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Goats/Goat with Listeriosis


QUESTION: I have a doe about 1.5 yrs. old that developed Listeriosis the day we sold her baby (however I could not find any moldy hay and her sister did not develop any problems).  It took me 5 days to figure out that it was Listeriosis - the vet had me treating her for Goat polio, but once I started the high doses of Penicillin she started to improve (4cc every 6 hrs. for the last 31 days - I have also continued the b-complex 3 times a day).  She has made incredible improvement, but the past week she has not seemed to advance.  She was totally stiff, neck cranked back and seemed blind.  She walks around now - even runs at times (not circling, but just a little off and bleats very softly).  I have been told to continue until symptom free for 24 hrs. - does that mean she will look totally normal, or could she always be a little off?  She has gained some of her weight back (but not a lot, about 5 lbs.)- but I think nutrition could be an issue.  Should I be feeding her anything differently (she gets alfalfa, rolled oats, barley, a small amount of grain and I try to throw pro-biotic in every few days)  But I'm not sure how much of this she gets and how much her sister gets.  Is there any other special diet I should be giving her?  Thanks so much.

ANSWER: If there was no mold then no listeriosis.  Would suspect pneumonia.  The stress of losing her kid certainly could have stressed her immune system and allowed her to catch pneumonia.  Could also have been leptospirosis.  3 cc per 100 pounds body weight twice a day for 7 days intramuscularly.  At the time of antibiotics you also must keep her on probiotics or polio will come about.  Polio is always a secondary disease to not eating well.  I use human B complex tablets (with thiamin) at 8 tablets crushed and dissolved in a little hot water and given orally twice a day until the goat is eating again.  You also must provide the goat with extra food - sometimes as an oral drench if they are not eating.  

Glad she is doing better.  What color are her lower inner eyelids? Is she peeing and pooping normally? Is she drinking well?  The stiff neck and turned neck along with blindness are all part of the polio symptoms.  Re the probiotics, you must give these as oral drenching or she will not get enough to help her.  She needs the B complex with the thiamin to get the polio to turn around and keep her from getting it again.  The rolled oats and barley do not provide her enough protein to get weight on her.  I use a general livestock pelleted feed along with calf manna for goats who need extra weight on or extra protein such as does in milk.  

Hope this helps - Donna

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QUESTION: She doesn't show any symptoms for either pneumonia or leptospirosis.  Her symptoms where exact for goat polio and/or listeriosis, but the BComplex had no effect and I didn't see improvement till I started the penicillin.  I thought she was eating and drinking well, I'd see her pee and poop (normally) - but for the last week, she has not been nibbling as aggressively on the alfalfa.  I made a dredge of the calf manna with crushed b-complex pills, probios and electrolites.  I've been giving her 60cc every time I give her a shot (except at 2am), and a couple of times in between (only put the probios in once a day).  She seems to have a little more spark in her eyes - but not a lot.  Her lower inner eyelids are pink or salmon in color.   Do you think it will just take more time?
Thanks, so much - Dawn

Goat polio is always a secondary disease that always occurs after a goat has another illness that causes not eating - that's it.  Listeriosis occurs only when a goat eats a mold from the hay or grain.  A high dose of B complex with thiamin is needed and if you give injections these need to be intramuscular.  Is she up to date on her selenium/vitamin E and D supplement?  What is her current temperature?  I would say she had a pneumonia because of the stress - goats easily get this when their immune system goes down.  Is she having the above symptoms of the polio?  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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