Dang me! It has been a rough week for our boy, Pistol. As a matter of fact, it’s been a bit of a bumpy life, but he is coming out a winner. Unlike his namesake in the ’60’s country song, “Dang Me,” Pistol was not the seventh son, but the single son of 2072, a triplet daughter of one of our best ewes ever, the legendary Shorty. Back in March when he was born, we accidentally banded him (a rubber band on the scrotum at 3 days of age for a bloodless castration), and shortly afterward, when entering the date in my records, I said “Oh NO! he was the ram I wanted to save for breeding!” My cousin Linda grabbed the toenail cutters and said, “How long ago did we band him?” I said 20 minutes, and we ran back to the barn with the toenail cutters and cut the band. He grew into a handsome (and well-hung) boy, but we couldn’t be sure none of the tubes were affected by his almost-castration, so this past Monday I took him to Cotati Large Animal Clinic, where Dr Dotti collected a semen sample. To our great relief, it was full of active and very normal-looking sperm! Yay! Lisa had named him Pistol so his children could say, “My daddy was a pistol and I”m a son of a gun!” (a line from the aforementioned song) and it looked like we would have some sons of this gun. Then this morning after I had fed the lambs, I returned to the pasture to give a shot to one of the lambs, and there was Pistol, bleeding profusely from a small cut on his foreleg. There was a shocking amount of blood and it was actually spurting whenever he walked. Minor cut; major blood vessel. I got Melinda and we bandaged it tightly. At first the blood was seeping through the bandage so fast we were discouraged, but eventually it stopped. This afternoon we changed the bandage, perhaps mistakenly, and the bleeding began again in earnest and we couldn’t stop it. I called the emergency line at Cotati, and Dr Wirz instructed me how to bandage it tightly but without danger of damaging the extremity, by using a thick padding under the bandage. It was a howling gale in Marshall tonight so we brought Pistol into the barn with Lambert as a companion, put them the hospital stall, and bandaged Pistol TIGHT, following Dr Wirz’s instructions. Pistol was mellow; Lambert was a COMPLETE drama-queen, VERY unhappy with being cooped up with Pistol and threatening to jump out of the stall. But when I went back to check this evening all was peaceful.

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