Goat Physical Therapy

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by nlhayesp, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. nlhayesp

    nlhayesp New Member

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    My 10 year old alpine had pregnancy toxemia last week. We took her to OSU and they have been treating her since last Wednesday. Her twins died 24 hours following their premature birth following the induced labor. She lost a lot of weight and is very weak. However, she has regained her hearty appetite and enthusiasm for life. They have been giving her physical therapy every day to try to get her to stand up and move. We brought Lily home this evening. It is now my responsibility to get her to get up on her own. Have any of you ever done this at home?
     
  2. Caprine Beings

    Caprine Beings New Member

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    I would first get a whole list of what they have done AND what they have given. Then I would find out what they want you to continue to do.
    So am I reading this right that she is not capable of getting up on her own?

    I am curious so please get back with us.
    Tam
     

  3. nlhayesp

    nlhayesp New Member

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    They gave her a long-acting antibiotic, as well as a new NSAID for livestock(don't remember any names; I was in Florida until Monday and didn't write down names). They put her up on wood chip bales under her belly and exercised/stretched her muscles, tendons, and joints, allowing her to support herself on her front, then back legs alternately. They also had vet students put rolled-up blankets under her front and back legs, and "walked' her around (like a sling), slowly releasing their holding her up until she could support her own weight and walk a few steps without relying on their support. Food as well as going back to her stall seemed to motivate her to try to walk on her own. They did water therapy a few times. When she got home last night, I gave her bo-se and vit A/D and B complex. We "walked" her to her stall. It takes two to do this, and usually it is just me. I tried to lift her on a bale this morning, but even at 110 pounds (she's lost alot of weight), it was "dead weight" and I couldn't do it myself. So, I massaged/stretched/range of motion on all of her leg joints and tried to get her to stand. Her back legs are much weaker than the front, but she was still reluctant/weak to help me by getting up on her front while I tried to get the back.
     
  4. Caprine Beings

    Caprine Beings New Member

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    You need a cherry picker, some strong rope, and a area rug if you are to do it by yourself, just to get her up and walking. Move the joints alot! I would also give her Thiamine x3 days 1cc per 100 pounds. I have had to do this, not an aged animal but one that was attacked by dogs and just recently with a down calf. I would also think about either arnica cream or DSMO, clean the spots really well before applying or you will have bacteria go in with the agents.
    Work her slowly at least 3 x a day. Make sure she is eating adequately and drinking well. Pro bois of natural nature, like yogurt, will help her rumen. Be sure to be listening to her lung too with her being down so much. With them being down they become susceptible to pneumonia.
    Tam
     
  5. todog

    todog New Member

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    tried twice to send you a private message not sure it sent. let me know it you got it.
     
  6. nlhayesp

    nlhayesp New Member

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    Caprine Beings: what's a cherry picker? Also, when you say 3x/day: how long is good to shoot for? I don't want to overdo it, but I am seeing her tendons tighten up. I work full-time so I will have to figure out how to get it done. Thanks for the idea about Thiamine. I will add that to the list. Should I do more or keep up bo-se or a/d or b?

    todog: I just sent you a message.
    I found this idea online:
    http://joannerigutto.wordpress.com/2010/04/20/how-to-sling-a-goat/
    This setup seems doable for me. I bought a large horse harness and it does fit her very nicely. I am going to try to rig one up for her hind legs as well. After work, I am heading to TSC for pulleys to help me hoist her up. Hopefully the ice storm won't delay the delivery today of the goat coat I got for her from Jeffers. Thanks for the help and advice.
     
  7. Caprine Beings

    Caprine Beings New Member

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    An engine hoist, sorry my hub's is an old time mechanic ;)

    Thiamine should only be given the three days. I would administer A&D in another week and BoSe in 21 days. You will want to stretch those legs daily as many times as you can.

    And just thought of this, Vit E one capsule once a week.
    Tam
     
  8. todog

    todog New Member

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    got your message but couldnt reply there. really your not that far away wow. ok i would really like to help in some way i only work mon. thru thursday so fri. is open for me. oh and of course the week end. that halter idea sounds great. i use those to train harness goats, so i am sure it would work for her too! not so sure i would leave her unattended though. maybe you could email me untill i learn to use the message board again. lol
     
  9. todog

    todog New Member

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    nancy, how is lily doing? did the harness work to help hold her up?
     
  10. nlhayesp

    nlhayesp New Member

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    On Saturday, my husband rigged up two pulleys above Lily's pen. We are using a horse halter as a harness over her front end, and a livestock weigh sling over her back end (her legs through the "handles"). I am able to lift her up and onto wood chip bales by myself now. OSU has me manipulating her body so that we alternate her putting partial weight on her front, then on her back legs. I am massaging/manipulating the joints. Lily's biggest motivator is still food. She can hold herself up by herself if we put a pan of grain/alfalfa pellets in front of her at face level. When she weakens and collapses, the harnesses and bales hold her up. If I didn't work full time, progress could be made. Because of my schedule, I really don't know if twice a day will be enough. Lily has a hearty appetite again, but very little strength in her legs. I hope that when she re-gains her weight that her legs will re-gain strenth to hold her up. I will try to post pictures of this, but that might be more than my tech knowledge can handle. I am really quite pleased with it, actually! Thanks for asking.
     
  11. doublebowgoats

    doublebowgoats New Member

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    Has she had some CMPK or other calcium injection? And Bo-Se? If her calcium has been low, she may still need some to get regulated. And low calcium can certainly affect nerves and muscles.
     
  12. nlhayesp

    nlhayesp New Member

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    Lily had barely any udder development before she delivered her twins a week early, so I didn't think low calcium was an issue. I did give her an oral calcium before I left for Florida, but I will stop at TSC to get the oral CMPK. How much should I give her, since it is a cow product? I wasn't even thinking of this. Thanks for the thought! The vet was able to milk out an ounce of colostrum for her babies, but that was it. I am giving her alfalfa pellets and alfalfa/clover/grass hay, but she is not interested in hay very much. As an update on her: Just last night, I was seriously considering having her put down as I was not seeing progress at all. It has been challenging to find time during the day to leave work to get a third round of therapy done. (Other than the twice during barn chores) Then this morning, when I was finished with her therapy, I removed the bales out from under her and loosend the ropes on the pulleys. She supported herself for a full two minutes while she ate her grain mix. So maybe there is hope. If CMPK will help her muscles do what they are supposed to, I am praying that all my efforts are not in vain for my friend.
     
  13. doublebowgoats

    doublebowgoats New Member

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    I'm glad to hear she supported herself today, even if just for a bit. Personally I wouldn't give her oral CMPK just because of how bad it burns their throats, but if you could get injectable or even TUMS, I do think it is worth a try. I know from experience how low calcium can cause severe muscle fatigue and poor nerve conduction.