The biggest star of our Twitter account over the past few weeks has been Ephrata, Pennsylvania’s “Toodles the Goat” and the amazing restoration of her sight after cataract surgery.

Toodle’s human parents, Donald and Marti Nissley, originally brought her and several other goats — Billy, Spot and Honey Bun — into the family to control the grass in their pasture. “The goats do the job, are friendly and nice to have around,” according to Mr. Nisely.

But the Nissley’s knew right away something was wrong with Toodles. Her eyes were cloudy, and she was shunned by the other goats. Their veterinarian, Dr. Teri Coon, confirmed that Toodles was blinded by cataracts.

Cataract surgery for goats – not much in the litereature

“There’s no goat cataract surgery reported in the literature,” says Dr. Braidee Foote, New Bolton’s ophthalmology fellow. “It doesn’t mean it’s never been done, but no one’s ever written about it.”

Removing the cataracts would improve her vision, leaving Toodles with fuzzy, farsighted, unfocused vision. That would be enough for a goat to safely get round but it wasn’t enough.

During a visit to see Toodles in recovery, “We called her name,” Marti Nissley says. “She ran right up to us, didn’t hit a wall, nothing.”

Toodles came home to Ephrata in early November. That first day, Spot approached her kid and sniffed and licked her before Toodles ran off, Marti Nissley says.

The Nissleys won’t say how much they spent on Toodles’ surgery. Donald Nissley did pause to add a few figures on his desk calculator.
“It cost about five times what my two cataracts cost,” says Donald Nissley.

“And we don’t have goat insurance,” adds his wife
But it was worth it, they agree.

Maybe now you’ll follow @ZiemerUSHQ on Twitter!