I've got a new buck in my herd. I've had him one week and he started acting funny. Of course this happened on Friday evening when no one is available. It started with a limp and him not wanting to move while out with all the kids. I thought he looked strange but put it down to being new in the herd and hurting his foot some how. He had his bottle that night with some prompting from us. The next day he was grinding his teeth but he did take his bottle. He seemed a little stiffer and stood very still in his stall. I gave him probiotics, vitamin E and Selenium gel. I would have given him Corid if I had it on hand but started calling around and looking for Corid or Sulmet,thinking he had Coccidiaosis. He looked a little better for the vitamin/probiotic treatment so I hoped for the best.
By evening I went in to sit with him for a time to see what was going on. He was star gazing (I had never seen such a thing). He was standing funny and seemed unhappy when he was moved or touched on the legs. I thought he looked constipated so I started looking for fresh dung and couldn't find any. He took his bottle and I put the probiotics right in the milk.
Next morning was Sunday (father's day). I finally found some Sulmet I could get locally. Rusty took his bottle in the morning but I stayed in the stall to watch him. He was in the corner with his head pointing straight up. They say that's a sign of blindness but he could see and he responded to our movement. I found an article about start gazing and goat polio and started calling vets. Finally found one who would meet me with Thiamine and off we went.
Rusty's first dose was at 6 pm, .5cc of 500ml/cc as the vet instructed. I gave the dose sub-q but later read im would be better so the next dose at 11 pm went into the muscle. He had another dose at 4 am--still standing in the stall but less stiff and no longer star gazing. This morning at feeding time (7am) he was lying down, limp, unable to stand. He is taking little bits of milk (about 1 oz at a time) but he is totally limp. Poor little fellow. Is this a normal part of the recovery? should I look for something else? Could this be listeria?
Usual thiamine dose for goat polio is 4.5 ccs per 100 lbs. Along with dexamethosone, also 4.5 ccs per 100 lbs. The thiamine is given once every six hours and the dex once every 24 hours. If he does come down with floppy kid on top of the polio, which is what it sounds like by your description, you'll need to give him 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) dissolved in water and possibly an antibiotic. Have you taken his temperature? Polio and/or floppy kid won't cause a rise in body temps but listeria will. Caroline
I've not treated polio before, but I'm going to guess, no that is probably not normal. He should show improvement if you're hitting the real problem.
I have seen goats hold their heads up with pneumonia as well. I have had two kids get it this year with the heat and humidity. It took them down suddenly and I lost both of them. Never had it in a kid before this year (heck, never lost a kid before this year *sigh*). How is his breathing? Is it faster than other kids his age? It will kill them quickly once it is obvious they have it. You have to get to it before they start having breathing trouble. And neither of mine had a fever either.
Even if it's not what he started out with, stress can bring it on.
Also, how old is he? Check his eyelids, are they nice and pink? Barberpole is far worse than normal here this year as well.
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Oh, and sulmet is not going to be effective, it's way too weak. Baycox is the best thing for coccidia treatment, IMO as it is so fast acting, but that is mail ordered unless you can find a goat person near you with some.
Thanks for posting advice. The little guy died yesterday before I could get Procaine Penicillin for him. I was on my way home from buying it and he began to have seizures before I came home and died soon after the first injection. But this is all very good advice and the next time I will know the signs earlier and take quicker action. Advice to anyone who hasn't been through this (I've been goat keeping 15 years and been very lucky) :
Keep Thiamine on hand
Treat with Procaine antibiotic at the same time
And BoSe was the other thing I was advised might have helped
None of these things would hurt and they could have saved him but only if I had them on hand. I wasted too much time over the weekend trying to find them.
I just dealt with a case of polio and I swear I think it was brought on by using Sulmet. I did a bit of research and found that CoRid was documented to bring on goat polio but could not find any information indicating the same for Sulmet or the other Sulfa drugs. But what I *did* find was that sulfur interferes with thiamine. So... I am convinced that it was the last round of Sulmet that I gave my kids that brought this on for my little doeling. She did pull through it with supportive therapy... lots of Vitamin B, banamine and a round of penicillin. But, I can't bring myself to give Sulmet again even tho none of my other kids became ill. I just ordered a bottle of baycox.
Or... she could have gotten ill from something else entirely! But the timing was so suspicious.