Cocoa, who had seemed to be doing so much better after the apparent lightening jolt, died suddenly Wednesday afternoon. Tuesday I was right there to witness what appeared to be a seizure. Today, while mowing the lawn where their fencing was, I noticed a strange hole in the ditch... where we have standing water for a few hours after a decent rain. I started to wonder about snake bites. After doing a bit of research I discovered that the black snake my husband saw a few weeks ago could actually have been a water moccasin, that they will live in dry areas such as pine forests (what surround us), and that their bites produce these symptoms (aside from what would be visible except on a furry little goat):
loss of muscle coordination
nausea and vomiting
numbness and tingling, especially in the mouth
altered mental state
All these, aside from maybe the breathing difficulties, complete paralysis, nausea and vomiting, Cocoa was displaying. I'm now wondering if, with all the rain, a snake came out of the woods to swim in the newly flooded ditch and was disturbed by the goats... which would explain why they weren't under any shelter. They were probably bit well after the rain had ended.
Now... how do I find and eliminate this threat and make the yard once again safe for my kids?