Goats/sick kids

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Question
Hi Donna , been real crazy here , all the kids that contracted what I believe to be liver fluke have expired . I treated with the horse wormer and that didn't work , then turned to Valbazen at 1 cc per 10 lbs . The anemia continued till they died , they were treated for coccidia also . They were given lots of iron and b 50 complex , which in this last kid did pink up his gums . He died this morning and I just opened him up to check his liver . Not sure what i'm looking for , but 80% was pale to grey , the rest was normal a rich red . Looks like damage but I don't know . His belly was full , eating well . I have ivomec plus coming Friday , I also have 1 more kid 14 weeks that is showing signs of the same thing , but he is still in good flesh . Definitly signs of anemia pale gums and eyelids . He also has been treated for coccidia , and this was just in case , and he also was treated with the horse wormer and then Valbazen a week ago . Like I say Friday before I get the ivomec plus , and whatever this is it kills fast turning their gums and mouth snow white . Can I give the buck in question a big dose of Valbazen tonight ? He weighs around 50 lb , was thinking doubling up from 5 to 10 cc , to try and get this bug . I've lost a total of 5 kids to the bug and one to entro toxima .

Answer
Wow!  Okay, so you have been using Fenbendazole oral horse paste wormer at three times the animal's weight given once a week for three weeks, correct?  I have read articles where Ivomec does work and then again does not.  The liver description sounds like necrosis that can be caused by the liver fluke larvae and/or Clostridium haemolyticum (Redwater is the common term) - did you ever see any dark urine, or dark poop or jaundice in the white's of the goats' eyes? The "Redwater" bacteria is picked up in the soil and travels to the liver, which has already been injured by the liver flukes and once that bacteria is in the liver it creates necrotic areas and causes severe, quick loss of blood/red blood cells.  This is a reason that in Canada use of Tasvax 8 is suggested for cattle, goats and sheep. The iron you gave them, was this the injectable or the oral "red cell" or regular human type?  

I would definitely start all kid goats on your choice of anti liver fluke worming regimen but has to be using three times their body weight and I would suggest six times their body weight if they are less than 25 pounds, and given once a week for three weeks - liquid type wormers just do not seem to work well for the goats and that is why I like the horse wormer gel/cream.
I know the valbazen is an albendazole and in the same family as fenbendazole but I just have not seen it work well enough ever to use it.  

I had two kid goats called about this year that we assumed had liver flukes, started them on Safeguard oral horse wormer (fenbendazole) giving each (20 pound kid weight) dosing for a 100 pound animal, once a week for three weeks.  We also used oral human iron in the form of Geritol tonic at a rate of three times a human dose once a day for 7 days and then every other day for 7 more days - they are both doing well and finally gaining weight and pinking up in their lower inner eyelids - one was not doing as well and so we started him on penicillin injectable for 5 days, twice a day - figured it was a pneumonia - both are now in good condition.  I have told that owner to re do the worming regimen again for the three week interval.

Also, because they are already weakened by the blood loss their immune system is down and so pneumonia can easily be a secondary infection that is taking them.  Treatment with penicillin twice a day for 5 days perhaps even 10 days - penicillin also kills the redwater bacteria, if that is our culprit.  The fast killing sounds like the redwater bacteria as it releases a toxin in the liver and can kill from 12 hours to 4 days time.  

Do hope this helps - Donna

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Donna Ruelas-Semasko/Edelweiss Acres

Expertise

All goat health care, nutrition, judging questions about all goats - packgoats, dairy goats, pygmy goats, meat goats, fleece goats.

Experience

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.

Organizations
NAPgA, The Evergreen Packgoat Club, 4H, ADGA.

Publications
Hobby Farm, many newspapers, 4H newsletters, Packgoat Manuals (youth and general), judging information pamphlets, seminar handouts about health care and nutrition.

Education/Credentials
4 years of college, ongoing education in goats.

Awards and Honors
Small Farm Award of Thurston County

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