Danville, VA - A very unusual patient at a Danville veterinarian's office is bringing a little Christmas cheer to the staff this holiday season.
They've had to start from scratch with this animal and do a bit of research, because no one really knew how to take care of a newborn goat.
The vets were really caught off guard by McGruff's appearance. Believe it or not, this is the first time they've had a goat patient.
With a lot of love and a little research, though, they were able to care for the unusual and very cute animal.
One-week-old McGruff has a bigger question on his mind this holiday season than if he will make the naughty or nice list.
He can't figure out what he is.
"He really either thinks he is a dog or a person, he has no idea he is a goat," Pet Groomer Mallory Betterton said.
No wonder he seems so confused… since day one, McGruff has spent all of his time with pups, and he's cared for by people.
He even wears a Santa costume, and made an appearance on Facebook.
"When you speak to him, you call him, he will wag his tale like a dog. When he sees me coming with the bottle he gets excited and wags his tale like a dog," Betterton added.
McGruff's actual mother didn't have any milk and left him in a cold field. The owner took him to Mount Hermon Animal Clinic. Because she works, they offered to care for the unusual patient.
"This is our first goat and we love him," Betterton said.
Since they've never taken in a goat, the vets office had a lot of research to do.
First, they consulted their own Veterinarian.
"I did grow up on a cattle farm so I had some experience feeding baby calves from growing up," said Veterinarian Katie Rohrig. "We were a little worried because he had a hard time taking the bottle at first. We actually had to tube feed him the first 24 hours."
They looked online and asked around how to best care for him.
"After about the second day, he was nursing on his own," Rohrig said.
Now, a week later, McGruff's healthy and happy. Soon, he'll hang up his Santa coat and head home with his owner.
"He'll be back with his mother to reconnect and learn to be a goat instead of a person," Betterton said.
McGruff's owner actually came by and picked him up Monday.She will continue to bottle feed him until he is ready to eat on his own.
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