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Goats/Nubian goat, weight loss + hard to get up


QUESTION: Hello, we have a 7.5yr old nubian wether who for the last 2 weeks has not been able to get up on his own. He is flat when we find him and with some assistance from us, he does get up. He moves slow and a bit shaky but is eating well both grain and hay. Drinking fine, his urine is fine as well as his poop.
We had the vet out to perform some acupunture and that seemed to help. She said he is very stiff and arthritic. Currently, its visible he is loosing weight even though he is eating. He does not appear sick-just frustrated he can't get up.

I purchased some Ivermectin tonight and some Safeguard for Meningeal worms. Not sure if thats it but he does have some patchy spots on his coat and loosing some hair. When he was less than a year he had a urinary caluci and recovered after surgery. He did have laminitis at one point when he was much younger- so I'm not sure if it is that. He gets some chow and plenty of hay.

ANSWER: I have been pondering your questions, and I have some for you. Why do you think he has meningeal worm? What does the vet think about that? What kind and how much grain are you giving him? Both the calculi and the laminitis can be caused by too rich grain, and Wethers should not even get grain.

It will not hurt to deworm him. Has he been tested for CAEV? Did the vet check his joints? I recently read a medical article where spinal problems were caused by copper deficiency. Do you give copper?

Sorry for all the questions. I just need to get an idea of possibilities. CAEV can cause arthritis and wasting, so that would be my concern.

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QUESTION: We ran the question of meningeal worms by the vet and she does not think that is the problem. she also does not think he has laminitis, but diagnosed by another vet with such. My husband felt he did not trust the vet about the worms so we went ahead witht the deworming process just in case.
Joe (the goat) gets half a cup of grain twice a day and all the hay he can eat. He IS losing weight and his joints are "creaky". We know he has arthritis and has for about 2 years. The cold really bothers him here in NE PA. He was not checked for CAE, but came from a breeder of show goats. I am checking with her today to see if her herd was tested.
As for the copper, he does have a billy-block with copper in it. He seems to be weaker this morning as it was difficult to get him up, but opnce he's up, he's a little stiff and then eats, drinks, pees and poops normally. He's just a little slow in moving, but by the end of the day he seems a little better.
His main issue is getting up and down and the weight loss despite his appetite.
If it is CAE, I know there is no cure, but what can we do for him?
Thanks for your help.

I forgot on the answer to other questions to mention the importance of good roughage in trying to keep the weight on. Another option for this is hydrated beet pulp or hydrated field peas added to the diet. It sounds similar to arthritis in humans, where once they get moving, they feel better.


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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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