Doe with cocci - symptoms not improving much

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by Barnes19, Nov 28, 2020.

  1. Barnes19

    Barnes19 Active Member

    Sep 8, 2013
    New Zealand
    I have an 8 year old doe with coccidiosis on day 4 of treatment now.

    Her faecal Oocyst count has reduced dramatically from nearly 10,000/g down to 800 over the first 3 days.
    However her faeces texture after improving a lot initially is now worsening again - perhaps because I quit the bentonite clay (anti-diarrhoea) too early.
    She also has developed bottle jaw and anaemia since starting treatment.

    She has 2 kids approx 1 month old.
    She is OK with eating green pasture browse (our main source of feed), but not taking her grain except starting a small nibble the last day or two.

    I'm concerned about the conflicting progression of symptoms (although her oocyst count has reduced, why is she not really improving much otherwise, am I watching a patient going downhill without knowing it?)

    Below is Leia's illness and treatment calender so far ... what do you all think of her progress? What else can I do for her?

    I am giving her Iron and B vitamins. Also Probiotics etc.
    The treatment I am using is Amprolium 12% solution.
    I don't really have another option at this point ... this is what I have, it's the only 'over the counter' cocci med in NZ which I got a litre of years ago.
    Baycox can be acheived from a vet, but the smallest bottle available is NZ$200-300 and I simply don't have that much money this week (my horse injured herself recently and we're already paying off vet bills for 2 months:-()

    Development of illness: Approximately 1 week before diagnosis and treatment we first saw 'someone' up the shed had slightly soft faeces ...lumps of pebbles at first, slowly getting softer ... we had just moved them all to new (lush green) grazing we figured that was what the quite green soft poop was about.
    But it slowly got worse until we ID'd our herd queen Leia at the stage of soft 'plops' verging to thicker runniness. At the same time she went 'off' her grain. This was late at night: I drenched her for worms, an easy explanation for 95% of problems here.

    Day 1 of treatment for cocci: in the morning she was miserable-er and a bit hunched, faeces still ploppy ... I ran a Mcmaster count and found 9600 per gram coccidia Oocysts.
    I started her on the amprolium at 50mg/kg split in 2 twice daily doses (theoretically a treatment course for 5 days).
    I also started her on probiotics with anti-microbial peptides (compound powder intended to prevent cocci in chickens feed) and a herbal anti-cocci mix to boot. I also began giving her B vitamins compound daily, and for the first 2 days I gave Bentonite Clay for the diarrhoea.
    Day 2: her poop was firming and suddenly returned to pebbles, with a Oocyst count of 6400, approximately 25% of which oocysts appeared 'non-viable' ... deformed, looking empty, lacking a yolk.
    In the morning, she beat everyone through the gate to pasture!
    Yesterdays treatments continued. She picked at a little grain.
    By evening she developed a large bottle jaw and her eyelid became anaemic (I had expected both these symptoms but earlier, not after treatment ...)
    I gave her 3ml oral iron solution that night. She seemed a bit weak ... in fairness she tripped over a log backing away from the iron syringe, but she still shouldn't fall over in the hind legs.
    Day 3: I stopped the bentonite clay (as she had faecal pebbles already, and bentonite can bind dietary minerals like iron ... she's anaemic so I didn't want to continue it unnecessarily ...)
    I also gave her a B12 injection, began giving her 5ml oral iron solution daily, upped her B vitamins with additional 'people pills' of methyl folate (which is a more absorbable form for a sick gut than folic acid) methyl B12, and vitamin K.
    She picked at a little grain that evening and does not appear weak anymore ... But her faeces is again softer by then ... stretchy logs turning to shapeless blobs on impact.
    Count of now 800 oocysts per gram (crack the champagne moment!) of which 50% appear nonviable.
    Day 4 (this morning) her faeces is back to 'small soft plops' ... some of which she dropped involuntarily while struggling over this morning's amprolium drench, so that faeces is getting much thinner again.
    The bottle jaw is softer this morning ... but bottle jaw does tend to go down over night anyway as they graze with their head down and sleep with it up ...
    She really tried to elude her medicine, maybe she feels a little better. But the others all broke out and went down the paddock themselves, she went up the drive to graze alone without even her kids, so she doesn't feel well at all.

    I intend to continue the same course of treatment today, with the addition of a little bentonite some hours after her iron, because I think the reversal from pebbles back to plops might be just because I cut the bentonite too soon/suddenly.

    I have ordered a product called "Blud Boost", which is an Equine powdered Iron/B vitamins etc product similar to Red cell which I cannot find locally.
    I hope that may be a bit more effective than the current mix I am giving her, at least it is one product intended for the purpose, with one balanced dose rate. It will arrive by mail in a couple of days. I was going to get it in town after the weekend but it said "Low stock nationwide" so I mail ordered it immediately rather than miss out altogether.

    I'm about to run out of my 1 litre amprolium, I have enough to finish her 5 day treatment, maybe another day or two.
    It seems to be doing it's job judging by the Oocyst count (which I'm happy is reducing very rapidly).
    I intend to replace it with baycox for future use as soon as I can afford to.

    Any thoughts, suggestions at this point?
    Moers kiko boars likes this.
  2. NigerianDwarfOwner707

    NigerianDwarfOwner707 Well-Known Member

    May 17, 2018
    East Coast, USA
    So the main issue is that Amprolium cannot be given with B Vitamins, it will not work well.

    Stop all B immediately. Continue for the 5 days of amprolium but would switch afterwards to a different drug such as toltrazuril/baycox to be sure to get all of it. ASAP, not for the future.

    Can purchase here:

    (aprolium isn't great, it doesn't always work and you may have already jeopardized it with the vitamin b).

    Would try and fight it naturally with this:

    Tummy Trouble Paste:

    1/4 teaspoon of cayenne, cinnamon, slippery elm bark powder, and ginger (can be substituted for a slice of raw ginger the size of a quarter about 1/2 cm thick). Blend with 1 raw clove of garlic, molasses, apple cider vinegar, and enough water to drench.

    Give 2-4 times daily.

    Was there Barberpole or any other strongyles on the fecal?

  3. Barnes19

    Barnes19 Active Member

    Sep 8, 2013
    New Zealand
    Darn, how did I get such wrong info.

    As you suggest I will stop the B now ... I'm confused I was given to understand that it is not safe to give amprolium to a goat without a B supplement, particularly Thiamine due to the risk of cerebrocortical necrosis, and that the amprolium could even make the aneamia worse by interfering with B vitamins if this was not supplemented.

    The amprolium has at least worked 'OK' anyway I believe, the Oocyst count is dropping ever faster between counts. I will recount tonight ... having dropped 9600 - 6400 - 800 I'm expecting to see further reduction still.

    Can I restart the B vitamins like 24-48 hours after the amprolium course is finished? Amprolium is eliminated by the kidneys within 12-24 hours is that right?
    I am sure she will still be anaemic to some extent and could do with supplements for a while.

    Unfortunately I cannot purchase the product from that link, I'm in New Zealand, not the USA.

    Tolturazil is a 'Prescription Only Veterinary Medicine' in this country, also it is quadruple that price even after the exchange rate:-((

    I literally do not have enough money in the bank to purchase it until the 8th of december. I just cleaned my account out to under $30 with a huge horse vet bill and no-one is buying breeding goats or sheep in Covid-19 NZ ... I can only ask my father to pay for it out of his pension after he gets it on the 8th.

    Half of those herbs are already in the herbal mix I'm giving, I'll add the rest you suggest in now.

    There are no barbers pole eggs on her fecal, and only one Trichostrongylus egg seen over 3 counts.
    She is 3 weeks into a drench which has 30 days residual effect against H. contortus, so she is covered right now.

    We are doing much of what is on that page already too, although we can't get Alfalfa we have fresh Lotus Major growing in the paddock and she is grazing that, which is a local legume pasture as high in protein as alfalfa.
    The rest of that paddock is ryegrass, plantain and herbaceous weedy stuff, and we're bringing her favourite trees and vines etc. She has pretty decent appetite for fodder and green stuff.
    The Iron liquid is recommended to mix with apple cider vinegar so she is also getting some of that ... I will give her more.

    I am offering her a richer protein grain feed mix, she is starting to eat a little more of it each time.

    UPDATE happily as of mid-day, her feces is back to a solid firm ball of squished together pellets.
    She is also downright running and dodging from her meds, and beating up on all the biggest goats! to over-compensate for her condition (which I was glad to see although Winny and Ginny are certainly dismayed at her mood).

    I'm now sure she feels a bit stronger and I'm slowly winning the battle.

    She stands around looking sad and droopy from time to time ... but yesterday she sat around looking sad and droopy from time to time so that is a little better.
  4. NigerianDwarfOwner707

    NigerianDwarfOwner707 Well-Known Member

    May 17, 2018
    East Coast, USA
    Amprolium works by mimicking thiamine which coccidia needs to survive, so when then consume the “false thiamine” they die, but if there is real thiamine in there it defeats the purpose. It’s extremely rare for it to cause polio, but to be safe you can follow up 24 hours later with some b vitamins. But if given during treatment it will hinder the treatment.

    Keep going with those herbs for the next few days.

    Glad to hear she has shown some improvement!
    toth boer goats likes this.
  5. Barnes19

    Barnes19 Active Member

    Sep 8, 2013
    New Zealand
    Update again ... she's back to sloppy poop. Up and down like a yoyo.
    The oocyst count is now zero - I couldn't find a single one. Next time I'm going to do a stronger solution to count more sensitively.

    I'm wondering if what has happened is the amprolium + B vitamins has stopped the things laying or encysting or whatever but not killed them off?

    Should I continue the amprolium to 'five days after I stopped giving B vitamins'? Or is that not a good idea?

    Anyway she's back on bentonite to dry her up, plus the extra herbs.

    I wonder if she (in going up the drive this morning alone) ate a lot of wattle bark. The tannin might have temporarily hardened her poop afterwards.

    I'm going to ring my vet and find out if they will either sell me just one dose (hoping her kids don't get it) or extend me credit and add Baycox onto my account with promises to pay them next month - if they have it, or in fact what they will give me for a goat as it's only labelled for calves and piglets. But it's after hours on a sunday and the phone is going to messages.
  6. fivemoremiles

    fivemoremiles Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    western montana
    If you are treating for cocci and there is no improvement you do not have cocci.
    you got worms. worm the doe with a clear wormer and a white wormer. I have had a worm that acted as cocci and i lost two sheep before the Montana wool growers sent out an email on a worm that is acting like cocci. i wormed three ewes and they straightened right up. this year it has been in my goats too. no worries i new what to do. the worm seems to like older ewes/goats.
  7. Barnes19

    Barnes19 Active Member

    Sep 8, 2013
    New Zealand
    Not the case in this instance I'm afraid I've done the proper fecal counts under the microscope, she had loads of cocci, and next to no worms ... I wish it was worms it's easy to treat. But I actually already did that and she didn't respond.

    Over the course of Amprolium treatment her Cocci oocyst count has gone down, and her energy and appetite is better. So the treatment is actually working BUT patchily because ... amprolium is not the most effective thing to use for goats, and may have been even more compromised as I was giving B vitamins for anaemia along with the amprolium, which as NigerianDwarfOwner has so helpfully pointed out, partially inactivated it causing the poor response I have happening.

    I'm sure there is no worm involvement.

    I've done 4 fecal egg counts on her using a Mcmaster slide. I found at first almost 10,000 per gram Coccidia oocysts, (more than enough to cause disease although many cases get higher) and only 12.5 EPG Trichostrongyle, (thats not a decimal error, I mean just twelve and a half, where 500-2000 indicates a moderate to high burden) and there are no other worms at all.

    She has been drenched already. With everything. She was routinely drenched with a Moxi (long acting) 3 weeks ago, and again with a combo white/clear drench when we first saw sloppy poop (without a response, because the problem was cocci, not worms).
    NigerianDwarfOwner707 likes this.
  8. NigerianDwarfOwner707

    NigerianDwarfOwner707 Well-Known Member

    May 17, 2018
    East Coast, USA
    You’re a very responsible goat owner, by the way!!

    Are you giving slippery elm in the mix of herbs? Lots of garlic too?

    Do you guys have anything for bacterial scours, here we call it scourhalt/scourcheck/scourguard and it’s a red liquid for pigs.

    Is the poop a normal brown color? Any strong smell?

    Keep in mind that after chemical treatment the rumen can take a hit - and this can cause scours, so I would get some dark beer, pour it into a bowl, let it warm to room temp and flatten a bit, then drench 6oz of it.

    Can we get a rectal temp on her?
    toth boer goats likes this.
  9. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    If bottle jaw is happening you will have to treat for that.
  10. Barnes19

    Barnes19 Active Member

    Sep 8, 2013
    New Zealand
    Well thankyou, that makes me feel positive:)

    The bottle jaw is quite reduced this morning, still big but not huge+, soft and wobbly too.
    There is also an improvement in her eye colour, slightly more pink. I think this accounts for her better energy yesterday ... she really hiked around a lot in the afternoon and needs two people to catch if a lumpy syringe is seen hidden in a pocket.

    Yep she's getting lots of slippery elm, and now 2 forms of garlic (powdered and fresh).

    Common is calf "Scourban" medication which is a opaque pink slurry containing both kaolin clay (white powders that settle) and a scour drug of some sort (which I assume is in the red liquid that rises to the top of the bottle).
    I'll have a look at the bottle and make sure the ingredients match up to the red liquid ScourHalt product I'm seeing on the net.
    I gave up using it disappointed after it failed in goats where bentonite clay + slippery elm worked quickly ... (plus the bentonite goes in capsules and almost all my goats prefer pills) ... so now I'll give it as well.

    The poop is a bit greenish when fresh turning brown ... so is everyone else's, green pebbles, because they're loving the fresh paddock. I'd say her faeces is close to the same colour as that of the other goats eating the same things.

    I'm thinking that may be a contributor. If the rumen was a bit 'off' with that fresh feed she may well be continuing to scour. It's a juggle getting her the best good nutritious high protein feed from the pasture.

    I'm keeping her in a separate pen during the night where she has her own tree branches and dry hay. She's had a decent feed of them overnight, and actually ate a small bowl of grain too (although she didn't lick the bowl, she finished it)

    Hmmm ... tricky, my rectal thermometer stopped being reliable, (beeps but never stops counting up!) I'm using an tympanic infrared one that goes in the ear canal and takes a temperature of the ear drum. I always take both sides and also compare to other, healthy goats of similar age in the same environment to make sure of an accurate baseline.
  11. NigerianDwarfOwner707

    NigerianDwarfOwner707 Well-Known Member

    May 17, 2018
    East Coast, USA
    Let's do this -

    Stop grain and feed only hay and any browse you want

    Buy a new thermometer - a regular ol digital one that goes up the butt!!
  12. Barnes19

    Barnes19 Active Member

    Sep 8, 2013
    New Zealand
    Is there a specific treatment for bottle jaw, other than remove the cause (blood sucking protozoa) and supplement for Anaemia, feed up on protein, good follow up nutritional support?

    I'm already giving her iron supplement for anaemia but had to discontinue the B vitamins for now because they are clashing with the amprolium.
    I will begin them again after the amprolium course is finished to continue improving her red blood cells.
    I am giving extra protein in her feed, she has been off her grain though, only nibbling, last night ate a small portion of protein enriched grain.
    I'm giving her the highest protein pasture I have too.

    This morning the bottle jaw is noticeably lessened (it does overnight, but this is even better than yesterday morning). Also the eyelid colour is improved.
  13. Barnes19

    Barnes19 Active Member

    Sep 8, 2013
    New Zealand
    OK I won't give her any more grain for now ... :-( she's just lost so much weight.

    She only ate about 2/3 cup last night anyway - that's the first grain greater than a tablespoon or so that she's eaten since the 25th.

    Yes I need to get a new, more common thermometer.
  14. Barnes19

    Barnes19 Active Member

    Sep 8, 2013
    New Zealand
    Updates ...

    Yesterday we got Baycox from the vet and treated Leia.

    She seemed to improve with a complete reduction in bottle jaw an increase in energy very quickly.

    Then overnight she relapsed seriously, with now nasty diarrhea, low energy and no appetite much at all ... she was eating some branches this morning but not much.

    Her rectal temp is 39.6°C (103.28°F according to google).

    She's dehydrated so I'm giving electrolytes: I'm sure that's a big part of her low energy and appetite as well now.

    She's a bit Belchy.

    I'm seeing some 'clumpy' faeces in the shed from other goats, I don't know who from but I did a count anyway and sure enough there's an unusual rising number (5000) of oocysts just in the random manure looking like last night's off the floor.

    So I'm very glad of the bottle of Baycox and we'll be going through all the kids and mature goats who are most 'at risk'.

    But we're also about to call the vet back and ask what they want us to do, I think her condition is getting dangerous.
  15. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    Have you given anything for bottle jaw?
  16. Tanya

    Tanya Well-Known Member

    How is your girl? Did she recover?
    toth boer goats likes this.