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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I apologize if there is another thread with information on this but I am in a bit of a time crunch as I'm very worried about the state of one of my goats.

A little background info- we have a herd of 20 goats, two bucks run in their own separate group, two bucklings in their own group, and one buckling and two doelings in a "nursery pen" to get their body condition and size up( just got them a couple weeks ago- breeder did not take care of them). The rest are does and 7 doelings from this years kidding- 5 of which are Boer doelings who we also bought in the last few weeks. The rest are 1-2 years old. We rotationally graze our goats using electronet fencing on 5 acres. They have tons of fresh, diverse forage and we do not do grain, as it's against our natural process, or hay inputs(except in the dormant pasture season of late fall/winter/early spring). Most of the time our goats are nice and fat and sassy using this system. Recently with the onslaught of heavy spring growth there has been tons of dense, lush grass and other forage. We had been doing strip grazing(moving the fence a few feet to make smaller patches for a day to work it down then moving again the next day) but three days ago we moved them into a full size new paddock in another area of the property because their paddock reached the board fence and needed moved to the other side because we couldn't step the fence out any further there, all still the same lush forage. One of our 2 year old Boer does had come down with a pretty bad case of diarrhea the day before moving them. Her backside was covered, but has gradually lessened each day since then and she seems unaffected otherwise. After moving them, two days later, two of our Nubians had it as well, Priscilla, 2, and her daughter Genevieve, 1. Genevieve's diarrhea is minimal at this point and she doesn't seem to have any other symptoms beyond that and it doesn't seem to be progressing. Priscilla however, who had always been our most efficient and aggressive grazer, is in terrible condition. In just a day's time her condition has wasted away when she always had great confirmation before that and never experienced issues like this. She is very emaciated, pale gums, loss of appetite, and of course severe diarrhea. She still eats, but barely, and just stands around most of the time. They always have access to plenty of graze, shelter, fresh water, etc. I've heard when goats gorge on lush graze it can disrupt the balance of their bacteria and cause bad cases of diarrhea but this seems extreme. All of the new goat kids we brought in this season were (supposedly) given their usual dewormings and shots before purchase. I have inspected all of their droppings and found no visible parasites or eggs. The remaining goats show no signs of diarrhea or other illness (yet, anyway). I'm very worried about them, especially Priscilla, she's always been such an excellent goat, in personality and genetics, this is so unusual and sudden and I'm worried we may lose her, or others, if this continues. The Boer doe and Genevieve both still seem fine in appetite and behavior and their diarrhea seems to be subsiding gradually.

I would greatly appreciate anyone's insight or expertise on the matter, so I can do anything to save my poor Priscilla before it's too late. On the upside, she's on day two of being in this condition and does not seem worse, perhaps a tad better if at all, but barely. Still eating here and there and chewing some cud, but greatly weekend and still very bad diarrhea. She is certainly not out of the danger zone. I have offered minerals and tried to give her some nutridrench to help replace some of the vitamins and minerals she's lost but she hated it and tried to spit it out.

Thank you all in advance, I apologize if this post was too long, just wanted to provide as much potentially relevant information as I can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I haven't checked her eyelids, I tried but she used her little strength to fight me and I didn't want to stress her even more at the moment, and don't have a proper thermometer to check her temp but she doesn't feel hot as far as I can tell from her head, ears, nose, etc. I wormed my herd about 4 weeks ago, but I use Safeguard and have heard negative things about its effectiveness. Worms should really not be a concern because our goats are rotated regularly onto fresh ground every 1-3 days so parasite exposure and presence should be little to none. I was concerned of coccidiosis but have heard its unusual for it to affect adult goats, and all three experiencing the diarrhea are adults. And it came on all at the same time with them and very out of the blue. Is there information anywhere that explains how a fecal is done? If it's done by culturing the fecal swab on a Petri dish, we can do that ourselves. We have a home lab facility that we culture various gourmet mushroom strains in, I would just need to know what to look for. We'd like to avoid vet costs if possible because vet expenses really cut into the profit value of the herd.
 

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Yes you can do it at home! You can't tell the temp on a goat the way you can a human. I would try to take a temp (anal temp) and get a fecal. If you have a milk stand then put her in that to check her eyelids
 

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You can do it at home but when you are first learning, you should also have a vet do it to confirm if you are getting it right. Adults can easily get coccidia and this is a bad year. Rotational grazing helps but it isn't the be all end all. You can still end up with a parasite load. Dead goats are going to hurt your profit more than a couple of vet visits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have read Di-methox 12.5%(among other brands) is a good treatment/preventative treatment for coccidiosis and other illnesses. I planned on ordering this and ivermectin(to replace my Safeguard in case it's ineffective- my local farm stores only carry Safeguard) in regardless as an on hand medicine for the herd in the future. I'm sure it will take a few days to get here at least. Is it reasonable to think she would make it until then? If so, what else can I do to help her in the meantime?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
We already are a grain free herd. She has access to plenty of fresh water, but when I led her to it yesterday she wouldn't drink- haven't personally seen her do it since then either. She has plenty of pasture forage- it's up to my knees in some areas(although I am pretty short so it's not as wild as all that, but still more than they can handle). I give a mineral supplement available from my local farm store. It's the only one they carry with a broader range of minerals- Mana Pro Goat Minerals.
 

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Put out electrolyte water for them as well as fresh. Probiotics like Probios. B complex shot wouldn't hurt. You really need a temp. Low is rumen shutting down, high is infection.
 

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You can give her electrolyte water with a syringe or turkey baster if she won't drink. You don't want her to get too dehydrated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I appreciate everyone's advice. I picked up some ivermectin yesterday and gave her a dose last night in case it's a worm load while my di-methox ships in to treat coccidiosis. As of last night she had no changes for better or worse, still emaciated, not eating much but still up and moving around a bit. I go to check on her this morning and she's dying. On her side, head down, barely responsive, head shaking a little. Unfortunately I have to go to work. She hasn't passed away yet, but I expect she will be gone by the time I get home this evening, if not within the next hour. Could the ivermectin have caused this? Or did she finally hit a point where whatever is ailing her took her down overnight?
 

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The cause of the diarrhea would be the problem. Ivomec itself won't kill but a quick die off of large parasite load can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
That's what I was concerned of. I dosed her on the light side because I was unsure of her actual weight with her losing so much these last few days and her going down so fast made me think it had to be relevant to the ivermectin- either because of the medicine itself or because she had such a heavy load that the die off overwhelmed her. I guess I was just too late...

For future reference, what should I have done differently? The symptoms of whatever caused this came on very rapidly and severely, she was on day 2 of exhibiting these sudden severe symptoms and that's when I dosed her with the ivermectin, but it appeared to have ultimately been worse for her. The day before becoming emaciated and showing severe diarrhea she was eating heartily, climbing up trees to eat leaves with the others, as interactive as she usually is, etc. Should I have dosed lower? Should I not have dosed at all with tha severity of her condition and likely large size of the parasite load and hoped she could have pulled out of it with the aid of simpler treatements like electrolytes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Unfortunately it is too late. I gave it orally and she passed away this morning. I had read SQ can be a quicker release(compared to orally) when it comes to deworming, is that misinformation or just dependent on the brand/active ingredient?
 
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