Goats/sick goats


QUESTION: Hi Donna first about peanut , she appears to be doing great , there is still a lot of hard tissue , but not rock hard . The teat is soft accept that lump . I did a California mastitis test on the other side , and she is clear of any problem . The last injection of la 200 is tomorrow and I'm going to be out of that , so can I switch back to the penicillin , for the 7 days you told me to do ?          Now for the three goats with possible liver fluke , the youngest two really have shown big improvement today eating more drinking etc . I have upped their vitamins and iron , and of course they are still getting pen . Only the buck is still a bit under the weather and I expect him to show improvement by tomorrow . I am going to get the safeguard , and had I not ran out this winter they would have got it yesterday . Mostly that's all I use now is Ivermectin 1.87% horse wormer , and then switch to the safeguard horse wormer . I saw somewhere on line that they need to be wormed 3x every 10 days for this , is this what I do ? Thanks again for all your help .

ANSWER: Thanks for the update.  Yes, you can switch to penicillin and would do the 7 days.  So glad the other three are doing well.  I use a once a week worming regimen for the liver flukes and barber pole worm but 10 days is fine too it is between 7 and 10 days for dosing - I always like to dose earlier in goats and I always give more (example - if the goat is 100 pounds then three times is 300 pounds and I put the lock on the 500 pound mark).  The issue with liver flukes is that you want to kill all the adults in them, and any larvae that are traveling through the goat's system, and then the third treatment is for any larvae who are just starting their journey through the system.  If we think it is liver flukes then re treating in 2 to 3 months would be advised.  Hope that helps - Donna

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QUESTION: Hi Donna , I have good news and not so good news . The 2 Boers are more themselves eating good and drinking good . The little Nubian is still a bit lethargic but I believe he will come to by tomorrow , hes the only one hasn't lost weight . Maple , poor little maple , again she has gone backwards , vomiting , teeth grinding , and of course the bleating . I see no more reason to keep treating this poor unfortunate creature . I personally believe that she indeed has had liver fluke all this time , we are talking since November 2012 . I missed the real problem and treated her for everything but the problem . Periodically , she was wormed through this and some healing took place but within a shot time she went down hill . My theory , the flukes have damaged vital organs so much that even green grass is toxic to her . I don't believe she can tolerate it . Therefore , I don't see any reasonable future for this girl , the others yes , but for Maple this is no way to live , sick all the time . I'm just going to let nature take it's course . I've 100% quarantined her as she was leaving a trail of this everywhere , and I don't need the herd catching these if I can help it . That being said the whole herd will be wormed as if being treated for liver flukes . Did you say that the Sulmet will work for this also ?, because if it will it will go further than safeguard and would be cheaper to do 40 goats . The original 4 will be done with the safeguard horse wormer . Thankyou

ANSWER: Hi there - It does sound like Maple's insides have been eaten away by the most likely liver flukes.  With that said, I agree with your decision.  But liver flukes must have snails that is their intermediate host, and those are near ponds, lakes, swampy area and not usually in a pasture unless those wet areas are in the pasture where they goats get to.  The easiest way to keep goats from getting liver flukes is to keep them away from wet/water sources - if there is a swampy/wet/water area in the pasture then that has to be fenced off from the goats getting into it.  The barber pole worm can do the same thing with internal organs of the goat.  The only thing that kills both barber pole worm and liver flukes that I have known is the use of the oral horse wormer Safeguard at three times the goat's body weight to find the dose, given once a week for three weeks (or if you want once every 10 days for three times).  The Sulmet is an oral antibiotic that works well for pneumonia or coccidiosis.  Hope this helps - Donna

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QUESTION: Hi Donna , I know I said I wouldn't treat for this latest problem of vomiting , but I couldn't stand to stand by and watch , so I gave her 2 Zantac which I knew would bring her out of it , and sure enough , she's out there chewing cud , eating feed and wondering why she's locked up alone . One thing I have noticed and I suppose its the iron she's getting , is she is a lot stronger and there's actually life in her eyes . I don't know what to think of her . Question , all this foam and throwing is why I've locked her up , do you think this stuff is carrying these critter's , liver flukes ? I do have a small area that is in lush grass and nothing else , I can put her in . I want to test her out on just grass , I mean no other plants around . I took a walk out in the pasture and sure enough a couple plants of horse tail , and sure enough nibbled on , most likely candidate , Maple . I'll see how she does on the proper stuff , of course she gets hay and other stuff also . Yes there is a swampy area that mostly is dry but in the fall and spring it gets pretty wet , and I did find a snail stripped yellow , is this the culprit ? This little part will be fenced off tomorrow , isn't much any good grows there anyway . Sorry to bother you on your weekend , o one more thing Peanuts udder has really softened up tonight , what a difference , I can see a full recovery coming . I have been really forcing myself after supper to go out with a hot gel pack and sitting on the milk stand for 15 to twenty minutes every evening , it sure has been worth it , Thanks .

Thanks for the update.  Is Maple on consistent probiotics? Did we talk about "re-setting" her rumen with Nux Vomica? The foam and vomiting can indicate grass tetany - hypomagnesia - this happens when the ruminant eats lush green grass and this depletes the magnesium in their body.  Perhaps some human magnesium could help - couldn't hurt.  Doubt the fluids she gives off would carry the liver fluke larvae.  Re the horse tail, the amount Mable eats may be enough to through her rumen off and that is why the Zantac helps.  I'm sure the reason Peanut's udder is softer is because you work on her so well - I  know it takes time but sounds like it will be worthwhile.  


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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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