Becoming Nurse Ratched


Post-unloading (by myself!) after taking Cookie Doe to the vet:

Yesterday started with driving an hour with my cousin to pick up Ross’s truck. If you’ll recall, dear readers, Ross left his truck here some month or so ago to have the engine rebuilt, which resulted in him taking my Explorer to Norfolk and leaving me with nothing to drive but the old stick shift pickup he’d signed over to me. Ross’s truck was ready. My cousin drove it back to his house after we arrived and I handed over Ross’s check to the engine man, and I went on to Ripley, the next town over, where there is a Tractor Supply.

And bought riding boots!

Yum! (Ariat, $89.99, recommended to me by horse trainer Mike Trader.)

Back to Cookie Doe, who has been poorly lately. Between two babies dragging on her resources and a case of worms, Cookie Doe was having a hard time bouncing back. I’m timid at doctoring and have a hard time making the call on medications, even though I keep a fairly well-stocked animal medical shelf. With the weekend coming on, I decided I’d better take her to the vet and get a professional involved. The vet determined that she needed a couple shots at the office, a couple more shots at home, and a five-day course of oral medication. Whew. Glad to have that taken out of my indecisive hands. (I’ll let you know how Cookie Doe’s doing.)


Uh, yes, yes, that’s what she said. And scampered out of the office. A technician came in and started doing the injections, chattering away about the injections I’d need to give her at home. She picked up the last injection.

I said, “I don’t know how to give shots. Well, maybe I can find someone to do it for me. I guess.” I cast about in my mind for the possibilities, who I could call upon to do this deed for me. Then I thought about hauling hay in the old stick shift pickup truck, driving the tractor around the barnyard, and riding a horse.

The technician picked up Cookie Doe’s leg, feeling about for a muscle. I made a split second decision, reached out, took the needle out of her hand, and grabbed Cookie Doe’s leg away from her.


Update: Checking on Cookie Doe first thing this morning–she is excellent, up and walking around the barnyard!


  1. Darlene in North GA says:

    Way to go, Suzanne!! You’re right, you CAN do it yourself. :snoopy:

  2. bonita says:

    The saying is “grabbing the bull by the horns,” not ‘grabbing the goat by the leg’..
    But. . . then there is ‘get ‘er done’. Good for you Suzanne.

  3. twiggityNDgoats says:

    Good job Suzanne. I don’t do intra-muscular shots often either but fortunately most goat shots are given sub-Q.which is much easier. Give Cookie Doe a hug from me.

  4. brookdale says:

    Good for you, Suzanne! Giving shots is scary.(Almost as bad as getting shots!) I had to do it for my little dog EVERY DAY for the rest of her life when she became diabetic.

  5. outbackfarm says:

    Good for you! I know that first shot is the hardest, but after that. it’s a piece of cake. You just need to know which way to do it. I like in the muscle. It’s so much easier than having to find enough skin on some of these guys to pull out to give a shot under the skin. It’s like the first time I had to cut off a chicken head. It took 30 minutes for me to get that hatchet down hard enough. Now I use a killing cone and a knife. No problem. And I just caught and wormed 9 ewes a few days ago. By myself! Not an easy thing to do. You are learning so many new things that you will be so glad to know. I sure wish I had a tractor. That’s probably going to be about the best piece of equipment, next to the hay elevator, that’s on your farm.

  6. Glenda says:

    Good for you! One more thing you can do by yourself. My first injection was in a sow that was confined in a farrowing crate. I bet I stood there l0 minutes before I could bring myself to plunge in that needle.

    You will soon be the ‘acting’ vet on your farm and will recognize signs and know what to do.

  7. lesliedgray says:

    Congratulations on your new ARIATS (not Lariats)…LOL! they are a good brand and very comfortable. Also, kudos to you for taking “the bull by the horns” and learning how to give Cookie Doe at shot.. I hope she is better soon.

  8. lattelady says:

    I also have, and love, my pair of Ariats. Great over the ankle motorcycle boot!

  9. wkf says:

    The TRACTOR and the horse were like pulling the plug on angst and self doubt!!! YOU GOT THIS!!!! BRAVO!!! :shimmy:

  10. CATRAY44 says:

    I think this is who you are, deep inside! (Stacy Westfall’s incredible freestyle ride on Roxy.) You are coming into your ‘own’!

  11. cabynfevr says:

    Poor Cookie Doe… I’m sorry she’s not well but I have to say I miss the posts of the old timers! They’re my favs. I just recently started giving shots too. CD&T to the goats and sheep 🙂
    You are truly becoming a farmer by leaps and bounds!! :snoopy:

  12. Murphala says:

    “Help? I don’t need no stinkin’ help! I’ll do it myself!” That would be the Inner Farmer making her appearance. Super! You made me smile today and inspired me. A twofer. This site is such a bargain! Have a wonderful day. 🙂

  13. NancyL says:

    Hooray for you – yet again!!! But I don’t think you should ever refer to yourself as Nurse Ratched – she was MEAN! You’re more of a Nurse Nightingale……

  14. FreedomValleyFarm says:

    What shots and other meds did the vet give Cookie Doe? I try do all my own animal shots, etc. I’m curious about what the vet would give in this situation. Glad she is doing better. You made the right call about taking her. A lady just told me yesterday that her nursing doe died from undiagnosed worms. I’m sure Cookie Doe will be fine now.

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Re the shots Cookie Doe got from the vet–Ivomec and dexamethasone. She hadn’t had her cd/t this year yet either, so they gave her that also. The two injections I’m giving at home are two more Ivomec shots. I’m also giving her a five-day course of Safeguard (oral).

  15. grammyscraps says:

    Good for you!!.. That first injection is the most difficult. Might I suggest for the injections that you give at home, since you are by yourself, that you put Cookie Doe (love that name) in the milk stand. Much less stressful for both of you. We did everything on the milkstand…trimmed hooves, injections and grooming. Better than chasing them around the barn or whatever. You are doing such a great job at this farming business and teaching us all a few things while you’re doing it.

  16. gardnerh says:

    I practiced giving injections on an orange when a friend asked me to watch his diabetic cat. Apparently, the skin of the orange feels the real thing. I don’t remember actually giving the cat a shot though.

  17. CarrieJ says:

    I’m glad she’s doing better! I know what you mean….my cat ate something (a bird from the looks of the aftermath) and it got stuck in his intestines. Couldn’t eat or drink for 10 DAYS. I had to give him nutrients from a tube and subcutaneous fluids from home. It was gross. But, he finally yacked it up on Tim’s side of the bed :).

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