Last night I found my 3 year old doe's right front leg swollen from the foot up to the knee. Quite swollen, like twice as big as the other, but not really hot to the touch. I thought she had injured herself because she and her 5 m/o daughter had gotten out of the pasture yesterday somewhere thru the fencing. I brought her to the milkstand, inspected her leg and foot for injury or snakebite and found nothing. I gave her 1.5 ml banamine and put her back outside (I had to help her off the stand and she was walking slowly, with a limp, but still trying to chase the cat and mostly acting normal).
This morning I checked her and the leg is now swollen up to the shoulder, she wont leave the barn because she doesnt want to walk on it, and now, the left rear leg is swollen, although not to the same degree (yet?), and only up to the knee.
I guess this is laminitis
I thought it had to be both front feet first, but apparently this is not the case?
Her diet has not changed, she is growing out one heavy kid and milking once a day about 3 qts. I feed her twice a day 1.5 lb of grain (mare and foal mixed with purina goat feed), plus free choice alfalfa pellets. She has loose minerals, but I noticed yesterday that I had allowed the baking soda supply to run out. She has run of about 3 acres including a block of woods. I dont feed her hay now because in the summer it just sits there and no one eats it. She was recently copper bolused, and I trim her feet regularly, they are nice and short and well shaped right now.
Maybe she got into something yesterday when she got out and this caused this? Or maybe I am feeding too much. She has dropped off in her production lately, but I didn't drop her feed yet because she seemed to be getting thinner when I tried. She is not fat at all, I can see her ribs some and her backbone, and she's active -- she's a big goat though, at 165 lbs. Her kid is huge at 6 m/o, she has milk goiter and I cant really tell her apart from a 2 y/o I have anymore, the two y/o is 150 lbs, so I am guessing the 6 m/o is about 100 lbs now.
Seems I cant catch a break around here. Just had a baby die of listeria a couple months ago, I am getting tired of all this. Sometimes I just want to be done.
How much and how often should I treat with banamine for acute laminitis?
I am going to separate her and feed her only hay.
And I am going out right now to put her feet in ice water.
Anything else I should do?
Laminitis is just an inflamation in the hoof area. Because the hoof can not swell like the rest of the body, you get some problems with those sensitive laminae in the hoof. However the base cause here is not laminitis, although she may well end up with it due to whatever is causing the problem.
Cold water soaks, or running the hose over the affected area, banamine... that's a great start. I agree the food should be very bland and plain for her as rich food can sometimes cause a reaction like this. It could also be caused by something like a bee or wasp sting.
I'd suggest taking her to the vet, but I think she has to get over the reaction to whatever it is, and the vet can't really do much more than you can (my opinion here). It sounds to me like some sort of histamine reaction to something or other. I'm so sorry I can't be much more help than that, maybe someone else has a brilliant suggestion.
OK now I am really confused.
I just went out there and soaked her hoof. The leg is hot all the way up to the shoulder, and very swollen. Her foot is really looking bad, I am starting to wonder if I am going to see it start weeping fluid.
Now the reason I am confused is because the back leg (left) is also swollen but NOT THE FOOT. I compared both rear hooves and nothing on either hoof is swollen, or hot. The knee is swollen, and going down slightly toward the foot, but not the hoof.
Last night it was obvious to me that the right front was swelling from the hoof and the swelling was traveling UP toward the knee and now the shoulder.
The swelling I am finding this morning on the left rear is starting at the knee and traveling DOWN.
She ironically does not seem to be in too much pain.
She is eating hay happily and is in good spirits.
I am not taking her to a vet because my vet is not much on goats, no one around here is. I dont think, as you said Jacquee, that he would do any more than I am doing now.
The only other thing to report, is that her joints are crackly--lots of popping going on. Not real loud, but definitely there, I can hear her crackly joints when she walks. I started noticing this about 6 mos ago.
This is what I know from treating horses my whole life: If a swelling is hot, and pits when you push it with your finger, it's likely to be some sort of infection and should be treated with hot water soaks and the appropriate antibiotic. If a swelling is normal temp and springs back when you push it with your finger, it's likely to be a swelling caused by bruising, by a histamine reaction etc. and should be treated with cold water and anti-inflammatory medication. I guess, check and see if it pits or not. The heat is worrisome.
It really does sound like something odd happened when she escaped. I think if it were chronic arthritis or something, it would not come on so quickly.
One thing comforting my vet once told me... most problems goats have are not so threatening that mere minutes count in getting them treatment. (Bloat is a very obvious exception, there are a few others dealing with things like birth.) So most likely, your stance of waiting to see how she weathers it and bolstering her in any way you can will be fine.
Oh, another thought - I've been in that area (my sister lives in NC) and I wonder if she might be reacting to stinging nettle? Usually that reaction comes on much faster so it's kind of a long shot but I've seen it there. Sometimes, just like us humans, a goat can be especially sensitive to something that doesn't bother other goats.