If you need me I’ll be in the dispensary…

Over a two-day period I watched my two new baby goslings become a bit less exuberant, less talkative, eat less and drink more.  By mid morning on the second day they were sleeping by their water bowl and dipping their heads over the edge to drink.

So I sat there being concerned, watching and listening, as any good goose mother would, and that’s when I heard it!

“snick”  breathe in, “snick”  breathe out.

Not wanting to believe what I was hearing I ran to the kitchen and turned off the dishwasher.  The house was now silent.  I tiptoed back to the babies sat down and really listened.

“snick”  breathe in, “snick”  breathe out…

and with the horror that any mother might feel the first time her baby gets sick, I ran to look up goose disease and treatment.  I read for an hour and could not make sense of it.  Too many diseases, too many similar symptoms and most requiring different medications and procedure.  So I called the vet.

The only avian vet in North Alabama who will treat farm birds is 47 miles away, and it would take me an hour to get there.  I called and they made me an appointment for 4:00 PM.

The Dr. examined them, did labs, and came back with the verdict:  Streptococcus (bacterial infection) and a severe yeast infection.  The yeast was from airborne moisture in their food causing it to spoil (the new bag is now being stored in the house to keep it dry).  We are uncertain as to exactly where they came into contact with the Strep.  So until they are well and their immune system is stronger they are strictly INSIDE.

So, now my day is filled with twice as many “Diaper changes”

And resultant laundry which must be hung outside to dry because my @#!%& dryer broke this week (more on that later)

So, I am dispensing two meds to the babies via an oral syringe, two times per day, one of which must be crushed and mixed with 5 ml of water.  Putting an oral syringe down a goose’s throat is an adventure.  Doing this, essentially, eight times a day is torture.  For all of us!  

 My guest bathroom has now been turned into

a dispensary for the next 10 days.

Cost for the vet?


I do it all for these little fellas…

And I hope they,

and I,

survive the ordeal.


Thank you all in advance for your prayers and well wishes for their recovery.  It means a lot to me.

35 thoughts on “If you need me I’ll be in the dispensary…

  1. Animalcouriers says:

    Wow – good luck! Very impressed that you managed to take them all that distance. We’re rooting for you and look forward to seeing the little guys out and about causing mayhem soon. Any chance of a video of the syringe thing?!

  2. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words says:

    Oh I am sending lots of prayers…
    I just lost a kitten from what started as a cold, her mom left them out in a rain storm, got toooo cold, and at first they were getting better, but the second one passed…
    you are a good mom…
    prayers sent!

  3. Promenade Claire says:

    Oh gosh it’s awful when are animals are taken ill, so yes I’ll be thinking of you and your babies. Such a gruelling time, they are so small to have to fight off infections. Let us know how it all goes

    • pixilated2 says:

      Thanks Claire! They seem to be very much more energetic today, though still a bit slow on their food intake! And yes, I will keep you posted on their progress. ~ L

  4. Anke says:

    The poor little guys. I’m so glad you found out what was causing it and are able to treat them. Hopefully they’ll be better soon!

    • pixilated2 says:

      Thank you Anke! They seem to be up and down today. I have to say, I don’t like it that since beginning the treatments with the oral syringes they are screaming in terror every time I put my hands into their pen now. It makes me sad. 😦
      ~ L

  5. magsx2 says:

    It is always so hard when our animals get sick, it always makes you feel sort of helpless. I hope they do get better soon, and good on you for doing the hard yards as well, I’m sure they realize that you are doing whatever you can to help them.

    • pixilated2 says:

      Thank you, and yes it does!
      One could only hope they do, but from the sounds of their chilling screams at the sight of my hands… well, I wonder? There is just no gentle way to do the deed, though I do try to be as careful as possible.
      ~ Lynda

  6. jmgoyder says:

    Once they get well, and they are sure to, with you and the drugs, they will probably be so attached to you that they will follow you everywhere and want to live in the house! Thinking of you and them and good luck! Please keep us posted.

  7. ceciliag says:

    It is true, you are the Mother Goose now!! Hope it works out. I often take out a little feed out of the bag and store the rest in a sealed container somewhere cold. They just don’t eat fast enough at that age and aren’t you good taking them to the vet. It will work out I am sure.. birds are so tough..I will pop back in and see how you are doing soon! c

    • pixilated2 says:

      Thank you Celi! I find myself wanting them to be instantly better, but it takes time I know. I am most worried about the little “snick” sound when they breathe. But then, lungs take even longer to clear I suppose. ~ L

  8. victoriaaphotography says:

    Poor little babies. I really feel for you as their ‘Mom’.
    I hope your love & care brings them through.
    Thinking of you….

  9. duck duck goose says:

    Yeah, it sounded like they might have had Limberneck from eating moldy feed. Immediately throw all moldy feed or bedding away when you see it or smell it.

    And arent avian Drs the hardest thing to come by? I have some at the University that I go to who are great. But it is usually at the autopsy stage of things for me 😦

    For my chickens with Limberneck I gave them epsome salts in water and isolated them from the others. Never thought it would work and totally assumed theyd die. Nope. It worked. Weird huh.

    Goslings are so sweet and responsive and loving and vocal that it is almost impossible for me to “put them down” here. I tear up every time I have to.

    Im so glad you caught this in time and I am sure they will bounce back as soon as the meds hit their system. If they are nothing else, geese are like cast iron in the bird world. And make sure to get enough rest yourself!

    Once they are back a bit, make sure you give them cut clover and melon and lettices etc… a % of fresh is always better for them than 100% crumble.

    battle on you Mother Goose ~

    • pixilated2 says:

      Thank you Connie! The first full day of dispensing meds was the worst. It is only two times a day, but because I have to deliver it by syringe, and the quantities involve three syringes full, well it is an ordeal. The syringes only hold 3 ml, one med is 3 and the other is 5 ml. Their little throats are so narrow you know? (well, of course you do 😉 ) Anyway, by last nights dosing time I was a mess. My stomach was in knots and I was hyperventilating. I am such a wuss… Bob had to help me hold the little squirmers, and that helped.

      I’m happy to report that I was much better today! Bob still helped with holding, but I was not so wrecked about the whole thing. 🙂
      ~ L

  10. shoreacres says:

    Oh, dear, oh my! I’ve been working myself silly and falling behind in my reading – never a good thing! I do hope things continue to improve.It’s scary when the animals get sick.

    The worst ever for me was when the squirrel ended up with a respiratory infection and bronchitis. You just can’t imagine… Well, maybe you can. He “snicked”, too. It is nerve-wracking, for sure.

    I live in dread of the day my kitty-cat requires treatment of any sort. She doesn’t even want to be picked up. The vet cowers when I bring her in. (Did I tell you this? I may have. Apologies if I did – my mind is mushy these days.)

    Just remember: this is EXPERIENCE! You’ll get better and better at doing these things, and we’ll all sit around and cheer you on in the process.

    • pixilated2 says:

      You are the sweetest, Linda! No, you never did tell me about the cat… poor vet! I’ve seen cats like that! 🙂 The gosling boys are so much better, and definitely need to be OUTSIDE! The bigger of the two is starting to bully the other in their cramped quarters. I have two more doses of antibiotic and then I can put them out. They are fully downed and about half feathered now. Plus the weather is good and warm. Because of their illness they are overdue for sunshine, swimming, and being outside. (Besides, I need a break from cleaning up after them and laundering their diapers/towels! It’s just been OH SO YUCKY! 😛
      ~ L
      PS: You are not alone in the behind in reading and I feel your pain. There have been a couple of days where I just emptied my email and winced!

    • pixilated2 says:

      I know there are some out there who must think me nuts to pay that much for two baby geese but they are living creatures and my pets. How could I do otherwise? Glad you agree! 😀
      ~ L

  11. Donna says:

    Oh no! I am just reading this. I hope they are well on the mend! I have forked out that kind of money on my pets–they are so worth it!

  12. littlesundog says:

    I’m trying to catch up reading and am sorry I wasn’t a part of the “positive vibes” going your way! Glad they are doing well! Spending that money on those little gems… you better believe it’s worth every penny!!

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