Goat Emergency - Fine to Can't Stand Overnight

HomesteaderWife

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As of today, she's still very limited standing but she is standing on occasion. She's fighting her medicine but still has an appetite and is going potty and taking water. A little vocal but I think mainly she's just concentrating her energy on trying to pull through.

The vet suggested picking up sweet feed to concentrate on protein instead of fiber for her dietary needs at this time. We got some this morning and offering it to her. She's slowly eating. She's indoors at a comfy 60 degrees F.
 

Ridgetop

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Amazing how the constitution in animals keeps them going until they are nearly dead! Probably because in the wild a sick animal is a quickly dead animal.

When we raised calves, if they went down, they were dead in hours. At the first signs of lack of appetite we dosed them with probiotics and electrolytes. Once they were eating hay they seemed to be a lot less susceptible.

Summer pneumonia was another silent killer. Any animal with a natural high tolerance to parasites is also in danger since they will show few signs until they are almost dead.

Glad you got her to the vet and caught it in time.
 

Legamin

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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.
So good to hear that you worked it out. With our goats the parasites were our primary issue (oddly, we have never once had parasites with our sheep). I always inspect the eyes. They are the windows through which you see worms! Pale, grey-white border and bloodshot and I knew without doubt that worms were present. It is well worth getting an Amazon microscope (of decent ’student’ quality) for this purpose. I found a top quality 10x-15x-20x- with an adaptive eye piece for X10 and X40 (which is generally unnecessary for seeing worms but great for blood work). Coming from the medical field I’m a little more comfortable doing more advanced urine, stool and blood testing on a broad range of issues. For under $1,000 I have a sterile lab setup and can handle lab work and if necessary postmortem tests. I found used serum spinner and tissue slice photographing with magnification equipment for brain, liver, kidney and lung samples. Used equipment is everywhere, very cheap and still like new. Your only real limitation is a space to do it in that is fairly sterile and clean and building knowledge through reading and doing…ask you vet every question you can about what they are doing and why. They KNOW that they can not always be there and if you have already built a relationship with them they understand that you are not trying to be the vet but just be able to handle the normal daily stuff. Six vet visits eradicates all profit from one animal. And that is the most generous ratio…if you have one big emergency you can wipe out the profit of a small farm for two years in a visit with follow-up. Your vet knows this and actually is grateful to have you use them as a resource and handle the little stuff. As farmers we are ‘field medics’.
Sounds like you did exactly the right thing! And it sounds like you have a great vet. An onsite visit for basic services here runs well over $450…so in our area we do more of our own low level testing and treatment. But having a professional that is willing to work with you is essential to any successful operation. Without one I think the average flock losses will run about 20%…which in my mind is unacceptable.
Your a good goat parent, great job!
 

Legamin

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Amazing how the constitution in animals keeps them going until they are nearly dead! Probably because in the wild a sick animal is a quickly dead animal.

When we raised calves, if they went down, they were dead in hours. At the first signs of lack of appetite we dosed them with probiotics and electrolytes. Once they were eating hay they seemed to be a lot less susceptible.

Summer pneumonia was another silent killer. Any animal with a natural high tolerance to parasites is also in danger since they will show few signs until they are almost dead.

Glad you got her to the vet and caught it in time.
Sheep seem the absolute ‘worst’ (best?) at hiding their symptoms. If you have a sheep that falls down and can’t get up…you’re too late. And they can go downhill so fast that if you are on vacation for a week and leave an inexperienced person in charge you can lose animals. I only had goats for about 5 years so I’m not anything like an expert. I’m much more comfortable around human disease and anatomy which was my training. But it seems that the rumen is the core of the ruminant’s health. The rest is either live/die kind of stuff. My sheep that quit eating out of fear of the barn went from a ’4’ on the health scale to a ‘1’ in just 10 days. She has enough wool that it was not at first apparent. It took two days to figure out the issue and ask for advice and now a week later she is back up to a solid ‘2’ and growing happy and active!
You are right on with the probiotics and electrolytes. If you learn to do an IV for the most severe cases you’re golden! A feeding syringe for the probiotics and a steady hand to get all of it in and to stay in is a must. Altogether and auto loader syringe, oral syringe and IV kit (also a vascular cutdown kit for intensive urgent cases…but you should be very experienced (at least 4 years training in medical and surgical procedure) before trying…is a great skill to have. Though to be very clear …I do NOT recommend any treatment whatever which requires specialized knowledge or skills…NEVER experiment on your animals for ’training purposes’…that is WRONG!…
But all animal owners should become comfortable with the basic stuff..nutrition, vaccines, simple medication, worming etc. We all been a good vet on our side and should not try to go it alone.
 

Legamin

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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.
One thing you can do for future recovery/build up feed needs is to have ‘cob’ on hand. The non-sweetened will store for a couple of years. You can order unsulphured molasses to mix with the cob and you have a medium protein, high carbohydrate, easy to digest sweet feed that will boost energy quickly and help balance the rumen. Keeping the rumen in balance is super important for goats and sheep. 20lbs dry cob to 1-1/2 cups unsulphured molasses…mix well and feed. about 1 lb serving max at a time, half that every four hours for a weaker animal. Keep their hay available but try to give them only fines until they are on their feet. I use a grinder to break down rough hay into .5-1” bits. Easy to chew and gives plenty of fiber for the weakened animal.
 

HomesteaderWife

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Thank you for all the input on future planning for these babies. We have goats on a small scale as pets who also help us with some brushwork! The pair of girls are clicker trained and very special to us in the short time we've had them. Not intended to be moneymakers but I am relieved our veterinarian has ALWAYS been fair and works with us. He tells the truth and lays out all options and has done much to help us. My husband, loving soul he is, said it was important to take her and give her a fighting chance. She is still very weak and only stands on her own occasionally, but eating and drinking and alert. She gives occasional vocalizations and is staying warm. We're not out of the woods so just following instructions and helping her along.
 

farmerjan

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It is going to take time for her to get some strength back if the worm load was high. It is like they just keep functioning until they fall over... as you saw, and then it takes time for them to rebuild the strength because they have gotten so far down without you realizing it. Eating, drinking and alert is great... the warmth helps for her body to not be trying to keep warm on top of just getting back he energy. You do all you can do and that is all that you expect.
Hoping she continues to improve.
 

Legamin

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S
Thank you for all the input on future planning for these babies. We have goats on a small scale as pets who also help us with some brushwork! The pair of girls are clicker trained and very special to us in the short time we've had them. Not intended to be moneymakers but I am relieved our veterinarian has ALWAYS been fair and works with us. He tells the truth and lays out all options and has done much to help us. My husband, loving soul he is, said it was important to take her and give her a fighting chance. She is still very weak and only stands on her own occasionally, but eating and drinking and alert. She gives occasional vocalizations and is staying warm. We're not out of the woods so just following instructions and helping her along.
So glad to hear that she is getting better! So often it is the simplest things that derail our fuzzy loved ones! I was amused to read that they are ‘clicker trained’. I have used a small bell with my sheep but the clicker might be a great option if we decide to go back with goats. We have a ‘back 40…about an acre with a large barn that has been standing empty and it is too steep for sheep grazing and mostly weeds and thorns. My wife has had the thought that we turn this area into a well fenced goat shelter for ‘Craigslist Orphans’ that are too often mistreated and then given away or abandoned. We have thought that it would be a fun idea to rent a goat herd for weed and grass control on business properties. The fertilizer alone is a great money saver to the people who hire us and we can follow up the goats with a riding mower to leave the areas looking nicer than when we arrive.
looking forward to reading that she is all better and completely healed! Best of luck!
 

HomesteaderWife

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I must inform sadly that our sweet girl passed away overnight.
Yesterday she had begun to holler when she went potty and if you tried to move her a little to clean under her, she would just yell then too as if it really hurt her.
She had been doing good, eating and drinking and taking her medicine but remained unable to move to stand or shift around.

Don't know if I'm just overly sensitive to things for an animal that is not usually considered a pet, but after only 2 months of having her, it's still tearful.... We have called and left a message for the vet who is out on farm call, to see if our other goat simply just needs to have a poop sample taken in in a few months as they wanted done with the baby who passed. We'll wait to hear back from him and update on any extra information. I'm sorry I couldn't provide a happy ending to this emergency.
 

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I must inform sadly that our sweet girl passed away overnight.
Yesterday she had begun to holler when she went potty and if you tried to move her a little to clean under her, she would just yell then too as if it really hurt her.
She had been doing good, eating and drinking and taking her medicine but remained unable to move to stand or shift around.

Don't know if I'm just overly sensitive to things for an animal that is not usually considered a pet, but after only 2 months of having her, it's still tearful.... We have called and left a message for the vet who is out on farm call, to see if our other goat simply just needs to have a poop sample taken in in a few months as they wanted done with the baby who passed. We'll wait to hear back from him and update on any extra information. I'm sorry I couldn't provide a happy ending to this emergency.
Still... good to know.

It would be good if the vet could tell you exactly why she passed....

As in... exactly which worms, as well as how high a load?

If you know the exact worms you are dealing with, then it will be easier to manage.

:hugs

And YES, of course you are teary. It is incredibly sad to lose a goat! Goats have huge personality.
 
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