Just now, I received the results of the necropsy on the angora.
Here is what the veterinarian said in his email.
Necropsy showed no signs of trauma or obvious disease. Rumen was full and normal feces was present. No indication of choking. As far as lightning there was no evidence of burns on the carcass. In addition no bruising or wounds were found. We do not intend to send any tissue for histopathology. The cause of death is undeterminable from gross necropsy.
So now I don't know what to feel. Part of me is relieved that her digestive system was operating normally and that she had a full rumen - although I wasn't worried that she wasn't getting enough to eat - those goats could eat up a storm! I'm glad she didn't show signs of choking. I am also glad there was no sign of lightning damage, although that would have at least made me feel like it was a quick and relatively painless death, and one that I could not have foreseen.
I'm glad there was no bruising or wounds, because that means the other goats didn't get over-zealous in their play and somehow injure her fatally. Some of them can be rambunctious, although I would not have thought they could be that bad.
Additionally, there is no sign of trauma or obvious disease.
So, calling all goat owners! What would you feel like faced with this news? No obvious disease, no trauma, no wounds, no digestive problems. What could have caused this death?
I'm confused and sad. I had hoped, sad as it was, that the necropsy would tell me something that would allow me to say to myself "Claire, you did all you could. This was beyond your control." but I do not have that luxury now. This will eat away at the corner of my mind.
I am thinking I will take one of the other little girls to the Iowa State University clinic in the spring and get a "general" physical, including bloodwork. I want to know if there is any underlying problem that couldn't be detected in a necropsy. If it had been CAE or something similar, she would have experience a period of decline. This was not like that. She was fine one day, gone the next.
I really would appreciate any thoughts from those with goat experience.