'She's a fighter': WSU vets help severely burned goat make full recovery

The veterinary school at Washington State University has done it again, this time helping a goat who was burned on 70 percent of its body make a full recovery.

Emma Ulrich's pet goat ‘Millie’ is lucky to be alive after being caught in a barn fire that killed five other goats that she shared a pen with. However, despite her escape, the life she was forced to live as a result of the flames was no better.

Millie the goat being fed a carrot at Washington State University after receiving treatment for her burns. (College of Veterinary Medicine/Ted S. Warren)

Admitted to the hospital soon after the incident, Millie was placed under the care of large animal intern Dr. Larissa Florêncio, with guidance from faculty clinician Dr. Jennifer Sexton.

"It was the most significant burns I’ve ever seen," Florêncio told WSU Insider. "Hooves, neck, ears, vulva, everything was burned."

Millie was experiencing so much pain from the burns that Florêncio thought it was best to sedate her, and then proceed to remove the burned and dead skin in stages over the course of a week.


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At times, doctors questioned whether she would survive, but as time went on, Millie's health continued to rebound.

"The veterinarians would do quality of life checks, we would give it a few days and see how it went," her owner Emma Ulrich told WSU Insider. "And every day she would do a little bit better — she’s a fighter." 

WSU veterinary students began to find ways to make the recovery process much easier for Millie, hosing her down with warm water to clean the wounds, feeding her during her many bandage changes to keep her motivated and distracted.

Millie the goat being fed banana peels during her bandaging session (College of Veterinary Medicine/Ted S. Warren)

"I will admit it was tough. I was with her every day. There were times we talked about euthanasia, but she never gave up, and she continued to respond well to the medicine," Florêncio told WSU Insider. "It’s one of those cases I will never forget."

And now after three months of care, Millie is expected to make a full recovery from the March barn fire as she returned home pain-free on June 14.