Star the Goat Battles Cancer
Anyone who has visited the past couple of years has met a very sweet, free-roaming goat name Star, typically hanging out with his buddy Emmett.
Over the winter Star started coughing and shivering, leading us to believe that he had caught pneumonia, typical for older goats (he’s 11) or those with weakened immune systems. We fit him with a warm coat, kept him in a draft-free, warmly bedded area and started antibiotics recommended by our local vets.
When it was clear that the antibiotics weren’t working and his chronic cough continued, our vets suggested he go to Cornell Veterinary Hospital – a university teaching hospital with advanced medical technology for testing and treatment. Once there we learned that poor Star was suffering from a tumor in his throat and one in his chest, too (in his thymus, part of his lymph system, a very rare condition in farm animals). Fortunately they were able to remove the tumor in his throat but because of its location, surgery was not an option for the one in his chest.
Although radiation therapy is rarely used in farm animals, we are always pushing the envelope to give animals a fighting chance to live happy, healthy lives. After a round of treatments and several weeks in the hospital, some tumor shrinkage was seen. We even sent Emmett, his best goat friend there to hang out and keep his spirits up! Star came home and has been living in our animal hospital until warmer weather arrives. He seems in good spirits, but his tumor is still present. Although his prognosis is guarded we are hoping and praying that our dear friend surprises the docs and makes a full recovery!