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Gandalf: I left my horns in Manchester, Vermont

animals Farm Gandalf Health Hibiscus tea Hobbit Horn medicine nature Shepherd Shetland Shetland Sheep transportation Vermont Veterinarian

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
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Happy for a bit of supper

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