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Goats/Re: Migu's diagnosis


QUESTION: Hello Goatlady
This is Lila Ann u know its been 5 yrs already since my beloved Migi who passed & the only reason i am writing is b/c i still don't have any closure on his passing... First off let me say that through this website i have been very grateful for all the info & help in raising Migi as he was an abandoned / throwaway little 2 day old baby whom i've grown to love & raise on my own without no knowledge watsoever on goats however having said all of this i am still finding myself questioning the illness he had & passing so suddenly without any warning signs..One day acting perfectly fine then the next screaming like someone was murdering him & throughout that day started salivating, falling down couldn't stand upright, stiffinening of back & legs, jaws locked, & finally convulsions & having him put down...So much SUFFERING i cried for 2 weeks not knowing wat happened & what kind of illness he may have had... My initial thought was TETANUS or poisioning by my neighbor as we fought...Any info will be greatly appreciated as i still even till this day mourn the loss of my beloved Migi...
Much Regards,
Lila Ann

ANSWER: HI Lila Ann:

I am so sorry for your loss and that you are struggling with this still - I know how it feels.. I struggled with my Georgie's death for years second guessing each detail.  

Tetanus symptoms are very similar but most of the time happen a bit more slowly than in one day - not always  but most of the time

"Diagnosing tetanus can be complicated by the fact that some symptoms resemble those of other diseases. Polioencephalomalacia (goat polio),strychnine poisoning, nutritional muscular dystrophy (white muscle disease), and even laminitis have similar symptoms are certain stages of these diseases."

If Migi had any type of injury such as mentioned,  then quite possibly it was tetanus - if not..

It may have been either intentional or NON intentional (perhaps accidentally eating  something that was toxic) poisoning -

Tetanus  usually presents symptoms 10-20 days after what ever causes the infection - usually deep puncture wounds, castration,  disbudding , tattooing or other means of  open lesion.

This is an excellent article on tetanus in goats :

THis is a concise article on poisoning from plants:

This is an article on poisoning symptoms  of goats:

I wish I had a definitive answer for you -  I know the pain of loss and the additional pain of not knowing exactly why . My heart goes out to you.. My Georgie died in a similarly horrible manner and after years of  trying to determine  how.. even After   having an unsuccessful necropsy by the vet - I spoke with  a long time consultant veterinarian of mine, and we determined it was most likely a heart attack, possibly from a congenital heart issue.. he was  2 weeks away from his 7th birthday so he was not old in the least..  his symptoms  were very similar to what Migi had but it all happened in a matter of less than an hour and he died in spite of my giving him mouth to mouth and  heart/chest compressions.

I'm so very sorry..  I wish I could be more help.   

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QUESTION: Hello Goatlady,
Thank u so much for responding promptly i so appreciate the response, & yes my heart & sorrow goes out to u as well regarding your Georgie sometimes the not knowing is more painful than the actual death itself, & thats the reason for this message..I just wanted some info on the possibilities of causes & it would've been a lot easier if he died in a more humane way...Sometimes when i look at his pic i have flashbacks of his SUFFERING & thats what hurts the most...However i must say that prior to his death me & our neighbor had an argument & it was a very bitter one & i remember her saying quote: Yeah u better watch your fu***** goat!!...She knew Migi was my baby & threatened him so i was wondering if it was some other type of poisoning besides plants b/c Migi was a very very picky eater... if i put something in my mouth and gave it to him he would not eat it or if the food fell on the ground he would not eat it...So my family and i came to the conclusion could it be some kind of weed killer spray type poison....Again Thank u so much for your time and expertise regarding Migi...
Lila and Migi

HI Lila Ann:
Here are some  symptoms of different poisoning  - from what you are saying..  it doesn't really match up..
but this list is short - it may have been something other than what is on this list

This might be closer..

Is ANTIFREEZE poisonous for my pet?
YES Anti-freeze is very poisonus for your pet!

Unfortunately both the smell and taste of anti-freeze is generally appealing to pets. Even in small doses the results can be fatal if ingested.

Many cars have some component of anti-freeze in their radiators and unbeknown to pet owners their animals may stop to lick or drink this sweet tasting liquid from a leak or a puddle of inadequately disposed-of fluid. The harmful ingredient in antifreeze is ethylene glycol, an extremely toxic chemical. Even the smallest amount of this liquid can be fatal to a cat or dog.

Symptoms of antifreeze poisoning include a drunken appearance including staggering, lack of co-ordination, and apparent disorientation, vomiting and even seizures.

Now if we think beyond poisoning..  could he have gotten into a bunch of sweet feed or corn and pigged out on it?  This also will cause some of these symptoms..

Symptoms of Enterotoxemia include watery diarrhea (or no diarrhea, if paracute), lethargy (sluggish) , low body temperature as the goat begins to shut down and die, arching of the back (abdominal discomfort), screaming (extremely painful), head pulled back, lying on side and leg paddling, convulsions, coma, and death.

Or possibly goat polio?

I truly do feel for you.. it's terrible  not knowing.. Many hugs  <3


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Specializing in New Goat Owner understanding of goat physiology, goat anatomy, goat care and herd management. *I am not a veterinarian, any advice and information should be verified by your veterinarian before administering to your goats. (! During times of severe weather in the Midwest, I may experience a delay in internet service due to the interference of the satellite reception - but will answer your questions as soon as service is restored. !) Note: Keep in mind, the goat expert is volunteering her time to help other goat owners, she also runs her farm with her own herd of 100 goats and may not be at her computer at all hours. Questions are answered as soon as she can possibly read and answer them, usually within 24 hours.


23 years experience of raising goats and herd management. Active hands on experience with goat herd and research with various Caprine University Research and Extension Centers nationwide. 15 years dedicated to helping other goat breeders/owners with goat anatomy, goat disease and goat health care issues via phone, published goat care articles and internet interaction. The information I have to offer is not only from personal experience and years of research updated often as new information is made available to me, but supported by many Veterinary Research colleges and all medications and information I have to offer on how the medications work and what dosages "I" use, is information I have acquired by discussing directly with the company's veterinarians and staff research experts.

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