Scary sick goat experience. What next?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by VKat, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. VKat

    VKat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I almost lost one of my goats yesterday. Selma did not come meet me for afternoon treats (I take them kitchen veg scraps and they come running to meet me at the gate). I found her laying down and looking miserable. We've had a cold snap here accompanied by gusts of high wind. My first thought was- she's too cold, let's move her into the yard where it's more sheltered from this weather. (I happen to have temporary goat shelter in my yard right now but that's a whole 'nother story) Walked her buddy up to the yard, and I figured she would be up when I got back. Nope. That's when I realized something was very wrong.
    Selma would not stand. I coax her up and she will not walk. I coax a few steps forward, and her back legs give out.
    All I am thinking now is to get her warm. I manage to lift and carry her, and now she is crying and I can see her tongue is alarmingly pale.
    We get to the yard and she is now standing. She refuses water, but eats a little alfalfa, then goes into a shelter and starts calling out like she is in pain. I still did not know what was wrong, so once she settled and laid back down, I tucked soft chopped straw all around and over her like a blanket. Selma did not seem to care about anything. I figured she's exhausted, she will warm up and be okay. But Selma did not improve. She laid in an awkward way and was unresponsive. I felt like she was dying.

    By the time my DH gets home there's no change and I convince him to help me get her in the house. It's only getting colder and she is clearly not doing well. So we set up an area inside sectioned off with a tarp and straw, and bring a goat into the house. Crazy, right? But time goes by and she is just standing hunched as if in pain, with her head down, staring.
    I finally start to get the message- she isn't too cold. That was probably a stupid assumption.
    Despite not having a distended stomach, or a left side looking inflated, could Selma may be suffering from bloat?
    I listen to her side and it is silent in there.
    We go ahead and do our best to treat for bloat with what is on hand- baking soda and olive oil.
    We get her to swallow it, and we also got her to burp. It was a weird moment to be kneeling on the floor with my DH rubbing and patting a goat together while he elevated her front slightly.
    It takes at least an hour of tense waiting before she starts to come around. Finally, at 11:something at night, Selma turns her head and looks at me for the first time since I found her down around 4:00 that afternoon. Not too long after that, maybe another 30 minutes, she starts moving around and goes and drinks some water.
    That's when I felt like, okay- she's going to be okay. She's acting more like herself, the stiffness and hesitation is gone from her movements, she is aware of what's going on, and is looking at me like she's hungry.

    I know you have to get their rumen working again. So I bring her in a small amount of timothy hay and coarse hay.
    Finally after waiting to watch over her another hour and she seems fine, I go to bed.

    This morning I'm happy to see her looking okay. Although she's oddly quiet.... and then I hear a soft snoring sound. Only Selma is awake. In the last hour she has made these soft snoring sounds off and on. And she coughed. Not the dry sounding kind, more like a wet and swallow kind, followed by the sound of her chewing cud.
    I am relieved she's chewing her cud- that's a good sign, right?
    But the wet cough... could that be from the oil we forced her to swallow?
    Is her cud all oily?
    Or worse, could some have gone down the wrong tube?

    What should I do next?

    She is still in my house. My DH is picking up CD antitoxin to treat with as a just in case on his way back from work. Although she did get CD/T vaccine. I do have Penicillin G Procaine in the fridge. I also have Probios powder.
    These are my first goats and I've only had them a few months. I'm exhausted and hoping that you guys can help me know where I went wrong and what to do next.
     
  2. VKat

    VKat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm really worried we got oil into her lungs or something. I keep hearing the sounds and her swallow now and again. Like a soft snoring sound or maybe a wet weeze?
    What should I do?
    Is she going to get pneumonia?

    Any advice at all would be greatly appreciated.
     
  3. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    I'm glad to hear she sounds like she is doing better! The wetness you are hearing could indeed be the start of pneumonia. Goats seem to get it fairly easily!

    Penicillin G is a fairly narrow spectrum antibiotic and may not work in this case. It is mainly good for gram positive bacteria and a lot of the bacteria that can cause pneumonia in goats are gram negative. So it may work but there is a good chance you may need a broader spectrum antibiotic.

    If it is the only antibiotic you have access to, you could certainly give it to her. I would recommend calling your vet and consulting about her condition. The vet may be able to help you out over the phone, or they may want to have a look so they can determine the cause of illness and prescribe something that will work better.
     
  4. VKat

    VKat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks.
    She does not have an elevated temperature, and I'm only seeing a small amount of clear runnyness at her nose, and very little at that.
    So I don't think she has an infection *yet*
    I am worried she may have problems from maybe oil making it to her lungs.

    She is eating a little, then resting. She is resting a lot.

    I am seeing her chew cud more, and as the day goes on, I am hearing less coughing. So I am really cautiously optimistic.

    Can anyone give me any advice on the best care for after bloat? Is it okay to give her pellets?
    Is it normal for her appetite to be so small at first?

    She is pooping but not a lot. Should I giver her milk of magnesia to try and clear her out?
     
  5. michellemire

    michellemire Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Try asking on backyard herd r the goat spot sorry I can't help I never had that problem yet
     
  6. VKat

    VKat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! Yeah, I need to join backyardherds.

    She is doing so much better! I still have her inside. Which is weird, having a house goat LOL... but she has been remarkably well behaved in her little area.
    She is eating and chewing cud- so I am pretty sure her digestion is back on track.
    The coughing has subsided. i think it was maybe a bit of oil down the wrong way, but it seems to be cleared up on its own.
    I am keeping an eye on her for the next few days though in case.
     
  7. michellemire

    michellemire Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a 3 day old bottle baby inside my house [​IMG]
     
  8. VKat

    VKat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What a cutie! Why did you bring the little one inside?
     
  9. michellemire

    michellemire Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mom wasn't feeding her n it was cold n raining outside
     
  10. VKat

    VKat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She is very cute. Good luck with her!

    My Selma is doing very well, and has rejoined her buddies outside. I almost miss having a house goat *almost* ;) She was very well behaved and even my DH started to enjoy her cute face and would stop to pet her.
    Here she is upon smelling him making coffee. It was so funny I had to get pictures.

    Is that coffee I smell?
    [​IMG]

    I'll take mine black thank you
    [​IMG]

    She seemed utterly convinced that coffee was for her. I recall reading somewhere that goats actually discovered coffee first, but we still did not give her any.
    I kept her inside until 5 days had passed from her suspected bloat. I wanted to make sure she was okay and not going to have a problem with enterotoxemia. I read that sometimes happens after bloat and can be fatal. I also discovered that CD antitoxin to treat that is unavailable. We went to 3 stores, called TS and Jeffers, even a biotech firm- turns out the manufacturer is having issues and the backorder has been 6 months. So I'm really grateful we didn't need it.

    To ease her transition from inside back out where it's been very cold, we waited for a slightly warmer day, and got her a cheap coat from Goodwill.

    [​IMG]

    It's one of those puffy, warm vest coats. Fits really well- the arm holes don't bunch or impede her movement. A perfect goat coat.

    She's doing well and I think I may have figured out what caused all the trouble. We have been having issues with hay from Southern States. It's the closest thing to us, but I may not shop there anymore. We got 3 bales of hay, but the goats didn't like them, and I noticed they were very dry and almost straw like.
    Asked husband to get hay so they would eat, and he was told no hay was being sold. There was a problem with it, and they were not comfortable selling it. (turns out it was moldy!)
    So he grabbed a bale of pressed alfalfa because it was all he could find there.

    Too much alfalfa? Moldy hay?

    I already removed the questionable hay, and took the alfalfa away. They have timothy grass hay for now. I'm going to make sure to mix that alfalfa with hay from now on.
     

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