ND Goat with ultra dry, flaking skin - Vet suggests euthanizing?

WildOaksManor

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My 1 1/2 year old Nigerian Dwarf, Arrow, is having a rough time. I am hoping someone here has some advice or experience with a similar issue.
Arrow was wormed with Ivermectin pour-on, per vets recommendation at the end of Sept, '16. Shortly after, I noticed flaking, dry skin on a couple does, which may or may not have been related. The dryness cleared up on all but two does, sisters. One of the sisters, Arrow, has a really bad case. The weather has turned unusually nasty here, with temps much lower and drier than is typical, and Arrow has substantial hair loss, cracked, bloody skin, (especially on lower legs) and heavy flaking. She also has very small raised bumps on her ears.
The vet has seen Arrow several times, in the last couple months, including farm visits where feed, supplements, and housing were checked. His most recent visit was less than a week ago, because she has become skinny, and is now being bullied by the herd. At his last visit, he concluded that Arrow has a genetic disorder (possibly fungal) and has suggested I never allow her to be bred, remove her from my herd, and consider euthanizing. He said if she does in fact have a hereditary fungal issue (her sister has the same symptoms, on a much milder scale, all other goats are clear.) that treating her would be a life-long, expensive, and exhausting undertaking. While I agree that she should not be bred, I am not yet willing to have her put down, as I'm still hoping it's not hereditary (I've contacted her breeder, and she reports no known skin conditions with her mother or aunt, but the buck was a short-term ownership thing) and there is something that can be done so that she can go to a pet home. I do not know of anything else I can try to save her, but here is what we have tried so far, along with a little info on my herd:

I have 8 goats. Closed herd for a year. Introduction of 4 Wensleydale sheep in last 5 months, which share pasture, but appear to be healthy. All goats have straw bedding, no mud, stalls cleaned regularly. They are on grass hay (kept full at all times) alfalfa pellets (2xs daily) grain mixed with BOSS, top dressed with Pro-B powder (1x day) and free fed Mana Pro goat minerals and baking soda. Warm water in tubs once a day, kept from freezing. All drinking fine.

No temps.
No mites, lice, or bugs.
Fecals repeated last week, all normal.

I have had her soaking in warm water in my bathtub, and rubbed the worst areas down with coconut oil. pending an anti-fungal shampoo from the vet. (He thinks its a little impractical, being that temps are below freezing, and she'd have to be inside the house until completely dry, which takes a few hours.) Frankly, bathing her inside is a HUGE inconvenience, exhausting, and messy.messy.messy., but if it'll help it clear up, I'm willing.

I've posted to other forums, and only gotten advice on trying a copper bolus (which I have yet to do) and using Nu-stock topicals, which would present the same problem as bathing, since she can't be in the barn wet, or with a topical, until dry.

Does anyone have any additional ideas, or know what the problem is? Are you also of the opinion that this is a genetic issue....and is euthanasia to be seriously considered?
Also open to natural treatments!
Thank you for your time!

Here is Arrow in the bathtub, soaking her miserably cracked skin:

And last summer, as a doeling, healing after a neighbor dog attack:

 

promiseacres

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Don't know too much about goats but do know fungal and bacterial infections Can be diagnosed with skin scrapings. (Many fungi show up under a blacklight...) has she been checked for ringworm? If they have been checked for I would try a week of coconut oil on it and no more baths as they can over dry them out themselves. Just some of my thoughts. Hopefully some goaties chime in, does seem overkill to jump to euthanasia. Maybe vet is thinking an immune issue? :idunno
@Goat Whisperer @Southern by choice
 

Green Acres Farm

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Arrow was wormed with Ivermectin pour-on, per vets recommendation at the end of Sept, '16. Shortly after, I noticed flaking, dry skin on a couple does, which may or may not have been related.
Pour-on dewormers are very dangerous for goats, unlike cattle. All dewormers should be given orally, unless for mites under the skin where it would be injected.

No temps.
No mites, lice, or bugs.
Fecals repeated last week, all normal.
Did the vet do a skin plug to check for mites or just a fecal? Did he do a skin scraping to check for fungus?
Did he do a culture to check for staph?

I hope you figure out the problem. :hugs
 

frustratedearthmother

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Is your little gal getting minerals? There is evidence that a zinc deficiency can cause skin issues. Google it and see if you find matching symptoms. She sure is a cutie - good luck with her!
 

alsea1

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Was there a skin problem before the pour on wormer was used?
I would fit her up with a good coat for now so she can keep warm.
Look into feeding her foods that help naturally with immune system.
Make sure you have a vet that is up on goats. Not all vets are good with goats and sheep.
 

Bruce

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I don't know goats. I second @alsea1's question about whether she ever showed similar signs before the Ivermectin. If not it sure seems unlikely she has a genetic disorder causing ultra dry skin.

I'm not so sure that soaking her in the tub is a good idea. Odd as it sounds, water dries skin as will most any soap.

This is going to sound weird and I don't know where you would get it in a large quantity but:
Castor Oil
It is anti almost everything bad. antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, antiinflammatory.

I used it to get rid of a wart on my thumb. I ignored it until it was about 1/4" high and clearly not going away on its own, just kept getting bigger. I used Compound W for 2 months. Peeled off the dead 'cap' every couple of days which also meant small bits live skin at the edge of the wart being ripped out as well with some blood showing. Finally got it down to level with my skin which means the 'seed' was still there. My doctor suggested the duct tape method but since the wart was on my knuckle, no way, even with tape or a bandaid, to keep the spot of duct tape on. Wart started gaining height again. Then I found a reference to using castor oil to remove warts. Still couldn't use a bandaid so I couldn't put a 'castor oil pad' on it. I just put a drop on several times a day using a Qtip. It took some weeks but the wart is gone, the only evidence it ever existed is the scarring from pulling off the dead and live skin and Compound W 'glue'.

Second instance. Daughter came home from college for winter break. She had a dry area on her hand that was bleeding a bit. She had been using lotion. I convinced her to try castor oil. Problem cleared up in a week.

I know others that have used castor oil to get rid of scaly leg mites on their chickens. Some use petroleum jelly to smother the mites but that does nothing for the inflammation on the chicken's leg. Castor oil will smother the mites, isn't goopy and heals the skin so new scales can grow. You can also use it on their combs if you are concerned about possible frostbite. Again, it soaks into the skin rather than just being a glob on top that collects every small bit of stuff that comes in contact with it.

Might help, can't hurt! Good luck.
 

NH homesteader

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I have a goat that has patchy skin issues (think it's a hormone thing) when she's pregnant. I used bag balm, but I think you can use peppermint udder cream. I don't suggest either as a "fix it" solution as obviously more is going on, but it might make her more comfortable?

I am going to say this, and it is in no way directed at you, because you are obviously doing all you can for her... So please don't take offense. But I would find another vet if you can. A vet who recommends pour on Ivermectin for goats is not who I would trust to tell me a goat needs to be put down.

Sorry about your girl, I can tell she's loved.
 

WildOaksManor

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Did the vet do a skin plug to check for mites or just a fecal? Did he do a skin scraping to check for fungus?
Did he do a culture to check for staph?

No skin plug - he searched her and several others carefully for signs of mites, but didn't see any, and concluded that the Ivermectin would have taken care of them, (Administered Sept 30, 2016) if she did have them. No skin scraping, although he mentioned it. I think he was confident enough in his diagnosis to not think it necessary. No culture for staph - I'll ask about that.

Pour-on dewormers are very dangerous for goats, unlike cattle. All dewormers should be given orally, unless for mites under the skin where it would be injected.

Can you tell me what the dangers of the Ivermectin pour on, vs. the oral dose is? It was originally prescribed because one of my older goats came down with a coccidia overload, and also had lice (only one in the herd) and he decided to opt for the pour on for all of them, to prevent the lice from spreading, and bring everyone's wormings UTD.. He dosed according to their weight.
 
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WildOaksManor

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I would try a week of coconut oil on it and no more baths as they can over dry them out themselves. Just some of my thoughts. Hopefully some goaties chime in, does seem overkill to jump to euthanasia. Maybe vet is thinking an immune issue?
@Goat Whisperer @Southern by choice

Yes, I worded my info poorly, sorry. He said he thought she had a genetically weak immune system that was allowing the fungal infection to take over and not be kept in check, considering her care and diet. Which is why he mentioned putting her down.

I'm not so sure that soaking her in the tub is a good idea. Odd as it sounds, water dries skin as will most any soap.

This is going to sound weird and I don't know where you would get it in a large quantity but:
Castor Oil. It is anti almost everything bad. antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, antiinflammatory.

The reason I was soaking her in warm water was because she appeared to be in pain when walking, due to the cracked, bloody skin. I asked the vet if giving her a soak or two would help, and he said it would, although I can see your point. I was also thinking it would soften her skin to better absorb the coconut oil.

If I used castor oil, do you think I could apply it and leave her outside, or would that not be good in 30' temps?
 
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