Last resort

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by SJC, May 12, 2019.

  1. SJC

    SJC Member

    34
    May 12, 2019
    Adirondacks, NY
    Hello all, I am a new goat owner and have run into a serious issue very early on in my goat-raising journey.

    I have two Boer/Alpine cross doelings that are 1 month + 24 days old. They were a set of triplets but I only bought the two doelings. The smaller sister, Luna, is very healthy and energetic. The larger sister, Maisie, is terribly ill. I have taken her to a vet but we are running low on ideas and so I have come here to see if anyone else has any advice.

    A few days ago I went out to the goat pen for their morning feeding (weaned at 6 weeks when I bought them so they are eating hay and grass now). Maisie did not come out to greet me, but instead gave a weak bleat. She did not stand up when I went into her hut. Upon lifting her to her feet, she walked weakly out of her hut and over to her hay with her sister. She dropped to her front knees and began eating in that manner, walking about on her front knees but keeping her hind legs up properly. I immediately got an appointment with the vet, but it wasn't until late that evening. By the time I got home from work to take her to her appointment, Maisie was no longer able to stand nor keep her head up. The vet put her on an IV along with Vitamin E and B shots and a Selenium shot. She is now able to sit up and eagerly eats, but she cannot stand up. Her front legs appear to be limp and she is severely underweight. She does attempt to stand on her own but cannot.

    She has tested negative for parasites and is not anemic nor does she appear to have any kidney problems.

    We've done a blood test and her AST levels are incredibly high-a whopping 1468! Her TBIL is also high at 0.6. This is clearly a sign of liver damage. We suspect that she over-consumed some dry oak leaves (high tannin levels), possibly coupled with Selenium deficiency. We are currently keeping her hydrated, feeding her grass and giving her some milk replacer as she is very underweight. Does anyone know how to lower her levels? How do I go about supporting a healthy liver? Can I do anything to boost her ability to heal? Or, do you recognize these symptoms as something else?

    Any advice will be appreciated.
     
  2. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    I'm so sorry your goat owning journey began like this.

    I would recommend giving her daily B-Complex injections for at least 5 days. You can't overdose this.

    The breeder did you a severe disservice by weaning them at 6 weeks. That is far too young. Is she taking the milk replacer as a bottle? If the sibling will accept a bottle this late in the game I would recommend starting her slowly on one (small amounts for a few days, working up) so they get good nutrition for growing. Grass hay just isn't enough to support the fast growth when they are that young.

    Fingers crossed she pulls through for you!
     

  3. SJC

    SJC Member

    34
    May 12, 2019
    Adirondacks, NY
    The vet is currently giving her vitamin B shots every day (she's been there since Thursday, May 9th) and is drinking milk replacer from a bottle along with plain grass. Just now I gave her sister about 3/4 cup of milk replacer from a bottle which she drank greedily. The sister I have at home is 10.2lbs, but she is also quite small in stature. I feel stupid for not knowing how big she should be. The sick sister is much larger in stature. I do not know her actual weight, but she is incredibly thin and bony at this point.
     
  4. GoofyGoat

    GoofyGoat Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2018
    TEXAS
    I'd be giving them calf manna to help with the weight gain and alfalfa hay for the protein and calcium. Have you tried whole cows milk from the grocery store? Most folks here prefer it to replacer. As with any new food start slowly in small amounts and build up. Have they had their CDT's yet? You're doing everything right by trying to learn, don't beat yourself up. This is a great place to learn and share your journey in goat parenting. Welcome to TGS and I truely hope your little doeling gets better soon.
     
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  5. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    Oh my goodness, 10 lbs at 7 weeks old?! That's very very small for Boer/Alpine cross.

    Does the vet expect to send the one home soon? I'd be very concerned about the stress of separation on each of them.

    I'm really glad to hear the doeling at home is still willing to take a bottle - that's really great news! Were they bottle or dam raised when you purchased them? Give her the same amount in a bottle once a day for 3 days then if her tummy is accepting that nicely, increase to twice a day. Eventually increase to as much as 16 ounces twice a day but make the increase SLOWLY! Continue feeding them two 16 ounce bottles per day until at LEAST 12 weeks old but preferably as long as 24 weeks of age, especially with the rough start they've had. Do you feel like perhaps they were underweight when you purchased them? I have a feeling that may be the case.
     
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  6. SJC

    SJC Member

    34
    May 12, 2019
    Adirondacks, NY
    I have a friend whose got a doe in milk and will be able to provide me with fresh organic milk. I'll definitely look into the calf manna. They have not had CDT shots yet, as the farmer told me they were covered since their mom was given the vaccine while pregnant. I don't know if I should trust anything they told me at this point.
     
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  7. SJC

    SJC Member

    34
    May 12, 2019
    Adirondacks, NY
    I absolutely believe that they were underweight when I purchased them. I contacted the farmer and they said all of the remaining brothers also weigh about 10lbs right now, so I'm thinking the farmer has no idea how to properly raise goats. They were bottle raised but on their own dam's milk.

    Maisie is supposed to come home with me tomorrow if she does well tonight without having an IV in (they just took her off her IV drip this morning). I gave her sister about 8 ounces of milk replacer today, was that too much? I'm worried about causing more trouble by adjusting too quickly.
     
  8. SandyNubians

    SandyNubians Well-Known Member

    Feb 18, 2017
    Idaho
    As SaltyLove said, that is incredibly underweight for this breed. I have a 50/50 Alpine/boer who is 9 weeks old. He was a triplet and is 38lbs before he gets turned out for the day. She should be at least in the 20lb range. Her breeder is obviously doing something wrong. And I don't like to judge people without knowing everything (something people have done to me) but something seems wrong. So good to hear she comes home tomorrow. I hope she does well and continues to improve. 8 ounces shouldn't be too much. If she isn't hungry next feeding I would definitely lower the amount a little. You want her to still be looking for food after feeding. Better to slightly underfeed milk while adjusting them to it than to overfeed.
     
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  9. SJC

    SJC Member

    34
    May 12, 2019
    Adirondacks, NY
    My grandmother just confessed to me that she thought my girls were mini-goats until I told her they were supposed to be standard size. I'm very worried now for the 3 wethered brothers still with the farmer. The adults seemed normal and healthy when I visited the farm upon purchase and these aren't the first kids the farmer has sold. I'm so confused as to why this set of kids is so undersized.

    I plan on keeping Maisie in the house so I guess Luna will be in here, too. She was so near death when I originally took her to the vet, her temp was only 94.6! I want to be sure she stays warm especially since she has hardly any fat on her.
     
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  10. SandyNubians

    SandyNubians Well-Known Member

    Feb 18, 2017
    Idaho
    Maisie is very lucky to have you! I know sometime people just can't deal with the cost of the vet. I don't blame them. It can get very expensive, and some people aren't old enough and their parents don't want to deal with the cost. You are very obviously doing everything you can for her, and that is incredible.
    Can you get a picture of her sister? I guess its possible they could be minis or maybe 50/50 Nigerian/boer(or alpine)

    It confuses me as to why the farmer pulled the babies. Were the goats you saw alpines, or boers? If the mothers were alpines I can see why he would pull them to milk, but if they were boer I see absolutely no reason to pull all the babies he has. Again, don't like to judge without knowing, but it is just strange to me.
     
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  11. HoosierShadow

    HoosierShadow Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    Oh wow, poor you and poor babies, I am so sorry! that is so sad. Is there any chance at all they could have something mixed in - smaller breed? That is way too small IMO for them. Smaller average birth weight for a Boer alone would be 6-8lbs. I hope the little on pulls through and will be okay and they both thrive. I'd definitely think lack of nutritional needs could do that to a baby. Your on the right track with getting help and getting them what they need :)

    Calf manna is good stuff, and seems to taste good as we've never had any issues when we use it. I wonder if giving them a little Dyne would hurt them? It's a high calorie supplement. Someone can probably tell you if it's a bad idea, but a little bit might help.

    My other question is, are you positive the kids are really that old or could they be even younger and the farmer lied about their age? I'm still baffled by their size.
     
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  12. GoofyGoat

    GoofyGoat Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2018
    TEXAS
    Luna and Maize are very lucky to be so loved. They will be so happy to be back together.
    One thing about keeping goats inside make sure you help them adjust to severe temperature changes. A strong immune system is critical since they'll be in for a while. Going from a really warm house to snow or cold or from air conditioning to 85degrees outside runs a risk of pneumonia. I have 5 goats living inside due to barn damage (again). Give them a chewable kids vitamin c tablet daily to help build up their immune system.
    They'll think it's a treat so it's easy.

    These babies need their CDT soon maybe your vet will give it to them if you take Luna to pick up Maize. If you're going to be upping their food intake it's important as well as needed to prevent any mishap.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
  13. SJC

    SJC Member

    34
    May 12, 2019
    Adirondacks, NY
    The adults I saw were definitely Alpine does, however the sire had already been sold off.

    I will try to get photos tonight that show them against something for size reference, but for now here are some pictures:
    60342093_2320520831497286_2525102811956379648_n.jpg
    Luna (above)
    Maisie (below)
    60111508_687538745035117_8502162322511364096_n.jpg
     
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  14. GoofyGoat

    GoofyGoat Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2018
    TEXAS
    What cuties!
     
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  15. SandyNubians

    SandyNubians Well-Known Member

    Feb 18, 2017
    Idaho
    How very, very cute! :love:

    Only way to know if they are a Nigeiran cross is to watch then grow. If they stay under 100lbs they are probably ND mixes(or stunted) if they get over that you can probably assume they are a boer/alpine. Maisie kinda looks like my boer/alpine buckling, he just has floppier ears, same little curly tail fur too. However, that does mean she is well underweight and not just a smaller breed. At least they are at a new home and they will be spoiled and get their weight back on!
     
    SJC likes this.
  16. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Very cute.
     
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  17. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    How is Luna behaving today after starting back on the bottle yesterday? Poop okay? Tummy feels okay? She is going to BEG for more but do increase slowly as her tummy needs time to adjust. It's not a bad idea to put a pinch of baking soda in one bottle per day to help the tummy maintain pH balance. I hope you see brighter and more energetic goat kids in just a few days!

    I hope news from the vet about Maisie is good this morning!! They are adorable and I'm rooting for them. The cross seems to suit their appearance.

    Were you planning to raise these girls as pets only or hoping to breed in future?

    Ask the vet when you pick up Maisie if they feel that beginning them on grain would be prudent to get them the nutrition they need. In my opinion they should be on the two 16 ounce bottles a day, free choice hay and forage, and pelleted goat feed, as well as water bucket and loose minerals.
     
  18. Dwarf Dad

    Dwarf Dad Well-Known Member

    Those are cute goats. They do not look malnourished to me, though it could be th fur. Maybe have a mini that snuck in as sire.
     
    SJC likes this.
  19. HoosierShadow

    HoosierShadow Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    OMGoodness they are precious! Those faces, and those adorable ears, awww, I hope they both get through this tough time and thrive for you.
     
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  20. Iluvlilly!

    Iluvlilly! Well-Known Member

    Apr 6, 2019
    Wisconsin