Question--we recently bought back a nubian doe that we had sold as a baby, one I didn't want to sell. The man we sold her to tried to remove her horns himself. One was successful and the other not so successful. My question is, what is a safe way to remove the other horn? To me removal of horns is a personal preference, but we would prefer both off or both on. Any suggestions?
Paul, please put your location in your signature line or under your avatar--that will help.
Various methods... banding them--I have no experience w/that, but some here do. Believe it's most successful w/in the first year, and the head won't be smooth, but won't grow.
If it's a large scur, and not a real horn, per se, you can cut it (wire saw, or even sterilized nippers, depending on its size), and cauterize bleeding tissue w/a disbudding iron. It may continue to grow, however, and would have to be repeated. Wouldn't cut too much off at once, just b/c of the bleeding issue.
Surgical removal-- TX A&M does a procedure where they close the hole w/skin. Other vets would cut a hole through the skull, removing horn & skull tissue, and not close it over w/skin. (unless maybe you could get them to consult w/A&M and try a new-to-them procedure?) This leaves a hole right down into the sinus cavity. I had it done on both of my bucks, and it's pretty ugly until it heals. Like any open wound, there is danger of infection, and you don't want to do it during fly season. Maggots-yuk.
I'm a big wuss about disbudding even, and an older animal is just no fun at all to inflict pain upon, so I like vet methods, because 1. they involve sedation, and 2. I don't have to be the bad guy!
Glad to see you post a question..........and yes.....please add Alabama somewhere on the avatar, or down by your name on the sig line. It really helps some of these old timer's give you better answers, as where you live may pose a little different problem when dealing with a situation.
On your doe......without surgery to remove it all, it will usually keep growing no matter what you do. IMO - a botched horn job is always gonna be a botched horn job... that's why it's so important to get it done right and while these things are still just baby's. I'm sure you will get a few other ideas other than what has done been written already.......maybe you'll figure something out.
Hmmmm.....just thinking......There is a chance that Auburn U might would take a look at this for you, but I'm not sure who is down there at the dairy barn any more.
Edited........just thinking some more. You are up there not too far from Snead Tech College now, where they were teaching Vet tech's. You should ask them if they could give you a hand in this.....maybe as a student project......otherwise I would get that vet that you use to help you with this thing. You most likely will have a bleeding issue to deal with if you choose to saw.
Actually this post is by Mrs. Paul--we were told that we may want to wait until October or November before we did anything to avoid any problems that may be caused by flies. Is this true? This goat is special,comes from great milk producers and is a great pet,too. We just do not want to mess up ( me more than anyone).
Yes, definitely wait until then, if you can. Have you found a vet that will do it? I'd really recommend you ask them if they can do the procedure that TX A&M does. It's not so much of a concern with that way, because everything is closed.
I hesitate to say this, just b/c of what a dunce I was, but... If you want to read more about what to anticipate after the horn removal, w/the sinus cavity left open, do a search on here for "open sinus cavity". You can read the whole shebang of my saga with this. Please ignore my posts, as I was a wreck, in more ways than one! (I'd go back and modify them if I could!) I got lots of great advise, though. Folks also helped me know what to expect--what was normal, what needed attention, etc. It was a pretty scary experience for a newby like me!
We have banded and it is effective. Not that big of a deal if you get in placed correctly. The only trouble you may have is the horn being knocked off before the blood supply has been closed off and you will have a messy looking goat. You would need to cauterize if that happened but it is really not a big deal.
The problem most people have is that they do not place it below the horn onto the horn bed because you have to cut the skin to do that. This is the only way it does not re-grow. We have been able to produce smooth heads with cutting the skin and placing the band IN the wound ( with disinfectant of course) and then twisting a soft wire above the band to keep them from rolling it off when it starts itching.
If you look at the photo of band placement on the article that got everyone started doing this- The band placement is fake. They have shaved but not cut. IF you are supposed to place the band there it requires cutting into the skin and most people are too squeamish to do that altho it is actually not a big deal.
Check this link and you will see what I mean about band placement. That band will not cut into the skin but just roll off onto the horn and be positioned so that it cuts the horn off but does not kill the blood supply.
Best Luck with whatever you do. We had 2 inch blunt scurs from placing the band above the skin. Smooth heads from cutting into the skin. And yes- do it in cold weather if possible. The best results are under 1 year old. It takes quite a long time because the skull is growing bone to close the channel to the sinus cavity.
Answer to some of your questions-our goat is a 17month Nubian doe. As far as pictures, I am not that smart with computers,my son tried to teach me, but.......One horn has been completly removed and the other is about two inches long. We are not going to try to saw it off, too scared. We did consider banding.
Thanks to everyone who replied back. Nice to here from people who know what they are talking about.
Don't feel bad Robin......my son tries with me too. Seems I have some internal wiring problems somewhere .
It just dawned on me which doe you're talking about....if it is, yep, her mother was and still is a nice milker. That gal I sold her to thinks the sun rises and sets on her. Maybe you'll figure something out with the horn.