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Goats/3 month old with what we think is polio?


QUESTION: We have been treating this goat for about 4 weeks now and even got a second opinion. Today was the first day she started laying her head back and walked in circles, but the vet had me cut some of the 200mg Thiamine shots out and when I do she goes down hill fast. Sunday she was out eating and her tail was up but she was off to herself because she cant see. She has good days and bad days. I have came close to killing her, but waiting on the miracle cure one day as she is all of our favorites. Def down fall when we remove some of the thiamine. Fighting this for a month and don't know what to do? I know I have gave 110% on this baby the first words out of my wifes mouth was she is not going anywhere-she stays here. So added pressure for me to make this work. Have you got anything for me. She is juiced up on 200mg Thiamine now, some aspirin and pepto. Keep going or shoot her? Thanks Rick McWhirt.

ANSWER: It is recommended to treat for listeriosis and polio at the same time, just to cover both bases. Get some dexamethasone from the vet to help with brain swelling.  Tx for listeriosis is 6 ml/100 lbs of procaine penicillin every six hours. The biggest problem with this is that the goat will grow to fear you from having so many shots.

Some eventually come out of it, but with a month out, she may already have some permanent, or at least long-term, damage. Her age is in her favor though.

I guess that doesn't totally answer your question. It is very personal. I would recommend trying these things before giving up.

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QUESTION: Both Vets that saw her would not do or give the Dex. The one gave me Banamine. I treated her for 2 weeks with the Penn G and was told by both Vets who raise Boer Goats to stop the Penn. Seemed like the Penn was making her sick? I did probiotics and she quit eating, the paste form. I did a cud transfer from her Mom yesterday and that's is a terrible thing for me, stinks to all get out. Did any more of this info help? If you tell me to do the Penn G again I will. Whatever it takes, Im all in at this point. Rick

ANSWER: If the penicillin didn't work in two weeks, then it probably is not listeriosis. I would listen to a goat vet over me. Cud transfer is good. Another way to do that (for the future) is, with another person, as soon as the goat brings up the cud, syringe warm water into her mouth and have your partner ready with a bowl to catch the water. Then syringe that into the other goat. Saves getting bit, which has happened to me.

I don't understand why they won't give Dex. It is used in goats all the time. Especially with the circling, indicating neurological impact. i would ask again, if you feel comfortable doing that.

I would give fortified vitamin B also, to help with her appetite.

I wish I could offer more help.

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QUESTION: Ok,I got the vet that saw her to give me dexamethasone today and I gave her the first dose today. Well I did some research and it said while the goat is on this medicine it shuts the immune system down. With her already not in top shape should I give an antibiotic and what one. I have Penn g and LA-200 and Nuflor. But I don't want to kill off any good micro's in the gut, like I did giving the pen g orally. She has 5 more shots to go. He gave me individual shots and not a bottle and the first shot was 3cc down to 1/2cc on the 6th day. What else do I need to know or do. Im open for anything at this point. Also on the back edge of one of her ears she has about a 3 inch long place that is dead and getting deeper toward the center of the ear. I have no idea what that is. But it has got bigger since last week. Thanks Rick

Yikes. The place on the ear is of concern. I wonder what is going on. I would use hot compresses on that and also put honey on it for healing.  Use the penicillin rather than the LA-200, just in case it is listeria. But get some probiotics and give those daily to replace the loss of gut bacteria. The penicillin should be given by injection SQ; I am not even sure if it works orally. Dosage is 6 ml/100 lbs every 6 hours.

How is she doing on eating? And what about her mood/attitude. Is she depressed? Lots of roughage, hand-picked and also hot/warm water hand-delivered so you can make sure how much she is getting. I really hope this turns her around and she is not too traumatized afterwards.


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Cheryl K. Smith


Goat Health Care; basic goat management. Author of Goat Health Care (2009) and Raising Goats for Dummies (2010)


Publisher of Goat Health Care, I have raised miniature dairy goats since 1998. I published Ruminations, the Nigerian Dwarf and Mini Dairy Goat magazine for 7 years and mentor other goat owners, as I was mentored for my first years.

American Goat Society (AGS), The Miniature Goat Registry (TMGR)

Raising Goats for Dummies (author) Goat Health Care (Editor and Author), Ruminations, Dairy Goat Journal, Issues in Law and Medicine, Topics in Health Records Management, Oregon Bar Bulletin, Midwifery Today, Countryside

BS, Health Information Administration JD, Law

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