Heartbreak

It has taken a couple of days to post about this, as the pain was very very raw. My favorite American Blue doe, Brat, passed away on Monday, July 20. She was a beautiful 10 lb doe with perfect confirmation. Not only that, but she reliably had a breeding record of producing 14 kits in her litters.

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She was due that night, and hopped into her nestbox around 4 pm. I thought she was giving birth. So I put hay into her cage, made sure she had water, and left her in peace.

An hour later, I came back around for feeding time, and heard her gasping and drooped over the nestbox, classic signs of heatstroke. I grabbed her and brought her inside and proceeded to cool her in a water bath, and cool her ears with a cold, damp cloth. After being inside for two hours, she was moving around a bit, managed to eat some grasses, and seemed to be on the road to recovery.

Well, she didn’t make the night. I was utterly heartbroken at my stupidity. How could I not recognize the difference between stress and birth? Why didn’t I spray her ears down to help her cool? It wasn’t that hot, but very humid. These were temps she had dealt with numerous times. Just never advancedly pregnant.

I don’t know why she wasn’t using her cold plate? It came out of the freezer that morning…. But it doesn’t matter. My choice to breed her caused her to die. Point blank. I feel like an ass for not recognizing her distress, and I am very grateful I gave her a strawberry to snack on as a treat with her ice cube. I couldn’t have loved her more.

I will miss you, Brat.

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