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Goats/goat with seizures


QUESTION: Hello, I picked up 4 Boer goats on Sunday. They are adults, not sure of the age. They have been used to train herding dogs, and that is what I am planning on using them for.

When I got there to pick them up, I noticed one of the goats, a doe, was walking funny. Then she had a seizure. I noticed that she had some dog bite marks on her lip. The owner thought that she had her head stuck in the fence, and that she had a brain or spinal injury. I brought her home anyways, as I knew the man would not do anything to help her.

Then I looked on the Internet, and found a question you answered about seizures. Perhaps she had a B vitamin deficiency. I followed your instructions. When I took her temp, it was 105.5. I gave her some penicillin, and the next day got some B vitamin injectable. She had seizures all night Sunday, and about half the day Monday. She also seems blind. Now, she is just very listless, laying down, and struggling to get up. I just took her temp. and it's 100.2 I put some warm water in a syringe with some electrolytes, and was able to get her to swallow some. I have also put yogurt in a syringe, and I am pretty sure she got some of that down. Otherwise, she has not interest in food or water. I put a foal blanket on her, and a horse blanket over her, and she is in my horse you have any thoughts? Thank you so much.

ANSWER: With a fever of 105.5 (anything over 102.5 is a fever) she certainly would have seizures - her brain is burning up.  This of course is caused by an infection and starting her on penicillin is excellent - 3 cc/100 pounds body weight twice a day for 5 days given intramuscularly, if you are giving it subcutaneously then it must be 6 cc/100 pounds body weight.  She most likely also has a thiamin deficiency which is polio in goats for which she needs vitamin B complex that has thiamin in it - if the injection is just vitamin B 12 that will not help.  Oral vitamin B complex works but must be given at four times the human dose twice a day (crush tablets and dissolve in a little hot water, cool and orally drench).  This needs to go on until she starts eating again.  If she spikes a fever again you can use human aspirin at one 325 mg per 100 pounds body weight every 4 hours until the fever is down.  Glad you started yogurt, as she must have probiotics during the antibiotic therapy or her rumen will die.  Once a day yogurt is fine.  Electrolytes are also excellent - human type works fine - orally drenched if she is not drinking on her own.  Would also start her on some mush - cooked baby rice cereal or other cereal to a mush and add karo syrup or molasses to it and if you have any type of fiber that is great too - human type fiber to put in drinks - mix together/blend well so it is very smooth and can be drawn up in a syringe to give orally - twice a day about 1 cup each time if possible.  Keeping her warm too is excellent and keeping her in a small area as you are doing is perfect.  Hope this helps - let me know - you are welcome to call me anytime too at 360-742-8310 Donna

PS Sounds like she probably has an infection from the wounds/injuries.  The blindness is from the polio.  Polio, unfortunately can be fatal, but you can sometimes bring them back from the state she is currently in - it is a battle but it can sometimes be won - the blindness should go away once the polio is being treated with the thiamin.  If you have a local vet who might give you injectable thiamin that would be great too.  

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I bought injectable Vitamin B Complex, and have been giving her 2cc 2x a day,  under the skin. I estimate her weight at about 85 pounds. Is that enough? The bite wounds were quite fresh, so I am not sure the infection would have set in already. At any rate, thank you so much for your help.

Thanks for the info - sorry I did not get back to you last night.  Re the vitamin B complex - that would not be enough, especially subcutaneously given, to get the amount of thiamin she needs to turn around the polio - would expect she would need 4 cc four times a day if you are giving subcutaneously - intramuscularly is best in this situation though and then the dose would be 2 cc four times a day.  Hope this helps - Donna


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Donna Ruelas-Semasko/Edelweiss Acres


All goat health care, nutrition, judging questions about all goats - packgoats, dairy goats, pygmy goats, meat goats, fleece goats.


27 years health care/nutrition of all types of goats, 17 years experience in packgoats, 20 years experience in 4H goat projects as leader, superintendent and judge. 20 years experience in putting on goat care/nutrition seminars.

NAPgA, The Evergreen Packgoat Club, 4H, ADGA.

Hobby Farm, many newspapers, 4H newsletters, Packgoat Manuals (youth and general), judging information pamphlets, seminar handouts about health care and nutrition.

4 years of college, ongoing education in goats.

Awards and Honors
Small Farm Award of Thurston County

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