Broken Goat Horn
Written by Administrator-GL   
Monday, 28 May 2007

Goat with Broken Horn by goatlady

When a Goat Breaks a Horn and How to Wrap it

If you have goats with horns there may come a time when a bad accident happens and they break off a horn right at the skull. I hope it never happens to you because not only is it scary but very dangerous as the horn attachment is connected to the frontal sinus cavity which is very close to the frontal lobe of the brain.

Last week one of my full grown bucks, Oreo, Broke his horn and I still don't know how he did it- I just know I was feeding and saw blood on the other bucks and went looking for who was bleeding when I saw his head and face literally covered in blood - arterial blood shooting out of the top of his head and a puddle of spent blood approx 2 ft in diameter on the ground. Needless to say I freaked!
I ran to the house, grabbed a roll of paper towels, the jar of cayenne pepper and some duct tape (I didn't stop to think of VetWrap at the time). Once I got hold of him (He was pretty freaked out too and I didn't want to chase him and make his heart pump any more than it was as he was losing a dangerous amount of blood as it was.

Once I got a hold of him and backed his butt up to the fence for extra support and so he has no where to go while I worked on him, my main concern was to stop the bleeding.. I dumped half a full container of cayenne pepper on his open sinus cavity and the bleeding began to slow down. I gathered up some white paper towels and filled the hold (which was about the size of a small orange) I then wrapped the duct tape around his head, under his chin and around the other horn for sturdiness. I moved him to the front goat yard to keep a closer eye on him, gave him a tetanus anti toxin injection as well as an injection of antibiotic- and prayed. Unfortunately I did not have the time to grab the camera (I wish I could have gotten some decent photos of this so you could see how bad it can be when a goat breaks a horn this close to the skull.)

Warning: The photos that follow are mildly graphic 

He was a bit quiet that evening, and I really did not know if he had lost too much blood to survive but we got lucky! By the next morning he was acting almost normal. I put him on a series of antibiotic injections but left the wrap on his head for a few days- The weather had warmed up and with the wet ground, the flies were dangerous to this type of injury so I didn't want to make things worse by opening up the bandages.

Today I took off the original bandages so I could estimate the damage and clean the area and replace the old bandages. I really didn't know what to expect as I carefully removed the old wrap.
I moved Oreo out of the goat yard and tied him to a fence post in the driveway. I Carefully removed the bandages and I was happy to see that there was very little infection (considering I had not originally bandaged this in very careful or sterile conditions), there were no maggots and no bleeding. The old paper towels had begun to disintegrate and there was some odor, but really it was much cleaner than I expected.

I put some screw worm spray on the wound just in case and waited- no maggots surfaced from the cavity. I sprayed with a good coat of Furall Spray allowed it to dry, sprayed it again. I then placed a 4x4 gauze pad coated with Neosporin ointment directly on the open wound, covered it with a few folded clean paper towels and bandaged it back up with Vet Wrap.
Oreo was really a good boy during all of this - he got another Tetanus Anti toxin shot and more injected antibiotics- a cookie and a kiss on he was back in the goat yard.. Whew!


This is how I found the inside of the bandaged area- No real infection and no additional bleeding-the white part is the base of the horn (bone) where it broke. You can see the opening to the frontal sinus cavity and small bits of old papertowel. Here is what the new bandage looks like from the front. Covers the entire injured area and is close enough to the good horn to keep openings closed so flies will not get in.
This is the New bandage wrap-showing the right side of Oreo's face-The bandage goes around his right ear under the chin to the other side. This is the New bandage wrap-showing the left side of Oreo's face-in front of the left eye across the bridge of his nose.
This is how the bandage looks from the back. I was careful to make the wrap completely cover the injury as well as any places that would allow flies to get in and lay eggs. The wrap is tight enough to stay on but not so tight as to constrict eating or breathing. VetWrap sticks to itself so after applying it, just remember to stick all cut edges down so it will stay put. It is not water proof so I hope for no rain in the near future.
I still have no clue how this happened, it's really a shame as Oreo had beautiful horns. I just thank the Lord he will be ok- at least by this date I feel he will recover- barring any hard head banging or fly infestation or infection.

numly 79039-061018-707527-49

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