds before they’re entirely healed over so I’m playing it safe.

Home, sweet, home.  I’ve got one more package of that Hibiscus Tea to have tonight for my blood pressure.  Looking forward to a few boring days in the barn again, please.

Gandalf sports the colors of Team Blue for his headgear while he rehabs at home

Gandalf sports the colors of Team Blue for his headgear while he rehabs at home


Happy for a bit of supper

10 responses to “Gandalf: I left my horns in Manchester, Vermont

  1. You’re a good and responsible farmer and I’m sure that Gandalf is appreciative of all of your care, concern, and efforts. [I bet you’re feeling a whole lot better too.] Joanna and I have been looking forward to hearing how this resolved … we’re glad you can now put this behind you. By the way … the dressing is quite stylish! D PS: I’ll bet you sleep well tonight!

  2. See how well it turned out! My only critique, buy some hot pink vet wrap and cut out some little hearts to stick onto his head gear….let him be festive this valentines day! 😛 haha.
    Good to see he is doing so well!

    • Yes! Pink hearts! The tech that wrapped him after his surgery was going to wrap him with hot pink tape, then she changed her mind because she worried he’d become the “butt” of more jokes in the barn 🙂
      Thanks for the positive words!

  3. All is well that ends well! A happy sheep, well is a happy sheep! You were both very brave, we are proud of you here at Julie’s Daycare and can’t wait to see you both again in the Spring!

    • Thanks, Julie! Yes, I hope you and the littles will come back! There’s likely to be a lot going on, as usual. This spring I’ll have geese as a new addition to the poultry flocks! And lambs are due! Thanks for the kind follow-up. I learned so much.

  4. Oh, honey, I am so glad that Gandalf is returned! I nod throughout both of your posts. Been there, figuratively speaking, a million times. We learn by going where we need to go. Thanks for sharing your struggle, your triumph, and thus inspiring me.

    • Thanks, Curtiss Ann! It really surprised me to have so much support from our Wing and a Prayer fam/fans. Once, a friend told me she thought I should share more re:the bad times. I just don’t go around thinking in those terms and really try to minimize the struggles of farming & etc. because it’s so hard on me when I do go through it. I don’t like to “take everyone else down with me!” But I guess it has a way of helping others when you share these times.
      SO appreciative of you taking the time to call on me, think of me.
      Hope you have a wonderful Thursday, wonderful weekend ahead. The forecast around here is 8-14″ of snowfall, starting tonight 🙂 I’ll hopefully have some beautiful pictures to share this weekend.

      • I know the heavy snow storm may take a toll, too, but always, always we are given, too. Snow means moisture for the spring! We got probably 2 inches of rain overnight, praising God!

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