Goats/anemic pygmy


QUESTION: Hi Donna.  Yes I have given the penicillan and b complex.  Just quit the complex this morning but I still give her iron 4 crushed 2x a day. I have been syringing the oat baby cereal with crushed rabbit pellets and yougart 2 x a day.Her eyelids are WHITE . The water is in the barn.  They are allowed to come and go all day and locked in at night. The only other animals that can drink from the tub is the barn cats.  I saved only one of the goats which was a young buck. He was treated with amprolium first them followed with borgal. He was also wormed with both valbazen and ivomec liquid.  He was given molassis and yougart too.  The alpine doe that died last summer was treated with the same and the vet said she had stomach worms but had been treated for them. I gave her new cells and vit b 12. Her eyes never got pink again either.  I'm not sure when to trust the fecal testing or not.  Wondered if I should treat Emma with amprolium for coccy. She was treated in Jan for it and the vet said no worms or eggs or coccy. Maybe a sulfa drug like borgal.  I just don't know anymore.  I hate to keep experimenting on her.  I put her in the sun this morning.  She can hardly stand but ate a bit of lettuce.  Her temp was 103 .0 but she was in the sun and it is 20 C here today. She seem to be in pain last night so I gave her 1 ml of banamine. What do you think .  None of my goats have been tested for CAE.  The only drugs we have here are banamine, oxytetracycline, penicillan short and long acting, borgal, vit b 12, and new cells.  That seems all we need for the sheep.  HELP!  I'm getting exhausted for answers.  Cindy

ANSWER: Thanks so much for the information.  So 20 C is about 68F and that would not make a goat's temp go to a fever, which is what she has (anything over 102.5 is a fever/infection).  You are looking at the lower inner eyelid, correct?  Many folks just pull down the eyelid a little and see white, which is normal for that area.  If she is not getting the nutrition she needs because of her illness then that could cause red blood cell loss.  Did you give her the horse Safeguard oral wormer as we talked about?  If not, then if it is the barber pole worm, the other wormers will not kill it, won't even make the worm ill.  If not, I would definitely do that regimen now.  Is the borgal you have injectable? I always advise folks to start with penicillin (and it must be intramuscularly or the goat is not getting enough of it) and if that does not work after a 7 to 10 day course (twice a day) then you should switch to another drug - usually I say oxytetracycline, but the borgal sounds like it might be helpful, and certainly worth a try.  Also, if the goat is not receiving probiotics during the while time it is on any antibiotics, then the rumen is not functioning correctly and usually goes downhill, which means the rest of the goat goes down hill.  Vitaming B12 does not help goats - it must be B complex with thiamin - it is the thiamin that keeps their nervous system intact and if their nervous system is not intact then the rest of the goat's systems go down hill.   If possible I would get human aspirin 325 mg tablets - one tablet per 100 pounds body weight (crushed and dissolved in a little hot water, cooled and given orally) every 2 hours until the fever is down.

Please remind me where you are located.  I was thinking you are in Canada, if this is true, there has been some issues in the past with pine trees causing a fungal pneumonia in livestock.  With that said, I might think this could also be a fungal pneumonia and would start on the oxytetracycline at 4.5 cc/100 pounds body weight once a day for 7 days.  

Do hope this helps - let me know - Donna

Extra item: I would also be sure the goats are up on their selenium with vitamin E and D (Bo-Se and gel types don't do the job because they lack vitamin D) - I use human type and can give you the dosage if you'd like - this helps the immune system strengthen up.  Would also give high doses of oral vitamin D3 oil - 5000 IU every day - this also helps strengthen the immune system.  

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QUESTION: Hi Donna.  Sadly Emma passed away 2 nights ago.  She put up a long fight for 4 1/2 months.  All four that have died slowly got worse each month.  Now the older doe that was in with Emma for company, has now gotten very pale eye membranes.  She is still eating normal but that is how they all started out.  I have been researching Johnes diesase and it seems to be a possibility.  The first to die were the pygmy twins (Emma's offspring).  Then I lost a young alpine doe ( about 3 years old) last fall and now Emma just died 2 days ago.  They all started to loose a large amount of weight before they became anemic.  Then they all lost their appetite and progressed to diarreha.  They then become so weak they have to be supported and carried out to the pasture for fresh air and lay in the sun.  I also have a wether nubien about 4 years old who was a very large build.  He has lost weight in the last few months despite being wormed routinely.  I have wormed them all with the safeguard paste 3x their weight  for 7/7/7 days. i really don't think this problem is parasites.  The sick ones had fecal testing done and they are wormed regularly , alternating with ivomec and safeguard.  What do you think?  Is there a test for johnes, and do you think its worth looking into or is their another type of virus that I could treat them for. Thanks in advance , Cindy

ANSWER: Sorry to hear of the loss.  Yes, there are fecal and tissue tests for Johne's.  The weight loss even with continued eating certainly can be caused by Johne's/paratuberculosis.  Anemia is not always evident.  Diarrhea is not always evident.  Liver flukes and the barber pole worm can cause anemia, weight loss, diarrhea.  Fecal testing only tests for intestinal worms other than barber pole and liver flukes.   And regular worming will not kill liver flukes and the barber pole worm.  Did any of the goats ever show bottle jaw? What color was the diarrhea? Johne's is a bacteria but one that research shows is not killed by any antibiotics available - the antibiotics can slow the progress but when stopped the disease increases.  It is also possible they had leptospirosis - do you have any ponds around the area where wildlife gets to it and the goats get to it? Did you have any new additions to your herd before the first goat became ill? Let me know - I will try and think of other items - Donna

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QUESTION: I originally started with 2 alpine does over 6 years ago to assist with milk production for my bottle fed lambs.  We kept their first off spring.  The next year my husband bought the pygmy for me for christmas.  She had triplets the next day.  We sold one and kept the other two.  They were the first to die.  The female died prob 6 months before the other at around 2 years old.  The male was the runt and always appeared shabby. He and another kid from another goat became sick at the same time.  The one survived the pygmy died 6 months after its sister.  I treated them for coccy with amprol and gave them borgal.The kid has grown but is smaller than most his age would be. Then was the alpine doe.  She was about 3 or 4 and died last summer. Now Emma died.  I have wethered buck rapidly loosing weight and depressed for several months now and my much older (original doe) is showing anemia and staying a short distance from the rest of the goats.  No bottle jaw was is any of them.  They all had diarrhea in the end except the young alpine doe.  The diarrhea starts like dog feces and then developes into runny, pudding constancy.  It is a light brownish/ with a hint of yellow. I'm afraid of passing this to all my sheep.  I have moved the goats to a new barn but they still share the pasture with my donkey.  He is out all night and they are out all day.  Can a donkey get johnes if that what it is. The sheep are in an adjoining pasture and barn. Thanks cindy

Thanks for the info.  Do you have a pond on your property?  Where does the goat's water come from? What type of pasture/plants/browse do you have around or in your pasture? Any pine trees around? Generally Johne's disease shows bottle jaw.  The poop you describe - dog poop is consistent with inestinal worms so could have been just coincidental, the diarrhea/pudding is then from intestinal issues.  The "shabby" appearance could easily be from mineral deficiencies or mineral toxicities.  Generally diseases do not pass onto the equine species, so would not worry about the donkey.  The yellow in the diarrhea can be from enterotoxemia - do you vaccinate with CDT toxoid - starts with kids at 2 weeks of age and multiple times during the first year of life and then at least once a year for goats one year of age and older.  Enterotoxemia can cause all the above symptoms.  Did you get new sheep at the time your goats started becoming ill?  Sheep are the usual culprits for passing on the Johne's.  For the wether you have who is showing illness, I would use LA200 at 4.5 cc/100 pounds body weight once a day for 10 days, along with vitamin B complex (human - four capsules a day crushed and dissolved in a little hot water, cooled and given orally) every day for 10 days, probiotics (a must when on antibiotics) of either yogurt or gel or powder every day while on antibiotics, would also give selenium with vitamin E and D (ten of the 200 mcg tablets crushed and dissolved in a little hot water, and add all oil from 1000 IU of the E and all the oil from an 800 IU of the D capsule, mix well, cool and give orally now and again in 10 days), would give a CDT vaccination 2 cc intramuscularly, keep on iron tablets at four tablets (crushed and dissolved) a day for 7 days, vitamin D3 5,000 units (either the oil inside or crushed tablet) once a day for 7 days, vitamin C 1000 mg crushed and dissolved and given orally every day for 7 days - you are welcome to mix all the oral items together if that is easier.  Would like to see how he does in 7 days on this regimen.  Hope this helps - let me know - I'll keep thinking - 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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