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Goats/pet goat getting sicker and sicker


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QUESTION: We have one female pet goat.(live on a mini farm, bought a pair, but the boy died shortly after we got them)  We have had her since 2000. Her weight is approx 80 lbs. Not sure of the breed, photo attached of when she was younger) 2 years ago, we gave her to a goat farmer for her sake to be with other goats and have babies, but she was so mean to the new people, they brought her back one day 6 mos later!!  She (her name is Millie)only likes my husband and butts and gets all mean if I come around her.

Christmas Eve, she fell to the ground, and was on her side, all 4 legs stretched out straight.  Could not get up herself and seemed to my husband that she was having difficulty breathing.
Had done internet reading and called a goat farmer down the road. Thought it was bloat, but after a day or 2 we have ruled this out-no signs, no swelling, eyes pulled down are red or pink, urinating and pooping as normal. No diarrhea.

Christmas Eve the farmer close to us who has 30 goats helped us and gave us a shot of penicillin and a shot of the B-12 complex.
Christmas Day, she was no better and no meds given to her.
Wed 12/26 AM we got another shot of penicillin and stuff to drink called Bounce Back.  By that evening, she was getting up and down on her own and sitting normally in her pen (we have snow so she is not in a field)
Thurs 12/27AM and afternoon she seemed a lot better, got up and down on her own, walked outside in her pen and sat normally in the sun for a while. I purchased penicillin, Bounce Back and sweet all-stock pellets for goats and other needed items.  She got bounce back in the aftn, and a Thursday shot of Penicillin, was up on her own and ate some hay (alfalfa,grass mix from our dairy farmer down the street-clean and no mold), drank more bounce back and ate some of the sweet all stock which she doesn't really like. She likes the cracked corn, but we read not to give that to her.
Fri 12/28 and Sat 12/29 back down on side again in her stall, can only get up with help of my husband, he has rigged her stall so she cant lay down, only sit down. Eating less but drinking water and the bounce back.  She got her penicillin shot Friday and yesterday for the total of 5 per our helpful local goat farmer.  No improvement and seems to be getting worse the past 2 days.  Read and was told cant give her B-complex or the iron until 10 days from x-Xmas eve.  Read articles galore in the past week and totally frustrated as what to do next for her.  Two local goat farmers says our local vet is not helpful with goats, so we have been relying on the advice of the first farmer who helped us and a second who worked in the local Orscheln who also raises goats.  I've helped him with the goat to move her, propped her up when he was gone, bought goat stuff and not trying you for any possible help as we don't know what is wrong with her or what to do next.  Thanks in advance. Also, we live in southern indiana if that helps.

ANSWER: What is the penicillin dose you are giving. It should be twice a day. Also I am confused as to why you cannot give the fortified b vitamins. If this is polio, she would need high doses of that or, ideally, thiamine. Get her whatever roughage you can to help keep her rumen going well. Also probiotics. Is she arching her head at all or stargazing. Is it only her back legs that are affected, or weakness in all legs? Have you read about meaning earl worm? Do you have deer in the vicinity? Have you taken her temp? Let me know, and maybe we can pinpoint something. Also google listeriosis and goat polio.

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QUESTION: We were told 1cc per 100 lbs and we have been giving her the 1cc since her weight is about 80 lbs.  The goat farmer down the road said B-12 complex and iron shot once every 10 days, so she got one x-mas eve. No arching of head, basically hanging her head.  She did get up on her own once today, walked outside in the sun and layed back down....All legs are affected, like she is too weak to get up and stand up.  We can get probiotics and thiamine if that is what she needs.  She will only eat a bit of hay today, but she will drink the bounce back.  Yes, we have a lot of deer around us and no, we have not taken her temperature. We have plenty of penicillin if it's ok to give her more.  First 3 shots were SC near the neck and last 2 were IM in her rear...2nd guy said to give it in the muscle and not SC.  Have not read about earl worm and some about goat polio and listeriosis, but will look at more now.  This is the first time she has been sick in all of these years, so this is very new to us.

ANSWER: Sorry, my autocorrect changed meningeal worm to earl worm. Take her temp. The dose. For penicillin is 3-6 ml per 100 lb, so you are under dosing. Give her 5 now. Do not do IM, SQ is fine and safer. Use neck, above armpit or along ribs. You give it twice a day. It. Does not sound like a. Neurological problem. Put you head to her side and listen to lungs. Any runny nose or coughing? Let me know what else you find out.

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QUESTION: My husband says she is now closer to 60 lbs.  Also, he is wondering why the 2 farmers by us say you can only give them Penicillin for 5 days or THAT can kill them.  I have plenty of penicillin, and 3cc syringes.  I will give her the shot twice a day if you think this is ok.  No coughing or runny nose and no rattling when listening to lungs.  The only thing we ever notice is like white slober when she is laying on her side with the 4 legs stretched out. Also, she had a hoof that was all cracked and split and the farmer down the read came and did hoof maintenance about 3 weeks ago.  This afternoon she has had 1 gal of bounce back and has eaten hay, some of her cracked corn which she likes and has been up quite a bit.  Also, I have checked and our Farm store has some mineral feed with B vitamins, they have probiotic paste or a bag of easy to feed granules, and they have dewormer for goats, but she shows no sign of worms.  We have checked everything. Husband has checked eyes again and one is normal and one is white when you pull down the bottom lid. Please let me know what you recommend we buy tomorrow AM early and, I will wait on your response to the penicillin that my husband is afraid to give her.  Thanks you so much!!!

It is safe to give the penicillin. Give her the full dose twice a day for 5 days. Sounds like she may be improving. I would deworm her just in case. I use albendazole ( valbazen). Only cannot give it if she is pregnant. I use the probiotic paste. Give wheat straw, fir boughs, whatever roughage you have around. This really helps, as that is a normal goat diet. I would avoid the corn.

On the slobber, could be lungs, could be a problem with teeth and chewing. You can also get senior horse feed and give small amounts that are hydrated. It is good nutrition and easy to eat.

Good luck.


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Cheryl K. Smith


Goat Health Care; basic goat management. Author of Goat Health Care (2009) and Raising Goats for Dummies (2010)


Publisher of Goat Health Care, I have raised miniature dairy goats since 1998. I published Ruminations, the Nigerian Dwarf and Mini Dairy Goat magazine for 7 years and mentor other goat owners, as I was mentored for my first years.

American Goat Society (AGS), The Miniature Goat Registry (TMGR)

Raising Goats for Dummies (author) Goat Health Care (Editor and Author), Ruminations, Dairy Goat Journal, Issues in Law and Medicine, Topics in Health Records Management, Oregon Bar Bulletin, Midwifery Today, Countryside

BS, Health Information Administration JD, Law

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