Goat Emergency - Fine to Can't Stand Overnight

HomesteaderWife

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EDIT: 1/20/2022 We sadly update that she passed away.

For future reference - - Please scroll down to read the results of her veterinary visit. We will update and make posts with any progression updates good or bad.


Hi everyone, I have a young female goat we have had for quite a few months who has been doing well and was behaving as normal yesterday evening.
Nothing about her diet has changed. Nothing has, no stress causing, nothing weird eaten I can see.

I went to feed this morning and she was walking very slowly with her tail tucked between her legs. Abnormal for her - she is a runner and a food hog bless her. She went to the food bowl and has eaten, but when she leaned over to eat she gave a rattly cough just once. I went back to check on her an hour later only to find she cannot stand at this point at all. She gets her back legs going, but her front legs cannot push up. I picked her up and laid her in the barn on some hay - she did not offer to eat that. I have not seen her drink. She's also abnormally vocal now as well.

Any ideas as to what has suddenly happened with our girl? I am very rural with limited stores around and not sure what I may be able to find. Any help on how to tend her or what may be happening is greatly appreciated.
 
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Alaskan

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Ack.


Well...

First, look her over very well for any injury, warm spots,bites or stings. Swollen parts

Take her temperature

Listen to her gut... can you hear normal gut sounds?

Look at her gums/eye lid color... nice and pink? Or pale?

Check her for dehydration... does she have spit? If you pinch her skin, does it go right back when you release the skin, or does it sluggishly move back into place?


Hopefully, the thorough exam will give you an idea of what is going on.

BUT, especially if you don't see a clear and fixable cause... if you think she is worth the money.... you might want to call a vet ASAP.

That is a fast down turn.
 

HomesteaderWife

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If she can hold on until then, we got an appointment to be seen with veterinarian at 3:30 - low temp and pale gums and eyelids. Will update with what is found.
 

Ridgetop

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Waiting on vet results.

Cough and weakness sounds like pneumonia. Pale gums and eyelids sounds like parasites. Heavy parasite load can also cause coughing. :fl
 

Alaskan

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Can the vet give you any help over the phone?

If you have redcell on hand, and she can swallow, that can help. Red cell is an iron supplement.

Not sure what causes a low temp... unless it is cold where you are at.​
Maybe, if she has a high parasite load, and it is super cold... that might have been too much for her. . Then yes, she needs the red cell, and she needs to be warmed up... and then b vitamins and a warm electrolyte solution.​
 

Legamin

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Hi everyone, I have a young female goat we have had for quite a few months who has been doing well and was behaving as normal yesterday evening.
Nothing about her diet has changed. Nothing has, no stress causing, nothing weird eaten I can see.

I went to feed this morning and she was walking very slowly with her tail tucked between her legs. Abnormal for her - she is a runner and a food hog bless her. She went to the food bowl and has eaten, but when she leaned over to eat she gave a rattly cough just once. I went back to check on her an hour later only to find she cannot stand at this point at all. She gets her back legs going, but her front legs cannot push up. I picked her up and laid her in the barn on some hay - she did not offer to eat that. I have not seen her drink. She's also abnormally vocal now as well.

Any ideas as to what has suddenly happened with our girl? I am very rural with limited stores around and not sure what I may be able to find. Any help on how to tend her or what may be happening is greatly appreciated.
I’ve only dealt with a few problems in our goats that struck a similar chord. First was bloat. ’Brownie’ lay down and bleated but seemed too weak to rise. I put a quart of pure cider vinegar in the drinking water and put a dish of loose mineral in front of him with mixed 50/50 with baking soda. I would not normally do this for bloat…usually just vinegar because it raises the acid balance and sometimes can help things move along the rumen by themselves. But it was clear there was an hour or two at the most left for him. I encouraged him to lick up some of the mineral/soda and then got some 20/80 vinegar/water (respectively) and used a medicine syringe to put 60cc down his throat. In my case it worked. He was up and active in one hour, calm and running with the boys in two.
I would check the eyes. Are they bloodshot? Has she been treated for lung and fluke worm in the last 6 months? Winter time especially is the time of wet ground, concentrated poops and the nibbling of fallen food off said wet, poop, ground…this is the perfect storm for the spread of worms. Pale or blood shot eyes, squinting, pale lips and tongue (if they are not black) and inside the nostril. The next thing is breathing. Course and raspy? This is also the perfect time of year for pneumonia or respiratory distress. Unusual to be sure unless it’s going through the flock. Time for pennecillin properly dosed for the illness and the weight of the goat. One common cause of distress is hoof rot but you probably would have noticed limping before now…but if you haven’t checked for it…now when she is down in the perfect time. Clean the hoofs but don’t trim an infected hoof..that can come later. Clean off nastiness and rotting skin and coat it in antibiotic, give a shot of antibiotic and use pine tar to coat the ankle and hoof so that there is a strong antiseptic coating keeping the hoof clean. Such hoof rot, once infected, can lay a goat low in far less than a week. If there are no injuries, scours, ‘hot spots’ or external disease demonstrated your only course left is to call a vet. If this is not an option you may need to isolate her and help her into the great goat beyond if she gets to the point of loud painful distress. As an absolute emergency (I hesitate to share this because I was an army field medic and most people will NOT want to try this) but I have once isolated a clogged and gas bloated rumen and very carefully inserted a large, long 18g syringe and removed the plunger allowing the gas to escape. Then I put pressure on the wound and held it in place to heal for an hour until I was sure it was sealed. I gave saline IV to help her hydrate and then forced electrolyte fluids….but If this goes sideways it can be MUCH WORSE for the goat…I do NOT recommend doing it without a vet on the other end of the phone!
In the end just do your best for her. That‘s all you can do.
 

HomesteaderWife

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Took steps to try and help her before she was taken to vet. We have another washer/dryer for animal bedding and I threw a clean pet blanket in the dryer briefly and wrapped her up so she would warm up. This seemed to help greatly. Vet visit came,

So are the details:
  • a very fair vet visit cost of $115.
  • Temp was okay, didn't hear actual reading but clearly I was unable to get a good read at home.
  • Ran bloodwork and fecal - high parasite load causing anemia. We dewormed after getting them but it was not broad spectrum so I think she must have been overloaded when we got her and we missed something with initial dewormer. Gave three injections - Ivomec, DEX I think it is, and Vitamin B12.
  • Received Power Punch supplement for her.
  • Received extra Ivomec for our other goat and gave injection to her as soon as we got home.
  • Received "Prohibit" for both goats as well.

We are working to boost her and get the parasites gone. He recommended picking up sweet feed for her but feed store closed so we will go in the AM if all is well. Recommended putting her in a warm area so she is crated in a side room and will also move her buddy inside tonight.

Paperwork did not give specifics of testwork levels/findings.
 
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HomesteaderWife

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Thank you for all of the input and advice especially in regards to checking her out. When crating her, and unwrapping her from the blanket, she stood up!
 

farmerjan

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The Ivomec is for the worms, the Vit B-12 is an appetite stimulant to help get her to eat and the Dex is for swelling, labored breathing, a corticosoid?... helps with inflamation....
Once you get her to feeling a little better then using the prohibit will get rid of more parasites. It is the go to around here for severe problems... and we have the barber pole worm that causes all sorts of havoc with goats and sheep here.
Glad that you got in to a vet, got some good help and you are seeing a little bit of an improvement just by getting her warmed up and all. I hope that it continues to improve.
 
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