Question My goat has (in my opinion) tetanus. He is lethargic and exhibiting the rocking horse stance. He won't eat or come out of his house and when he does stand up, he extends his hind legs backwards asthough he is trying to urinate. He has three deepish (through the top epidermal layer) lacerations about an inch and a half in length and they are a couple of days old on the top of his shoulders. I treated his cuts and then noticed his abnormal behavior the next day. I am not sure if he sustained any cuts prior to this time and can only find one old healing much smaller cut on his neck. So, his stance, lethargy and high fever (F 102) lead me to suspect tetanus. (he is a new goat and I'm not sure of his vaccination history - I was told he was utd on all shots when I got him)My vet administered CDT toxoid and I have subsequently read that this is not what should have been given. A second vet stated that you can administer either the toxoid or the antitoxin. Please help as I love my goat and hate to see him this way. Do or don't you administer CDT toxoid to a goat even in the early stages of tetanus? Is it and acceptable method to administer either one or does it specifically HAVE to be the CD antitoxin and ONLY the CD antitoxin?
Answer The symptoms are more indicative of polio from an infection from the lacerations. Anything over 102.5 is a fever. If he is not eating and has not been eating and drinking then polio will set in. Is he up to date on his CDT toxoid? They should be getting 2 cc dosing once a year starting at age 1 year. You are certainly fine with giving him tetanus antitoxin which is usually available at the feed/farm store. The true symptom of tetanus is a stiff neck. I would start him on penicillin at 3 cc/100 pounds body weight given intramuscularly in the thigh muscle twice a day for 7 days. He also needs vitamin B1/thiamin twice a day - human pills are fine - giving 10 of the crushed up tablets and dissolved in a little liquid, given orally twice a day - polio is the lack of B1 in their system and that causes the neurologic symptoms he is showing. He also needs food - and if he is not eating then you would make a mush that is thin enough to orally drench him with three times a day - I can give you a recipe for that. He also needs electrolytes given orally if he is not drinking. If he has a fever (over 102.5) then he can have human aspirin at one 325 mg aspirin per 75 pounds body weight crushed and dissolved in a little hot water and given orally every 4 hours until the fever comes down. Re the CD antitoxin that is not tetanus - CDT stands for Clostridium type C&D (enterotoxemia bacteria) and T is tetanus. The toxoid is given as a prevention and the antitoxin is given when the animal exhibits symptoms. Hope this helps - let me know - Donna
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You have given me hope that Gruffy can get better. Thank-you so much. Your response is very insightful and to the point. I will start him on the treatment immediately and follow up with updates here on his progress. I really appreciate your input. Please can you give me your recipe for a mash for him.
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.
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