That day we contacted Tuft's University School of Veterinary Medicine to schedule a consultation. Because Cal was already showing signs of distress they scheduled him in the next morning. Once Cal was assessed at Tuft's they determined that the surgery to fix his cleft palate could be done but found he had pneumonia which had to be managed prior to surgery. Even the large animal veterinarians at Tufts said that they do not see cleft palates often.
The small animal veterinarians at Tuft's however do see and fix cleft palates on puppies fairly consistently. The staff at Tuft's put together a team of the large animal veterinarians along with large animal and small animal surgeons to formulate a plan to save Cal's life. We needed to make a decision right then if we were going to proceed with saving Cal. We were faced with the reality of an extremely expensive vet bill and months of daily care. For Cal's hospital stay and subsequent surgery we received an estimate of $5608.50 of which we had to put a deposit of $4205 down for them to start treatment. The cost is a huge blow to the farm but we wholeheartedly believe that our animals give back so much to us that it is our responsibility to give them the best care we can! As difficult as it was to leave Cal at Tuft's we knew in our hearts it was what we needed to do.
The next day they placed a feeding tube and IV fluid line in Cal's tiny neck. This was so they could begin to treat his pneumonia and start to build his strength with much needed milk getting passed the cleft palate and into his stomach. We received daily updates and photos from the amazing veterinarian Dr Davis who also said that the staff at Tuft's has fallen in love with Cal and they are all dedicated to his care and survival.
I spoke with Dr Davis at Tuft's today (4/22) and he said that Cal is actually set to have surgery this afternoon! After this initial surgery there is always the possibility of an additional surgery being needed. Dr Davis also said that normally they would intubate Cal for anesthesia but due to his feeding tube they will have to place a tracheotomy instead. After his surgery the intensive care will continue for weeks as he will have to still be feed via the feeding tube.
Last year like most was a very difficult year for us at the farm. Our first cow to give birth at the farm became gravely ill and veterinary bills for Seneca rose past $6000 but we were able to save her. Then our 4 1/2 year old Great Dane Tribute was diagnosed with Heart Disease and his treatment cost over $6500 and in the end he succumbed to the disease. Then our matriarch Lamancha goat Legacy got a broken leg which took months of visits to the farm from the veterinarian for splint changes and assessments. But we are happy to report that she is doing great and will be joining the herd soon.
We did not want to start a Go Fund Me campaign for Cal but the outpouring of support and offers to donate from our fans, followers, family, friends and customers has been overwhelming. Everyone loves Cal already and wants to see him live his life as a normal goat once the surgery is done. Some people don't understand why we take the time and money to fix things that seem unfixable but it's probably because we make decisions with our hearts and not our wallets (which isn't financially smart).
Just like Seneca, after Cal's surgery(s) he will live his life out at the farm showing everyone what is possible when love and some great people come together to save a beloved member of our family.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support, donations, love and prayers to help us save Cal Naughton Jr's life!
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