QUESTION: I have a female pygmy goat that I had purchased over 5 years ago.  She has always been healthy and dominate.  In January, I noticed her shaking ,twitching and lethargic.  I gave her penicillin assuming she had some kind of infection.  When I checked her closer a couple days later I noticed her eye membranes were almost white.  Immediately I gave her new cells injectable and vitamin B12 injectable.  She continues to stay on the same level.  The vet originally did fecals and there were no eggs or worms.  I am now giving her 1 1/2 ml of selon E and it seems to stop the shaking for a couple days.  I don't want to overdose her with selenium. She was 77 lbs but has been losing weight. How much selenium is too much.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.   Cindy

ANSWER: So the lower inner eyelids are white? What is her temperature?  Anything over 102.5 is an infection.  Where are you located?  Did the vet check for barber pole worm or liver flukes? This is a specialized test not just a regular stomach worm fecal check.  I do not use injectable selenium anymore - I use human oral dosing.  In order for selenium to work it also must have vitamin E and vitamin D given with it.  Use of ten of the 200 mcg human selenium tablets crushed and dissolved in a little hot water and to that all the oil from a 1000 IU vitamin E capsule and all the oil from an 800 IU vitamin D capsule is added, mixed, cooled and given orally.  You would repeat in 10 days - this is not enough to be toxic at all.  Let me know - Donna

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QUESTION: We live in southern ontario by the great lakes.  I have heard the soil is poor for selenium.  I have lost both her offspring and a alpine doe in the last year with the same symptoms.  I assume the vet would check for all kind of worms but I can call and check with them.  Before her fecal test she had been wormed with valbazen and ivomec injectable.  When that didn't help , I gave her amprolium because the test on her off spring showed coccidousis.  The alpine apparently had gastointestional nemetodes.  I don't understand how they all could have something different that ended in anemia and death.  She has been given the selenium injectable a few days ago and has quit shaking but still anemic.  I have given her 400iu of vitamin e and baby liquid vitamins daily. I'm not sure how soon to give the human selenium without causing an overdose.I will check her temperature tomorrow but has not showed a fever yet.  Thanks

ANSWER: Hi there - all goats carry coccidia and generally it does not bother goats other than young kid goats and their symptom would be green diarrhea.  Re the selenium dosing I gave you will never overdose a goat - there are other doses for younger goats - let me know and I can give those to you.  The selenium injectable does not contain vitamin D and thus is only partially working.  Generally, again, intestinal worms do not cause death unless there are literally thousands of eggs on the slide/fecal study.  I would use the selenium as I have give it to you and let me know if you need the kid goat dosings.  It takes a lot of selenium to overdose them on, really.  Re the other wormers you used, none of these really work well and use of a regimen of every 2 months switching between Zimectrin and Safeguard oral horse wormers work very well, and you cannot overdose on these either.  Let me know if you want to try them and I will get you the instructions.  Would suspect this is the barber pole worm and would treat accordingly - use of three times the body weight to find the dose on the plunger - put the lock on and give orally, once a week for three weeks.  Let me know - Donna

PS What other symptoms did the kid goats have and how old were the offspring when they died?

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QUESTION: Thanks, this sounds encouraging.  I will give her the selenium mixture tonight.  I have horse wormer for my donkey but not sure what kind.  If it is zimectrin i will use it too.  I know it isn't safeguard.  We have safeguard for our sheep but it is a liquid form.  I really hope this is gonna work.  She has been battling anemia for 2 months now.  The alpine doe died at 3 years old.  She just kept losing weight and was anemic. She also was getting some bald spots.  She got very unstable on her feet and wouldn't eat.  She had already died before the results came back for gastrointestinal nematodes She had been wormed at 10 day 10 day 10 day intervals with valbazen and ivomec. The pygmys twins died at around 2 years old. They also had been wormed.  They had very runny diarrhea, white eye membranes and no appetite.  They couldn't eat even a handful of grain without being in pain. The one had died 6 months before the other.  I really hope to save their mother. I'm very glad to find someone willing to help me. Thanks  Cindy

For the barber pole worm it must be Safeguard oral horse wormer and it is the three times the goat's weight to find the dosing on the plunger given once a week for three weeks.   As a regular wormer regimen for regular intestinal/stomach worms the Safeguard and Zimectrin horse wormers are used by doubling the weight of the goat and finding the dose on the plunger - every 2 months switcing back and forth between two.  What color was the diarrhea? Green is coccidiosis, white is E. coli, yellow is enteroxemia, and brown is either a bacterial infection or just upset stomach.  Hope this helps - let me know - 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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