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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello: I lost one of my favorite does a couple of weeks ago and still cannot understand what exactly happened. If anyone has any ideas, I would love to hear them:

Eris was a one year old Nigerian Dwarf milking yearling. I was in the process of drying off all of my milkers and it seemed to be going well. At the time, I had been milking just once a day for about a week and had dropped the amount of grain they got (although this amount had remained the same for about a week) as well as increasing grass hay and decreasing alfalfa hay.

On Tuesday in the afternoon I noticed that she didn't run to the gate with everyone else when I came to the barn-- just stood and looked at me. I brought her to the milk stand and took temp-- 101 degrees. No outward symptoms of any sort, but just nibbled at some grain-- did not eat as much as she usually does. Other than that she seemed fine.

Wednesday morning when I went to the barn she was resting (appeared comfortable) in the corner of the pen and again did not get up when I came to the gate. I brought her to the milkstand and took her temp-- 98.7 degrees. Would not eat or drink. I made her a pen in the milkroom and put a heat lamp on her. Over the next hours gave her a total of 750 mg thiamine, and some gatorade with probiotics in it while I waited for the vet. At some point, I noticed that although she would get up and walk around, she seemed cautious-- almost like she was feeling her way around and I became convinced she was blind. I do not think she was blind when I got there in the morning. She was not chewing cud, not eating, not drinking. She did swallow readily when I drenched her with gatorade. She did not seem to be in any sort of pain. No diarrhea-- actually no feces at all.

Vet got there at 5:30. Definitely blind, heart rate 140. temp 98.8. Not really any rumen or intestinal movement. We gave her IV fluids, IV thiamine, lots of antitoxin, and antibiotic. She did not get better, in fact got worse. Now she was no longer standing up and when we got her up she was not steady on her feet. The vet thought she looked a little bloated but if she was not sick, I would never have noticed a difference in her girth. The vet left about 8:30. I sat with her the next couple of hours and she primarily just sat there looking very depressed, breathing hard. If I got up she would roll on her side and kick her legs and yell-- I couldn't tell if she was trying to get up or if she was in pain-- this was the first time I she looked uncomfortable the whole day. About an hour before she died she started this chewing motion that looked like chewing but there was nothing there to chew and it was constant for at least half an hour-- almost like it was some sort of neurological thing. When I listened to her abdomen, I could hear a lot of gurgling on the intestinal side, nothing on the rumen side. She died by around 10:30. Just stretched out, eyes got a little wide, she clenched her jaw a little and that was it.

Autopsy the next morning revealed normal rumen contents-- full of hay with some grain. Lungs looked dense and congested, liver looked very congested. No watery or bloody fluid in the intestine like you might see in enterotoxemia. Normal feces development from fluid to soft stool to pellets near the end. Heart looked completely normal-- no petechiae like to would see in enterotoxemia. We did not examine the brain-- sent the whole head for processing. So far all I know is the rabies was negative, the meninges looked somewhat congested and there might be some fluorescence indication thiamine deficient areas (not sure how that is possible).

It is devastating to lose an animal, but even worse to not have clear answers-- does anyone have any ideas???!!!

Thank you,
Tammy
 

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I too agree..more than likely listeriosis since the thiamine would have got her through polio...the fact she was not eating but her gut was full of hay and feed tells me she was not digesting...which builds toxcitity in the gut...complicating her illness
http://www.tennesseemeatgoats.com/articles2/listeriosis.html

Silent pneumonia also comes to mind...Its sneaky and fever can peek then drop, mimicking enteriotoxemia symptoms, here is a quote from Tenn. Meat Goats..

The most most difficult to detect and quickest-to-kill type of pneumonia is Interstitial Pneumonia. Death can occur in 12 hours or less. Example: At night the goat appears healthy, but in the morning it is down and dying. No runny nose and no fever -- . just a goat that is off-feed, may or may not occasionally cough, and standing away from the herd because fluids are building up in the lungs (not sitting or laying down, unless it is already at death's door), but may not appear to be seriously ill. The only clear diagnostic symptom is high fever and it may not be present when you discover the sick goat. High fever peaks quickly and then body temperature rapidly drops below normal, misleading the producer into diagnosing the problem as ruminal. Sub-normal body temperature is often a sign of ruminal problems. Temperatures under 100*F should be considered critical, regardless of the cause of the illness
.

I am so sorry for your loss...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow- i just saw these posts! But I think I have gotten the hang of the app so I will see them promptly next time! The final results are as follows - listeria was negative. Brain pathology looked like polio. Liver - which was the most abnormal finding grossly- was acutely necrotic meaning something that happened over two days basically killed the liver. Lungs were congested - no pneumonia. Liver sample sent for analysis revealed copper slightly up ( she had recently gotten a supplement), zinc slightly low (prob because of the copper supplement which is why I hate messing with minerals!), and, get this- liver calcium levels about 5 times normal!! I have talked to the pathologist about this case. Bottom line- no idea why that calcium was like that in the liver. Polio in the face of adequate thiamine therapy can sometimes be caused by sulfur toxicity, but I can't for the life of me figure out where she could have gotten that. I kind if think something toxic killed her liver which then caused everything else but no one really knows. Thanks for the input! It's nice to have people to consult !

Karen, this was not Addies's daughter. I am currently sitting in the barn after being up most the night waiting for to give birth. I think she is actually trying to kill me-- FYI u should see her udder! I really like it! Plus, the sire of these kids is the son of Cindy's QuentinQuinn and he is a really nice looking buck, so I can't wAit to see these kids!

Tammy


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What are you feeding them and are you giving them a lot of things with calcium in it? Our soil is actually high in calcium so we don't have to give the supplements that some others give. At least according to a chart I saw, we are high in calcium.

That match sounds really exciting! That is great that her udder is looking good. You will have to post pics when she kids!
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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Could the build up of calcium be from the drying off process? They are absorbing more of the milk at that time. And as that would be going directly back into the blood stream, it would make sense that the liver was higher then normal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hmmmm . Well, I had pulled her back to milking once a day about week before and had dropped the amount of alfalfa and grain and increased the grass hay. Their grain is PURiNA goat chow / noble goat mix. The get free choice onyx right now minerals and every once in a while I give them the PURiNA goat mineral to vary it.

I wonder if our soil is high in calcium? I do wish we had drawn blood to compare with blood levels of calcium.
I had a huge huge huge problem with iron in the wAter which was fixed about six months before she died and I believe was an instigator of copper deficiency and why I started supplementing everyone with copasure.




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