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Goats/sick pygmy goat


QUESTION: My 3 year old pygmy goat nanny has been slowly losing weight for the last couple of weeks. Her appetite has seemed good, but she has been a little dopey. 2 days ago, she became very dopey. Seemed to lose a lot of weight very suddenly. her body temp was 35 C. I moved her into the heated garage and gave her selenium and vitamin B shots. I've also been adding electrolytes and glucose to her water. She is drinking a lot and is still eating, but not much. Her stomach seems to be gurgling a lot. She is pooping normal. She was very weak on her legs and as of yesterday will not stand without me lifting her up. Her inner eyelids are white - I'm just not sure how to give her iron? I have human oral pills, will they work for her? Anything else I should check or can do for her.?

ANSWER: Sorry for the delay in answering - I was working out on the farm - back in now.  So she has a very low body temperature with 35C.  Anything she could have gotten into in the pasture - mushrooms, poisonous plants, neighbors throwing over toxic plants? If she is on grain have you checked the grain for mold?  Have you checked her hay for mold.  From the white lower (it is correct that you are looking at the lower inner eyelids?) inner eyelids that would indicate anemia.  The weight loss and anemia could be barber pole worm or liver flukes.  She could also now have a pneumonia - any nasal discharge or cough or shortness of breath?  I would suggest starting her on Safeguard horse oral wormer - not the liquid goat wormer, but the horse wormer - this is fenbendazole.  Triple her weight and find the closest highest measurement on the plunger - you cannot overdose and it is best to give more than less - put the lock on that weight dosage and give orally, repeat this once weekly for a total of three weeks.  I would also start her on antibiotics - penicillin is best if you have it - 3 cc/100 pounds body weight twice a day for 5 days or LA200 - 4.5 cc/100 pounds once every other day for 5 doses could also work - intramuscular injections are the best - if you are not comfortable with the thigh muscle injection (you must pull back on the plunger to be sure the needle is not in a vein or anaphylactic shock can occur) the subcutaneous injections are okay but you must double the dose amount.  During this time she needs probiotics and I would suggest she be on those anyway.  Vitamin B complex is a good idea, not just the B12 but all the B vitamins including thiamin - oral human vitamins work very well.  It is good she is eatingh and drinking for you.  Any liquids you give her I would give warm to try and warm her systems up.  Iron is advised too - Geritol liquid is great but if you have human iron tablets would start on twice the human dosage once a day for 7 days and then back off to every other day for a week - by that time if this is the barber pole worm or liver fluke, hopefully these will begin being killed off by the fenbendazole and you should start to see pink in the lower inner eyelids.  Electrolytes and glucose are great.  Hope this helps - let me know - Donna

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

QUESTION: Thanks for the info. I'll pick up the fenbendazole tomorrow. I'm just wondering if I should treat the whole herd or just her. Also, would it be contagious to the horses in the pasture beside her?

Hi there - I would generally not treat the whole herd for something like barber pole worm or liver flukes unless you start seeing the lower inner eyelids becoming very light pink or you see the goats becoming less thrifty.  It is certainly your choice though.  Re the horses, generally ruminants only would share the same worms and so could become infected if in the same pasture, worms are generally species specific.   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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