Today the vets came and castrated Shiloh. This is not a picture of the actual act. It's a mule being castrated - the best I could do. I didn't have my camera handy or you might be seeing a video of poor little Shiloh's castration.
Before it all began I separated Shiloh from his mom just in case it upset her. It didn't. I put a rope around Shiloh's neck and held him so the vet could measure him to know how much he weighed and how much sedative to give him to calm him down. We let him relax and then she gave him the final drug to knock him out. We slowly lowered him to the ground. They checked his eyes for reactions to whatever it was they needed to know. Then they began.
What amazed me (well not really because I've had farm vets out here before. I should say "impressed me") is that one of the vets told me I could watch as much or as little as I wanted. A small animal vet (i.e. our dog's vet) would never let us watch. I asked these vets why and they explained about sterile conditions in the vet's office and how livestock aren't pets etc. It's a whole different ballgame. I have yet to meet a farm vet I didn't like. Both of the vets were women. One was the mentor of the other. They discussed the whole process as they went along. They included me the whole time and explained things as the process progressed. I learned where they went to vet school, why they chose livestock as their expertise and how hard or easy it was to find a job. I could tell they loved what they did.
As the one doctor was explaining what she was doing she grabbed the "emasculator" and the other vet said, "I like that, the name emasculator". A male vet would never have said that. Of course I watched the whole thing. It was much different than castrating my male goats.
Slowly Shiloh came out of his stupor. He stood and looked like a drunk sailor. Ok, a drunk donkey. I've never really seen a drunk sailor. We led him to his barn where he would recover. The vets told me what to watch for, heavy bleeding, signs of tetanus, etc. He also got tetanus and rabies shots while he was under anesthesia. For an hour or so he leaned on this post or had his head against the wall.
The vets hung around a bit to make sure Shiloh was ok. In the meantime they watched baby goats. Finally one of them said, "We can't watch baby goats all day. We need to go."
I hope Shiloh is feeling a lot better tomorrow. They told me it might take up to a week till he was back to normal.