The first event happened in the evening just as I was headed to the ranch where my goats are being boarded. I get a text from the girl that lives there asking if I can go help her horse trainer with a goat that's in labor, I say "sure" and turn the truck around and head over there. I get there and immediately see the goat in labor and everyone standing around in her pen. No one is doing anything, so I ask for the iodine so I can clean up and go in. I get in there and feel a head, but the baby is obviously dead. I pull the head into the birth canal and pull. Doesn't budge an inch. I push the baby back in and find a leg, pull the leg into the birth canal and get the head positioned again and pull. Nothing. Baby is so stuck! I tug and tug and I just cannot get this big baby past the pelvic bones. I keep searching for the other leg but I just can't find it. I ask the other lady that showed up the same time I did if she wants to try, and she does, but she couldn't do any better than me. Finally I determine that this goat is going to need a c-section, the baby is just too big to come out. This was a Friday evening about 8 pm. I call the two local vets I know that DO do goats, but neither is available. We then spend close to 45 minutes calling every vet, emergency room, equine specialist, and large animal vet that we can think of. Nothing. No one is available. We are located in San Diego and call as far away as Corona trying to find a vet. They are all out on vacation, or unavailable, or don't do goats. After literally the 18th vet we call we FINALLY find one that does do goats, and so the loaded her up and rushed her off for a c-section. The baby didn't make it, but fortunately the doe made a full recovery.
The second event happened within my own herd. We attended and participated in a goat show, where, as we came to find out, almost every herd that went, got sick from. It was just the local "goat cold" going around, snotty nose, congested lungs, and a little off. It's usually not a big deal, but we had just recently finished our kidding season, and thus had lots of little babies running around. So, bad luck kicks in, and of course the goat cold comes home with us from the show, and goes through our goats. It's not a big deal for the adults and yearlings, but the babies come down with it too, and I start treating them with penicillin but it doesn't help. The colds turn into pneumonia on a couple babies, so I call all the vets I can think of, but no has time to see me. The normal vet that I usually see doesn't come to my area and doesn't have time for me to bring one in. I've tried multiple times to get ahold of them over the last few weeks and they are either unavailable or don't call me back. I give up on that one. I think I'm going to lose two babies, but fortunately I get a hold of another goat breeder, a good friend of mine, and she tells me to treat with Nuflor and Banamine, and lets me borrow her bottle of Nuflor. I am SO thankful because I was NOT able to get a hold of a single vet that could sell it to me. Fortunately, I treated the sickest babies and ALL pulled through and got healthy again! The cold worked it's way through most of the new babies, and bigger babies and then fizzled out. Thank god for other breeder friends!
Point of this post is to reiterate JUST how hard it is to find a goat vet here. There's only about 2 or 3 that I know of that even work on goats, and two of those are too far away from me to come to the farm. I've made a herd visit appointment to hopefully develop a relationship with the third, it's SO important to have a vet I can count on available to go to when I need help. <3
Update: 2 years later I still don't have a "goat specific" vet, but my horse vet has been helping me out when needed, and I have heard that a place called East County Large Animal Practice (ECLAP) has started seeing goats.