When All Else Fails

Try duct tape!

Seriously, that’s the lesson you learn pretty quickly on a farm. We bought a large bulk pack of it at Sam’s Club some time back, and I’m glad to never have a shortage.

It proved itself particularly handy a little over a week ago. About two weeks ago, Puddles the Goat Kid somehow managed to break her left rear leg, down close to the foot. I tried splinting and bandaging it, but the whole thing came off in fairly short order. She didn’t seem to be in a lot of pain, and was getting around well on three legs, but I didn’t want to leave the leg untreated.

So, a week ago Tuesday, I took her to the vet to have it done “right.” I figure we’ve spent enough time and effort (and milk) bottle-feeding her, we might as well invest a little more in getting her leg correctly set. Puddles was a huge hit in the waiting room, and got lots of attention from those with dogs and cats. It took a long time for the vet to get to her, but he splinted and bandaged her leg beautifully. I left his office confident that Puddles would heal nicely, and that our $60 was well spent.

And then, last Wednesday afternoon, the splint was off. Yes, the whole thing had simply slid off her leg. I took her and it back to the vet on Thursday, waited for a long time with lots of dog-and-cat people, and he re-splinted her leg but with more bandages and tape. And only charged me $10.

And, by 6pm, the whole thing had slid right back off her leg.

Rather than spend my Friday morning back at the vet’s office, I recruited one of the Yeoman Farm Children to help me splint Puddles’s leg myself. I’d watched the vet enough times now to understand the general principles — and watched Puddles lose the splint enough times to know I had to do something different as well.

And that something was DUCT TAPE. I splinted and bandaged the leg much as the vet had (fortunately, her leg was already starting to fuse, so it wasn’t necessary to align the bone). Then, I basically mummified the entire thing with duct tape — and didn’t stop at her knee. I kept wrapping her, all the way up to mid-thigh. “Just try slipping this thing off!” I told her, as she limped across the floor of my office.

Guess what? Nearly one full week later, the splint is still in place! This isn’t the greatest photo, but it was a dark corner of the barn and she was a perpetual motion machine (every time I knelt to take a picture, she’d rush toward me). But this gives some idea of what her leg looks like:

And Puddles is doing much better. She’s actually trying to rear up and place weight on both of her rear legs. I’ll keep it on her for the next week or so, to make sure it’s healed, but I’m very optimistic.

And now an even bigger believer in the power of duct tape.

2 thoughts on “When All Else Fails

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