Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Goat Allergy?? Are You Serious??

If you do not care about my personal drama, not continue reading.  If you have no interest in the fact that I am a milk maid and it has come to my attention that I have a goat allergy, read a different post.  Seriously.  Because in this post, I intend to rant.  And scream.  And maybe even stomp my feet.  And cross my arms.  Heck, I might even do something crazy...  like, go to bed without washing my face and putting on moisturizer.....or mismatch all the socks when I fold laundry...

You're still here.   I tried to tell you....but, since you won't listen...well, it serves you right.

It all started about three and a half weeks ago.  Well, no...that's not quite right.  Thing is, it began way back in the year ------  dang it, I don't know the year.  I hate it when that happens.  You see?  I'm already ranting and I have not yet hit on the thing that has my knickers in a knot.  That just goes to show you how irritated I am.  By the way, there is still time to turn back.  You really don't have to get sucked into my drama...

Okay, about five or six years ago, we bought our first goat.  A Nigerian Dwarf.  (Because we wanted a small milk goat and had heard that these were good, small milkers... can I just say if you can't milk a straw, don't try to milk a Nigerian Dwarf...I'm done now...) I noticed when I held her that I got these welts on my skin that itched.  Curious.  Okay...I shrugged it off as simply the hair irritating my skin a little.  This has continued to happen since that time with different goats.  But, it's been minor.  Mostly on my arms or hands.  Never anything major.  And truly, I don't think it happened with every single goat.

Then my new baby goat, Shivers, was born.  I helped him into this world.  Heck, he probably wouldn't have been born had I not gave that little tug on his head and made sure his mouth was cleaned out.  I mean, that was major...that was like ...Nevermind.  We all know his mother could've done it without me.  I guess...
When Shivers was a couple of days old, I was holding him and since he was *shivering* I held him up under my chin and was snuggling him.  He was so cute...and soft...and my sweet little goat.  Ahhhhhh....
I returned to the house and was going about my business when I started sneezing uncontrollably.  My head got all congested, my nose stopped up, and then....  **THEN** I noticed that my eyes were swelling.  OH THE HORROR!  At the corners...  my bottom lid was puffing up and meeting the likewise puffed up top lid.  Freaky.  I immediately panicked, of course.  How could I google WebMD and read about all the symptoms and possible outcomes that I was going to experience?  WebMD really comes in handy when you have a symptom.  I mean, truly...I'm relatively sure, based on my various symptoms, that I have had at least two heart attacks and a severely enlarged prostate.  (*smile*)
Anyway, my BFF, my sidekick... the one who knows so much dirt on me I'll have to be her friend forever and ever....quickly suggested that I take Benadryl. Oh.  Yeah.  Good thinking!  That's way better than amputation.  Whew...  So, I took the Benadryl and was subsequently knocked out for a bit but when I came to, I realized that contrary to free internet medical advice, I was going to live after all. 
Around this time, I got a cold....or some sinus stuff ...or something going on.  I took cold medicine, Mucinex, allergy medicine, grandma's hard liquor...  whatever I thought would work.  Only nothing did.  I was congested, my chest was tight, I was constantly coughing, and my energy level was dropping faster than bad guys in a Bruce Lee movie.  So, I got fed up, darn it.  And I went to the doctor.

She opened her mouth and said, "You have ...."

"Yes" I said, "...a respiratory infection..which is being aggravated by my goat."  (Remember, I've read WebMD....I'm practically a licensed medical professional.  I have four kids.  That's on the job training, right?)

She rolled her eyes at me.  No. You have a goat allergy. Period.

Dang it.

And then I told her about the swollen eye episode.

And that is where the allergy specialist was mentioned.  Dang again.

And then she said anaphylactic shock.  DANG.

So, I now have an inhaler...allergy meds...and a scheduled visit with an allergist near the end of the month.  Which annoys me, if you must know.  I mean, dang!  I'm a milk maid.  I milk the goat.  It's what I do.  I have goats.  How in tarnation can I be allergic to goats?  Well, I told her right then and there, that I would not be selling my milk goat.  I argued with her to give me a different diagnosis.  She was firm.

So, now you are a part of my personal drama.  You are obligated to see this thing through.  I won't let you walk away now.  If I am forced to have an allergy, well, then you're going to have to listen to me rant about it.


  1. Michelle, I'm so sorry for your plight. Please keep us informed. I didn't know anyone could be allergic to goats.

  2. Thank you, Carol! Hopefully, I will find a way to manage it and still be able to be around my goats..

  3. YAY, I was mentioned in a blog!!!! you are hilarious!!! Just what I needed, to decompress after a long day of grad work!!!!!

  4. Reading this old post and smiled... I've had goats and pony for 10 years with no problems. Most recently we are down to our pony and I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. I developed allergies to the pony! Red, itchy, swollen eyes, sneezing to the point I thought I'd have to pull over the van, itchy palate, congestion and a bit of cough. Hey, Sneezing=closed eyes=dangerous driver. Up to 10 times in a row. Just enough to catch your breath..Brace those lower pelvic muscles too because these sneezes are full out blow your sinus clean type of sneezes. Anyhow, we just added 4 pygmies to the mix yesterday and I must add I am a sucker for punishment. Time to pick up Benadryl and maybe some Claritin. Ugh, I just hope I don't start reacting to my dogs because that would be so tough... Did your allergy stabilize, did you chose to continually medicate or get rid of the goats? Hey I'm at the point that I'm training my kids in case I can't get close to the animals. I'll supervise from a distance. Ugh!

    1. You are the first person I've heard with the same story! I am so sorry to hear of your experience.
      I was hoping my allergies would stabilize. I continued to milk my goat and just not have a lot of contact with her and refrain from drinking the milk. She ended up dying while kidding ..almost broke my heart. :( Due to bottle feeding the baby, I was having a lot of issues. I was put on allergy meds in the morning and an asthma pill...and an allergy pill at night. I didn't break out in hives anymore unless I touched the goat a lot, but I did still have some of the itching, tight chest feeling.
      After my milk goat died and the baby got old enough to finish bottle feeding, I mostly left the animal feeding to my boys...until this year. In the fall, we bought a new buck and decided to breed my two does so we could start back up with goat milking.
      I started allergy shots in the spring of 2013 (at the suggestion of my allergy dr) because I was continuing to get upper respiratory infections. The only thing that helps is prednisone. I am not very fond of being on steroids a couple of times a year. I was told it would probably be a year or so before I noticed any difference. I really don't know if I can tell a difference or not. I still had to take prednisone over the winter... and I still have allergy issues.
      One of my does kidded Monday and I was so excited to get started milking! The baby is sooo cute (planning to actually blog about that at some point ...I am failing miserably keeping up with it). I didn't even pick the baby up and snuggle it because at this point, I know better. However, I cleaned the hay out of the stall, put in fresh, and attempted milking the side the baby isn't nursing on and my eyes become very itchy, my arm broke out, I started sneezing, and my chest got so tight I had to use my inhaler just to walk to the goats. I was NOT excited. The nurse at my allergy dr told me to take an extra allergy pill because I was getting overexposure and to stay away from the goats and take it easy. It is SO frustrating!!!!! I may be able to milk, but any handling of the goats I won't be able to do. I also wont' be able to drink the milk. My other doe should kid any time and looks as though she could have twins. I won't be able to hold them either. I love having goats and I love milking... there's just something so therapeutic about it...but, having them and not being able to do anything with them is so frustrating. I was putting the clothes in the wash that my kids wore while touching the goats and didn't think about it. My eyes itched the rest of the night. Since my exposure to the goats has increased, I have been so unbelievably tired! I really am not a sit down and fall asleep kind of person, but today, I walked in the door from errands, sat down, and abruptly fell asleep.
      Maybe your experience will be different...I don't know. But, I am on shots once a week, allegra and asthma med in the morning and cetirizine at night.. plus, additional allegra or benadryl if I'm around them much. It's ridiculous.
      I'm not sure what to do at this point. I hate not to have involvement with my own farm animals, but I hate not to have them either! What are your thoughts?

    2. A couple of months ago, My husband decided to become a goat rancher. So far, we have about 65 head. I'm beginning to wonder if I'm allergic. I haven't had welts or rashes, but have had a long bout with a "cold" which I diagnosed as a sinus infection, and finally got an antibiotic. I feel better, but still feel as though I'm not breathing like I should and am feeling very tired. I appreciate this article, because I was starting to wonder if it all had anything to do with the goats. We live in southern Arizona and it is also dry and dusty. I'm sure that doesn't help. Will keep track of it, and if it gets worse, I will definitely go to an allergy specialist. Sigh. I really like the baby goats!

  5. ps I homeschool my 7 year old and she loves researching the goat care. Hmm she wrote texts to her dad this AM so that should cover reading/writing for today lol...Actually nice here in New Brunswick Canada so going to enjoy the 10 degrees Celsius while it lasts... Also I am a pharmacist and I am not keen on going on all those meds either!?! Double ugh!

    1. That TOTALLY counts as school for the day!! It has been so nice in North Carolina, USA. Very warm ...I LOVE the sun!
      I'm not really big on being on so many meds. It's completely un-farmgirl-ish :)

  6. Oh my goodness, I'm gonna cry. I have 2 adorable kid Nigerian dwarfs as well, have had them for 2 weeks now. I thought I was getting sick the day after I brought them home, swollen glands, sore throats, congested and no matter what I did to relieve my symptoms nothing worked! It's got to be my little babies. I'm so sad, I love these fellas, they are the friendliest, lap goats/pets ever!