Our last kid this year was a good-looking doeling out of my favorite milker. Because the milker is a proven good mom, I looked the doeling over for obvious conformation problems, checked gender and sucking reflex, and left her and mama to do their thing. It was extremely cold and windy for several days after the doeling was born, so they stayed in the (dark) barn.
The day I let the mamas out, I noticed the doeling squinting a bit. I made a note of it, but didn’t have a chance to go catch her to see if something was wrong. The next day, we decided to disbud her, and I finally got a good look at her in the sun.
Her one eye was milky, but not infected, crusted, or oozing. I thought, ‘oh, damn, she’s blind in one eye’, but did not worry too much about it, as we planned on keeping her anyhow. We had a disbudding iron malfunction, so she did not get disbudded that day.
Coincidentally, I read an article about a minor deformity in goats, where the eyelid turns under, causing the eyelashes to scratch the cornea, that very night. Sure enough, when I checked her the next day, this was exactly the problem. It really wasn’t obvious until I went looking for it, though, so I thought I should post up here about it, in case anyone else runs across it.
One solution is to take the goat in to the vet, who will put in a couple of stitches to turn the eyelid out properly, but with all the other vet emergencies we’ve had here this year, our vet budget is kind of gone. I searched the internet for another option. I actually found something that looked viable: superglue.
We held the doe down, and gently pulled the lower eyelid (the one causing the problems) until the lashes turned out and became visible. Then we put a bead of superglue a little further down her cheek, and touched the now-revealed eyelashes to the superglue (shockingly, I got very little on my own fingers, though I had worried about gluing myself to the goat). This leaves an uncomfortable-looking bit of inner-eyelid skin showing, but I am certain it is much better than having her eyeball scratched any more. We’re monitoring the situation, and so far, the glue is holding. Theoretically, by the time it wears off, the eyelid should be re-shaped, with no tendency to turn under. In practice, we’ll see what happens, but at least those eyelashes aren’t doing any further damage, and we now have a bit of breathing room to save up for a trip to the vet, if that turns out to be necessary.