Dangerously thin

Youngfarmer2019

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One of the does I got recently turned out to be extremely thin (it was hard to tell at first because her hair is unusually shaggy for a Lamancha). The previous owner said that she’s pretty much always been that thin when I asked her about her condition. Is there any way to help her gain weight fast? The other goats don’t bully her, but seem to care about her very much (letting her eat hay, grain, AND treats first) I’m afraid she can’t go on much longer like this…
 

farmerjan

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Has she ever been wormed? Have you done a visual FAMACHA score... eyelids, gums pale instead of pink? Do you have a relationship with a vet that you can take in some "pellets" for them to do a fecal for egg counts for parasites?.
Not seeing them it is hard to make any suggestions... but worms is the number one killer of many "thin" animals and if not treated quickly, they literally suck them bloodless from within.
My suggestion would be an oral wormer, use half strength if she is that thin and weak, to knock some of the possible worms out, and then re worm again in a week... goats and sheep are a little different... but one thing, if you hit them "heavy" with a wormer, the worms can die in the gut tract and they will actually poison their system before being expelled so sometimes you have to do it in smaller doses.
My best advice is a fecal and a vet trip. If she is full of worms, they could IV her with some nutrients while administering a wormer and hopefully give her some energy to get past it.
If the fecal comes back and it is not worms, then there needs to be a better exam by the vet to try to determine the problem.
 

Youngfarmer2019

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Has she ever been wormed? Have you done a visual FAMACHA score... eyelids, gums pale instead of pink? Do you have a relationship with a vet that you can take in some "pellets" for them to do a fecal for egg counts for parasites?.
Not seeing them it is hard to make any suggestions... but worms is the number one killer of many "thin" animals and if not treated quickly, they literally suck them bloodless from within.
My suggestion would be an oral wormer, use half strength if she is that thin and weak, to knock some of the possible worms out, and then re worm again in a week... goats and sheep are a little different... but one thing, if you hit them "heavy" with a wormer, the worms can die in the gut tract and they will actually poison their system before being expelled so sometimes you have to do it in smaller doses.
My best advice is a fecal and a vet trip. If she is full of worms, they could IV her with some nutrients while administering a wormer and hopefully give her some energy to get past it.
If the fecal comes back and it is not worms, then there needs to be a better exam by the vet to try to determine the problem.
She was not wormed for several months, i have her on a natural dewormer treatment for the next couple weeks. the only goat savvy vet around her is a mobile vet that charges too much per mile for me to afford. most vets around me unfortunately wont take goats🤷‍♀️ don't ask me why, I have no idea. Any specific feeds to get her weight back up to normal?
 

farmerjan

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Is there anyway to find out if the mobile vet is going to be anywhere near you that you can take the goat to them at someplace they are going to? I know vets are not cheap. But losing an animal sometimes is more expensive than the vet trip.
I put out between 150 and 300 for a vet trip to our farm.... Mostly for pregnancy checks. But it is just 100 for the trip alone. We try to have them do as much as possible when there. I also call their office and find out when they are going to be in the area... there are a couple of dairies that they do monthly herd checks at; and I schedule a stop on that same day so they will give me a little break on the mileage charge.

Unfortunately, I don't know if a natural dewormer treatment is going to hit the worms enough and do the job before it kills the goat. It won't hurt to try but I think a dose of something like ivermectin drench would be needed. There is Prohibit, which is much stronger, and we use that on very wormy sheep. It will kill the barber pole worm which is very prevalent especially in areas that get more rain/moisture and the animals are on pasture.
Is @OneFineAcre still active on BYH? Maybe they could chime in for a new goat owner... I know they are in NC...
 

Baymule

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The natural wormer, whatever it is, more than likely will not kill the worms. Natural wormers are best used on healthy animals to help keep worm numbers low. Without some strong intervention like @farmerjan said, she will probably die. How do I know? Because I killed a ewe with “natural’ wormer when she had a heavy worm load. Not trying to be mean, but I’ve already been there, trying to keep you from doing the same.

Run a fecal test. If it is not worms, then she may have a disease that could spread to the others, need a blood rest for that.

Did the previous owner ever have her tested? I don’t know a lot about goats, but I know there are diseases that can waste them away. Same for sheep, but I have no experience with that.

What is the worth of the goat, versus the price of a vet appointment? Sometimes the vet costs more than the goat/sheep is worth and you have to muddle through the best you can. I understand.
 

Youngfarmer2019

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To all who care:
The goat was free, given to me by a good friend who just didn't know what she was doing health-wise for the goats. But she is a registered LaMancha, worth over $400. The simple fact is that I can afford wormer, but cannot afford a vet. I would like to know if there are any feeds I can put her on to help her gain weight once the worms are gone.
 

OneFineAcre

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Giver her the best hay you can get, free choice. Free choice means as much as she wants, keep it available to her all the time. Good alfalfa hay would be the best, or 2nd cut orchard grass.
If you aren't already giving her feed find a good balanced, goat feed, 16% protein and giver her 2 cups twice a day for two days, and then increase it to 4 cups twice per day. You could eventually get her to giving her feed free choice as well.
Beet pulp is a good supplement to help put on weight. In cold weather they like it soaked in warm water.
 

OneFineAcre

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Do you have a picture of her? How old is she and how many times has she freshened? Is she in milk now or dry?
You should still get a fecal done on her. Collect fresh pellets and put them in a baggie and put in the refridgerator to cool down. Keep them cool and take them to the vet. The state lab only charges $15 to do a fecal, so a vet shouldn't charge you too much if you take the sample to him. Any vet should be able to do a fecal, doesn't have to be a "goat" vet.
 
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farmerjan

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I don't know goat feeds, she needs more copper than sheep... maybe she is deficient in that..... have you tried a copper bolus? Many of the goat people on here give a copper bolus to their goats once or twice a year. Again, I am not the one to advise on that.
To gain both muscle and weight any animal needs both protein... for muscle and general overall health... and a carbohydrate... corn or something similar that is not high in protein but higher in fats and carbs. Try adding some cracked corn to whatever ration you are feeding her....
I would feed at least a 16% or higher protein feed... balanced type feed... and add a little extra corn to it. So if you are feeding say 1-2 cups feed add a 1/2 to 1 cup of corn.... I don't know how much goats are fed... I think in terms of cattle... we will feed up to 4% of body weight when wanting them to gain weight.... 2% is normal for maintenance/slight growth... a 500 lb calf will get 10 lbs feed a day to keep him growing along with free choice hay.... we feed a 14-17% feed... (what is the best buy at the time).... they will get up to 20lbs if we are pushing for weight gain..... and at least 1/3 of that is corn if we are wanting weight gain.
 

frustratedearthmother

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I'm sorry you have an unthrifty goat. I can't stress enough how important lab testing is for this goat.

If she's always been thin you could be dealing with a goat who had a heavy coccidia load as a youngster and has scarring in her GI tract that physically will not allow her to absorb nutrients. I bought a goat like that thinking I could "fix" her. She got by ok - but never thrived. She had kids but couldn't absorb enough nutrients to make a lot of milk. Not a good situation for her or her kids. We eventually culled her.

There are other issues that can be identified by blood testing such as CAE, CL and Johnes. You can send in a blood sample to be tested and get results fairly quickly. If you find she has a wasting type disease you will need to make a hard decision. She won't recover and in the interim can infect your other goats and contaminate your pens/pastures.

The testing isn't expensive. There are also labs you can send a fecal sample to.

You can do an online search for labs. I'll attach a couple of links but there are others.


All of the other suggestions have been great. You might also try some Goat Nutri Drench or a mineral paste called Goat Replamin.

Good luck - I hope all she needs is a good worming and a full belly.
 
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