Goats/Pneumonia

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Question
Hi Donna,

I have two Alpine whethers who are six months old.  One of them has been treated for pneumonia for nearly two months and we can't seem to get him completely over it.  We gave him Pen G two months ago, didn't see much of a difference, then called the vet who gave him Ivermec and a round of Draxxin.  We saw some improvement over time- he gained some weight and he breathing got better, but he was still “snorty” when he breathed.  So he got another round of Draxxin from the vet.  Same results.  Then the vet switched him to Baytril a couple weeks ago.  When we gave him those shots every other day we saw improvement with his breathing and we thought he was finally getting better.  But now this week he’s on it again since his breathing got worse again.  He’s getting a dose every three days.  It seems like the shots are just a temporary fix for him…as soon as they run out his breathing gets bad again.

His behavior is pretty good- he runs around, poops normally, and gained back some of the weight that he’s lost.  I just hate to hear his labored breathing.  The weather here (Wisconsin) has been hot and humid and I’m sure that doesn’t help, but what can I do to get my little guy over this pneumonia?  He gets goat mineral with his grain every day, and I also gave him copper bolus a month ago.

Thanks for any advice that you have- I appreciate it!

Answer
First off, never Baytril for goats, never, never - my advice, your choice.  Are we sure this is a pneumonia?  Has the vet or you done an ova and parasite study to know exactly what worms, if any the little wether has?  What has his temperature been running? Does he have any snotty nose currently? Anything over 102.5 is a fever/infection.  But then again some pneumonias, and there are different ones, do not give a fever.  What does his poop look like? Generally the regimen I advise if you think the goat has a pneumonia is to start with penicillin, 3 cc/100 pounds body weight twice a day for 7 days and this must be given intramuscularly.  If after 5 days you see no improvement then we may be talking about a fungal or mycoplasm pneumonia for which LA200 or Biomycin (non sting LA200) generally works. This also must be given intramuscularly. This dose is 4.5 cc/100 pounds body weight once a day for 7 days.  During any antibiotic a goat must have probiotics - yogurt or powdered works well, twice a day.  What color are his lower inner eyelids?  If the lower inner eyelids are light pink to white then that is anemia and this is caused by the barber pole worm, and the anemia then can allow a pneumonia to invade the goat as the goat's immune system (already not good as he is young) cannot help it. The other item that could be causing these symptoms is the barber pole worm and for this I advise (and it will not hurt the goat even if he does not have barber pole worm).  I can give you the dosing regimen for this.  The other item that can be causing the issues is lung worm and this must be treated with Safeguard, but I have found treating with oral Safeguard horse wormer (not goat wormer) works the best - the dosing is 3 times the goat's body weight to find the dosage on the plunger of the wormer tube (if the goat is so small that you cannot find the dosage, then you use 1 inch of the wormer (you cannot overdose this wormer).  Give orally, once every 7 to 10 days for three time periods.  The nice thing about treating for lung worm is that the same regimen is used to kill the barber pole worms.

I would give him a selenium/D/E mixture now and repeat in 10 days and perhaps repeat every 4 weeks to keep his immune system strong.  The dosing for his age is 5 of the 200 mcg human selenium tablets crushed and dissolved in a little hot water, to that add all the oil from a 1000 IU vitamin E capsule and all the oil from at least an 800 IU vitamin D capsule (higher dosing is fine too), mix, cool and give orally.

Hope this helps - let me know - you are welcome to call me at 360-742-8310. 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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