Help diagnose my girl,

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by Angelknitter12, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. Angelknitter12

    Angelknitter12 New Member

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    My favorite doe, who I am very attached to is ill. I am hoping someone will tell me that it isn't what I am pretty sure it is.

    This girl is almost 7 years old, and is CAE positive. She was wormed last 6 weeks ago. She had her Bose shot recently. She is on pasture, gets alfalfa and grass hay twice daily, and gets grain twice daily. She has minerals available.

    She has acted very old for the last several months, just very slow and not a lot of pep, but she has looked well and healthy. She kidded the first week of April, and I was not planning to breed her again. We practice prevention, and I got a doeling from her. I am trying to have a CAE free herd, and this is the second to the last of my CAE positive before I will have a negative herd. (I know some will frown on me for admitting this, but I believe honesty is the best policy. We are very careful, and practice strict prevention)

    Yesterday AM she gave little milk. Last night she couldn't get on the stand and had little milk, but ate fine. She acted tender, and every joint clicked with each step. This morning there was absolutely no milk what so ever, and she is acting confused and weak. She is having a hard time getting up to a standing position. Her tongue is hanging out. she acts unsteady and kind of stumbles to the side. Her back end seemed to freeze up at one point. My husband says that she looks like she is drunk.

    Her stool is normal, hard pellets. She is still eating.

    Could this be listerosis or something else instead of CAE? This girl is very important to me. She is very much a pet, and I have a deep love for her. I know that putting her down is the only option if it is CAE, but I want to cover my basis. My vet is closed and I am waiting for a call back, but who knows when that will be.

    My thermometer was not working this morning, and then I gave a shot of Banamine, so I don't have an accurate temp. I know, not helpful.
     
  2. Tim Pruitt

    Tim Pruitt New Member

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    Research goat polio - start B-complex with thiamine
     

  3. Angelknitter12

    Angelknitter12 New Member

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    Tim,
    I read that she would have scours. Is that not true?
     
  4. Angelknitter12

    Angelknitter12 New Member

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    A new symptom, or a worsening. I just went out to feed. I threw hay the same place I have for years. The girls have to come out of the barn to get it. I watched her walk into the wall on the opposite side of where the door is, over and over trying to come out to eat. Her eyes appear normal, and she seems to be able to see. help!
     
  5. Angelknitter12

    Angelknitter12 New Member

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    I went ahead and treated for goat polio. Or I am treating for it. The vet just called and I am going to run her to him to start an iv of b vit.
     
  6. Angelknitter12

    Angelknitter12 New Member

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    Looks like cae attacking the nerves instead of polio, though we are treating polio still for lack of better options. Just keeping her comfortable for tonight while I deal with the next, inevitable step.
     
  7. swgoats

    swgoats Active Member

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    How is hydration status? You might look up my recent thread on my goat with listeria or polio - After doing more research, I really think it may have been dehydration. Dehydration can cause neurological symptoms.
     
  8. Tim Pruitt

    Tim Pruitt New Member

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    CAE is a heartbreaking disease as is CL. Both can be eradicated from the herd either by isolating the affected animal (in the case of CAE) or slaughter. Both are incurable. CL is more insidious and can contaminate the soil and equipment and cause problems for years to come. Some goats can live a long time with CAE and never become symptomatic. Others will become crippled or even have a type of pneumonia that accompanies the crippling symptoms.

    As heartbreaking as it is to lose your beloved pet, you have learned a valuable lesson first hand, CAE cripples and eventually kills. Keep up the good work of cleaning up your herd and move toward a negative status. You are to be commended for strict prevention. It is very important that we as breeders pass on clean and healthy animals to the next generation of goat keepers so that they won't have the same heartache that you are experiencing.
     
  9. MF-Alpines

    MF-Alpines New Member

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    I would continue to treat for polio, just in case, as you love this doe so much.

    I, too, had CAE+ does; one was culled after she freshened with a really hard udder and had NO milk output and the other was kept as a pet for a while, but then was culled, too, as we just couldn't continue to have a "pet" any longer. All kids were raised on strict prevention and, to date, all does are CAE-. So I don't have any experience as to what it would be like for an elder to doe to develop symptoms.

    Just realize, as Tim said, that this could be the end and culling would be the best course of action, especially if she is in pain.
     
  10. Angelknitter12

    Angelknitter12 New Member

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    Thank you so very much for the kind words and advice. We spent a good portion of the night at the vet treating for anything and everything. She is still being treated for polio and listerosis, and getting IV fluids. She is home this morning, and while she isn't as weak she has become entirely blind. I will keep treating for polio and listerosis, but I don't see the outcome I am hoping for. Her joints were so bad last night that the vet couldn't get her legs to bend. That tells me a lot right there. I hope others read this thread and realize what the reality is. Like others, these cae positive animals are my first animals. A valuable lesson learned. Now I have other decisions to face, like what to do with my other positive doe. At least where I had two they were not alone. When this one passes it leaves my other positive doe alone, which will be miserable for her.

    Anyway, another lesson on cae learned. Test your animals, and test before you buy. Learn about the disease before you buy. I was told these animals were positive before I purchased them, but I bought then anyway. I had no idea what cae was, and knew nothing about goats. Here we are, a few years down the road.
     
  11. fmg

    fmg New Member

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    I'm sorry you are having to go through this, Kami, how heartbreaking. Do you have a wether that could be your other doe's friend for awhile until you get the kids you want from her at least?

    I know goats don't read the books, but I thought the neurological part of CAE mostly showed up in really young goats/kids. Since she isn't responding to treatment, I don't think it's probably polio as from what I have read about it, there will be big improvements right away after starting treatment. But I did just read that it depends if it was caught early or not. Is your vet using penicillin in case it is listeriosis rather than polio?
     
  12. tlcnubians

    tlcnubians New Member

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    Kami - hopefully one of the drugs the vet is giving her is Dexamethasone, as it's a very important part of the treatment protocol for polio and helps with the neurological side effects, such as her blindness, which are caused by the brain swelling that's an integral part of the disease process. As far as I know, diarrhea is not a symptom of polio. The first time we had a diagnosed case, it was in a mature buck who appeared to have urinary calculi (which BTW, he didn't have, but the symptoms in his case were similar).
     
  13. Angelknitter12

    Angelknitter12 New Member

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    We are doing the dex, though we just gave it starting today when the goat specialist got in. She also started another drug for brain abscesses as well. We are still giving the antibiotics for listerosis. Is lysteria the same thing?
     
  14. fmg

    fmg New Member

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    Listeria/listeriosis presents with the same or similar symptoms as polio, and also causes a thiamin deficiency, but it is caused by a bacteria, whereas polio is "just a thing" that happens when the gut flora gets messed up in some way. In ruminants, the bacteria in the rumen normally produces enough of the b-vitamins so that the animal does not have to consume any, but if the bacteria is off for any reason, they can become deficient and start having signs of polio. She should also be getting the other b-vitamins, along with thiamin (B1), as supportive care.

    Is she showing any signs of improving at all yet?
     
  15. Angelknitter12

    Angelknitter12 New Member

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    We are treating for listerosis as well, and have been since Saturday. She has been sick since Friday. We are doing b vit injections as well.

    I am at a loss as what to think. I think she seems a little better as far as weakness, but she is still very confused and walking into walls etc. She is still 100% blind. She seems to have more pep and is feeling Rather mean, which is very unlike her. I am not saying that it is not justified, just not normal for her. The tongue hanging out has gotten worse. It was hanging out the front a bit before, and is now just hanging loosely out the side of her mouth. She is dripping cud now as well, so she must be losing more nerve control in her face. I am wondering if she is struggling to swallow. I am giving her another 24 hours for meds to work before saying goodbye.

    She is still eating well, but not drinking. I am having to do IV for her liquids.
     
  16. swgoats

    swgoats Active Member

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    My doe was the opposite. She drank well 12 hours after the Dex and Excenel, but took a good week to get back to eating normally. The blindness took awhile to reverse - even after she was seeing i felt like she had field of vision loss. I'm not entirely positive what her problem was, but I think dehydration makes the most sense as my husband was babysitting and may not have filled the bucket as often as I do. It may be your doe has a few things going on. I wonder if she would eat something soaked in order to consume some liquids that way. Of course if well hydrated with IV she may not be thirsty too.
     
  17. goatkid

    goatkid New Member

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    Sorry you're having to go through this with your doe. I've had CAE positive does in the past and never experienced any symptoms like you describe from CAE. The problems my does had were hard udders and swollen knees. My last positive doe was 7 years old and was still asymptomatic when I sent her to slaughter. She had been being boarded with a friend who had positive does. When her last positive doe was put down, I opted to get rid of mine since I will not have positive animals in with my herd. I did once have a negative doe who drooled her cud. The vet said it was either a stroke or a brain tumor. Since she was losing alot of her cud, she began to lose weight. I managed to get her through her pregnancy and we put her down shortly after she kidded. She was a pet as well as a family milker, so I can understand how difficult it can be to let them go.
     
  18. Angelknitter12

    Angelknitter12 New Member

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    Here we are at a week and a half later. She is still blind, and her knee joints are still making very loud popping noises each time she moves. I have done all I can do. She has not gone down hill, but has not gotten much better since the initial treatment. She is still confused, but not nearly as much so as she once was. I am having a necropsy done after she passes. This is a horrible decision to be making, and I wish she would give me a clear sign that it is the right one. I am scared to death to have them tell me she would have been fine if I had waited a short while.
     
  19. fmg

    fmg New Member

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    I bet she is getting used to being blind, so that is probably why she seems less confused? Maybe she will make a turn for the better. It is so hard when they just hang there like that, not going one way or the other. I'm sorry. :(
     
  20. tlcnubians

    tlcnubians New Member

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    Kami - one of the most difficult things about having animals, whether they're cats, dogs, horses or goats, is the decision to euthanize one. Unfortunately, it's a decision that we all must make at one time or another if we have animals. The correct decision is the one YOU make. If you want to continue to let her live the way she is in the hope that eventually she will make a complete recovery, that is perfectly okay, but it's also okay to decide that she has been ill long enough and the time has come for her to be euthanized. Since she is CAE positive, I'm sure you know in your heart that losing her one way or another is just a matter of time. If she's eating, drinking, pooping and peeing, and you have the time and the energy to keep taking care of her, then set a date that you can adhere to and see how she's doing in another day, week, or month. Caroline