Crusty Ears

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by Kevin, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. Kevin

    Kevin New Member

    Jun 8, 2010
    Hi, We just rescued a couple of 2 month old babies that were in pretty nasty conditions. Apart from being skinny they're fighting some respiratory issues where they have nasal discharge for which we've got meds. That's simple enough to deal with but they also seem to have this crusty coating on their ears. It almost looks like dried pus. You can see what I mean from the picture. We have since bathed them and some of that crust has come off but I'm wondering if it is something fungal that might recur or if it might even be a sign of mites. Has anyone ever seen anything like this?

    Attached Files:

  2. Galavanting Goat

    Galavanting Goat New Member

    Apr 27, 2010
    Kevin, that almost looks like cradle cap that human babies get on their heads, either that or it looks like birthing fluids that have not been cleaned of properly and become encrusted on the ears, although this is unlikely but given the poor living enviroment the bubs were living in I guess anything is possible. Those little ears look very red underneath, either irritated or a bit of sunburn.

    I would gently rub some oil onto the babies ears until the scabs soften, or pure lanolin would be better. When softened gently start wiping the scabby material off with something non abrasive, and then rub aloe vera gel (even if you use the flesh out of an Aloe plant you may have.)
    Be very careful when these bubs are out in direct sunlight as their little ears may burn, maybe rub some baby sunscreen into their ears. You could also be looking at a form of crusty dermatitus from previous sunburning, do they have any previous signs of sunburn on their noses?

    It may very well be fungal, do they have this stuff anywhere else on their bodies, e.g. between their hooves, in between any warm spots on their bodies?
    That's all I can really think of at this time, hope that helps a bit.

    Well done on the rescue, it's good to know there are people out there willing to pull these little ones out of a nasty situation.

  3. Kevin

    Kevin New Member

    Jun 8, 2010
    Thanks for the reply. A lot of that info seems to make sense. I hope it's just as simple as that. No, that crusty coating doesn't seem to be anywhere else on their bodies so that might help rule out some possibilities. One of the kids seems to have a bit of a crusty spot on his nose so it may very well be a previous sunburn. Their ears are definitely sensitive as they tend to flinch when you touch them. For now they are being kept in a barn for the most part as they need to fatten up a bit and gain some strength. Although they are "supposed to be" 2 months old, I have my doubts about that as based on their eating habits they don't seem to be totally weaned yet. We are going to have to supplement with some powdered milk. They are eating grain but not a ton of it and they are not quite clued in to the concept of grazing yet either.

    We have a small animal sanctuary here at our farm and these types of rescues is what we do. We just don't understand why people can't give their animals better conditions than that.

    Thanks again for the advice, if you have any more suggestions let me know.
  4. cdtrum

    cdtrum New Member

    Aug 25, 2008
    Northern Indiana
    I have been going through treating for mites with my guys......we think they came in a bale of hay or straw.......anyway, my guys ears had some crusty stuff.......does the inside of their ears feel rough?

    It could be fungal also.......if they were mine I would treat with miticide and put some fungal cream on the outside of their guys ended up with leg mites also, I have injected them with Ivomec.
  5. Kevin

    Kevin New Member

    Jun 8, 2010
    Hi Denise, that's exactly what we've been doing so far. We're treating with miticide and using a topical anti-fungal cream on the outside. Their ears don't feel rough inside at all. In fact the insides seem pretty nice and clean. Hopefully this will be enough to do the trick.
  6. MiGoat

    MiGoat New Member

    Apr 21, 2010
    West Michigan
    I've read people have better results with just plain store bought whole cows milk than powdered milk or milk replacer for kids.

    I'd clean their ears really well and put BagBalm on them. I love BagBalm. LOL
  7. cmjust0

    cmjust0 New Member

    Oct 8, 2009
    Fungus or mites, I'd say.. Or, aggravation from lice.. Possibly even a secondary bacterial skin infection.. I'd probably scrub the ears down till they're pink (and/or bloody...I know, it's rough.. :( ), spray them with Blu-Kote (antifungal) and then worm with ivermectin. If they're in as bad of a shape as you say, they could probably stand to be wormed anyway and the ivermectin would kill any mites and/or lice that may be contributing to the ear thing. If you're already treating for respiratory issues (antibiotics, I assume), then that will probably help if there's any bacterial component to it.

    So that would cover fungus, lice, mites, or bacteria...can't think of much else it would be, short of viral (orf?..doubt it) or something else that's just totally unheard of.

    Good on ya for taking rescues.. I could sorta see myself doing that and really enjoying it, but I already have healthy goats and can't take the risk.. Can't afford it, either. :( Glad there are people out there who can and do, though. :)
  8. Kevin

    Kevin New Member

    Jun 8, 2010
    Hi, I'm hoping you can help with another of the two rescues seems to have some developmental problems where his back legs don't totally straighten out and he struggles to walk. I don't think it's contracted tendons as the legs or hooves aren't reversed but there is definitely something wrong and I think overall he might just be stunted. He does eat grain but not really hay however the amount of grain he eats is not much. I was recommended to try cow's milk as a supplement as I suspect he may not have been totally weaned yet. Since he needs as many calories as he can get I opted to try the 10% half and half coffee milk. Would this be too rich? Now I noticed he's got diarrhea. It's sort of a clear to beige color. He hasn't been wormed yet so I'm hoping it's just that and not the 10% milk I'm feeding him. Does anyone have any insight on this?
  9. Kevin

    Kevin New Member

    Jun 8, 2010
    I forgot to mention that he's also on Amoxicillin (250 mg twice a day) to clear up this nasal congestion issue that he's got. That may not be helping his diarrhea.
  10. cmjust0

    cmjust0 New Member

    Oct 8, 2009
    What you've got on your hands right now is what I'd call a hot mess.. This kid's got so much working against it right now that I'd be working in "Well, he's gonna die anyway.." mode.

    That's basically where you just start doing stuff pretty much with abandon, knowing what you're doing might kill him...but you do it, because if you don't, he's gonna die anyway.

    So, let's give it a shot.. :), he's got "nasal congestion" which means he's probably got stuff coming out his nose.. If it looks funky at all, it's probably pneumonia.. The most common treatment for pneumonia in kids is PenG (Penicillin Procaine G; 300,000units/ml - Durvet's "PenAqueous" for instance). It's an OTC injectable suspension, available at almost any farm store.

    Pay no attention to the label on the bottle -- you're dealing with a goat here. Labels mean nothing when you're dealing with goats.

    The dosage IS 1ml/15lbs of bodyweight, SQ, 2x/day through an 18ga needle. You can use a 20ga in a pinch if you're squeamish, but an 18ga ensures proper mediation:carrier ratio. If you wimp out and use a 22ga, you'll be giving him a shot of carrier with very little med -- no good.

    Even if you're unsure of whether or not the stuff looks funky...give the PenG anyway. He needs it for the secondary infection in his ears anyhow, right? what the hell.

    Just do it. Seriously.

    And, for future reference....broad spectrum oral antibiotics (other than sulfas) are generally reserved strictly for cases of bacterial enteritis where goats are concerned.. Like, an E.coli bloom in the gut for instance. That's pretty much all they're for. If the goat has an infection somewhere else, the antibiotic needs to be delivered by injection.

    Now...the diarrhea...yeah, that could very well be the amoxicillin, which I'm sure is the pink bubble-gum smelling oral suspension given to cats and dogs and humans. It could very well have killed off all his good gut bacteria, without which a goat can't live.

    BUT, the diarrhea could also be from the milk, or the change in milk if it was switched too quickly. It could also be coccidiosis, which is highly possible given that he's a rescue from a nasty, filthy environment. Or it could be from a bacterial infection, though I'd say that's unlikely considering he's been on oral antibiotics..

    You say it's "clear to beige" in color..the clear is almost certainly mucus. Mucus is almost never a good diagnostic sign, as it generally means his gut is trying to protect itself from something. Usually either bacterial infection, coccidia, or possibly acid.. If he's making mucus, though, he's hurting..

    Personally, I'd be highly suspicious of coccidiosis. Running a fecal right now could be greatly beneficial..

    The treatment for coccidiosis is a drug called "Di-Methox"...sulfadimethoxine...also known as Albon. The treatment I've seen referred to most calls for about 400mg/15lbs of bodyweight, once a day for at least 5 days. If you're using the 12.5% solution, that's 1ml/5lbs by mouth, undiluted...if you're using the 40% injectable, that's 1ml/15lbs BY MOUTH. Yeah, you read that right. You draw up an injectable medication, remove the needle, and shoot it down his throat. Again - labels mean nothing.

    Both are gross. He'll gag and hack. It's normal.

    I'd also give this guy Probios...5g at least, if not 10g. Regardless of whether or not this is coccidiosis, I'd imagine the amoxicillin probably has his gut pretty screwed up right now. Probios will re-introduce good gut bacteria..

    Pepto Bismol or Kaopectate probably wouldn't hurt either.. Do **NOT** give Immodium, or he'll die. Pepto or Kaopectate only..

    So, were up to PenG, Probios, Pepto, and probably Di-Methox.. I'd say PenG and oral meds at the same time, then wait a bit and do Pepto, then wait a bit and do Probios...but that's just me thinking of how I'd do it personally.

    I really don't even know for sure if you can give PenG and DiMethox together, frankly, but I've never heard NOT to and if someone handed him to ME and said "fix this"...and I couldn't consult a vet beforehand...I'd roll the dice and do it without thinking twice. BUT THAT'S JUST ME. They might cancel each other out, or...hell, it might kill him. I seriously doubt it will kill him, but I'm just saying...never done it before.

    But I would.

    But that's me.

    The stumbling/weakness in the hind limbs?...that's called "ataxia." There are several different reasons a goat kid might develop ataxia. Dehydration and general weakness, copper deficiency, selenium deficiency ("white muscle disease"), systemic acidosis ("floppy kid syndrome"), etc..

    If he has diarrhea, along with possibly having a heavy parasite burden and/or coccidiosis, I'd be thinking along the lines of general weakness and check for dehydration first.. Pinch his upper eyelids...if they 'tent' a little, he's dehydrated. I don't care if the skin on his back or ribs snaps right back into place or not -- if his eyelids tent, he's dehydrated. Give electrolytes.

    If he won't take electrolytes, hang a bag of lactated ringer's and SQ it over the ribs...saddlebag him.

    If he were here, I'd probably also give him a shot of Bo-Se (selenium) on the notion that it MIGHT be white muscle disease.. The proper dosage is 1ml/40lbs, and you CAN O/D THEM...but I've given tiny kids 1/2ml and seen incredible improvements in fixing contracted tendons, crooked legs, etc... I'd probably give him 1ml...but, again, that's just me. Giving Bo-Se kinda depends on where you are, too. Some areas (LOTS of areas..perhaps even MOST areas) in the US are severely selenium deficient...but some aren't.

    And even if you're not in a selenium deficient area, still doesn't mean he's not selenium deficient..

    Like I said...leg weirdness, I'd give Bo-Se...but that's me.

    Good luck...keep us posted. :)
  11. mrs. lam

    mrs. lam New Member

    Apr 20, 2010
    Yep. Go with what CMJ said. You are in a race right now and everything will count for or against him. Will keep fingers crossed and prayers going. Trust me, I have a rescue sheep who should have died at 3 days old. He's now 3 YEARS OLD. I got him at less than a day old. No first milk. He weighed 2 pounds. He fit in my purse and wore an extra small toy t-shirt. He's now 100 pounds of brat. :love:

    Another rescue is Murray. He was about 6 months old and cost $25. Within a month he cost $300. If a goat could have it, he did. He was very sick. Now he's 3 and so pretty. He has a front hoof problem right now, but he's getting better.

    Romeo and Hershy came from an auction and we bought them out from under the meat man. Fat and healthy now.

    They may not be able to tell you they hurt or that they are thankful that you are trying, but you'll see it. And if they make it...they will show you. I know. I have a yard full of greatfull "lawn mowers". :laugh:

    Gina and the flock
  12. cmjust0

    cmjust0 New Member

    Oct 8, 2009
    Updates? I worried about the lil' guy all weekend.
  13. cmjust0

    cmjust0 New Member

    Oct 8, 2009
    Sooooo....I'm assuming this one's dead. :(
  14. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    I pray the little guy is recovering and that you are just busy with keeping them happy.... update on his condition please :hug: