Mineral deficiency??

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by bigoakfarm, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. bigoakfarm

    bigoakfarm New Member

    228
    Oct 5, 2007
    Kentucky
    Hi all,
    This is a long story but I am desperate for help and I think you need the entire history before I ask for advice. I have a buck that came here to live with us right after Christmas from a very selenium and copper deficient area of the country. *from a reputable breeder who takes very good care of her goats according to anyone who has ever met her - so not blaming the seller* and his front legs are bending (or bowing) backwards. They aren't bowed like a cowboy's legs - more like a flamingo's legs bend backwards.

    He was transported to our area by someone other than the seller and that person held him for me for a week while I made pick up arrangements. *also a very careful breeder who knows goats* This second person is who first noticed that there was something wrong with his legs. They were bowed but he was not limping badly (or maybe not at all). She trimmed his hooves but told me they weren't over-grown and she gave him a copper bolus and a 1 cc dose of BoSe. I picked him up from her farm a week later and gave him another 1 cc dose of BoSe when we got home because I normally give 2cc doses to my adults.

    Since the first of January, he has another 2cc dose of BoSe, a Vit. A&D injection, 3 hoof trims and free choice Purina Goat Minerals and baking soda. He has been kept both inside the barn and outdoors in the buck pen (with a dry shelter of course). Our weather has been nuts but he has NO swelling in his joints, no bleeding or scarring, nothing that would lead me to think he has been injured in any way. He was only walking with stiff legs at first, then he pretty much stopped bending his knees and now he is limping and not bearing weight on his left front leg.

    The vet's office says it's probably mineral related but the damage is most likely permanent and they can't tell me any more unless I shell out $250-$300 for X-rays of his legs and lab work. I really like this buck but if the damage is permanent and there is no hope of fixing the problem, I can't afford to spend that much more on him.

    I'm attaching a photo of him from today. Has anyone seen this type of problem before? It's not that he's just "down" in his pasterns or has bad feet. His shins are actually bending backwards. The bone is curving. He doesn't seem to be in a great deal of pain. He's eating and he bred a doe today but he's uncomfortable and seems to be getting worse. Any advice?
     

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  2. needs to know more

    needs to know more New Member

    118
    Oct 7, 2007
    Washington
    How old is the buck? What is he eating? grass hay, alfalfa, Grain? Never seen that. but have had some legs bend on young pregnant girls. Unknown if the problem could happen to a buck???? But my animals have taught me that anything is possible.
     

  3. bigoakfarm

    bigoakfarm New Member

    228
    Oct 5, 2007
    Kentucky
    Not sure what he was eating before I bought him or what he ate the week before I picked him up but at our farm he's eating 16% medicated feed mixed with alfalfa pellets and beet pulp with lespedezia (sp?) hay once a day and a mixed grass hay free choice. He's almost 3 years old, not over-weight and his legs were perfect in June according to some other people who saw him personally. I bought him on a photo so I have no idea exactly when it started.
     
  4. needs to know more

    needs to know more New Member

    118
    Oct 7, 2007
    Washington
    the problem I had with my girls legs was due to a calcium to phosphorus imbalance. This is mostly seen in young does giving birth with multiples. I don't know anything about that lesp.... hay. Grass hay has little calcium. the alfalfa pellets would add some calcium. The grain may or may not. But could be high in phosphorus.

    I pulled out my mineral difficiency list. It says not enough Zinc can cause soft bones, stiff joints, as well as other things. Might be some thing to look at.
     
  5. trob1

    trob1 New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Middle TN
    I would also think calcium or zinc too. I would question his previous owner about his diet and see if he was getting enough calcium while young. I would think she would want to help you find out what might be the problem.
     
  6. bigoakfarm

    bigoakfarm New Member

    228
    Oct 5, 2007
    Kentucky
    Yes of course she's trying to help but she's several states away and there isn't much she can do considering she seems to be genuinely shocked that this has happened. They were having some extreme bad weather as I understand it when I bought him and with all his winter coat just in, I think she just honestly didn't notice those front legs. They are getting worse so they didn't look exactly like this two months ago when she loaded him in the truck and sent him on his way. BTW, she has offered a replacement already although I don't want one and I absolutely trust this woman and believe that if there were anything at all different about this buck's diet or his history she would have let me know right away.

    I have no doubt that his diet was complete - he's just not processing minerals the way he should be or he's more sensitive to a deficiency. He was a show and breeding animal and other people I trust have seen him as recently as this past summer and agree that he was fine. His kids all are fine - with dead straight legs. The front ends on the kids he has sired so far are actually better than most. Weird, huh?

    I have done a little research in the last hour on the zinc and calcium. If I am reading the onfo correctly, the vitamin A we already gave him should be helping with his calcium absorption and if zinc is the problem it looks like I can just give him a plain 220mg capsule daily for 4 weeks and that should bring him back. According to one study, that dose almost completely reversed the symptoms of zinc deficiency in goats and sheep. Well, actually the dose in teh study was 250mg daily but the o-t-c capsule comes i 220mg and he's a nigie so likely to be much smaller than the goats in the study. I'm wondering if I could have a blood sample tested just for mineral deficiency without the x-rays and broad range lab work. I'll have to call the vet in the a.m.

    Thanks for the advice and if anything else comes to mind, lmk.
     
  7. trob1

    trob1 New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Middle TN
    Well above you stated that you didnt have any idea what he ate in his previous home so I would think that would be the first thing I would want to find out from her. If he ate grass hay and grain his entire life then years down the road a bone problem could be the results. Also if it were me I would try to find a better mineral. Purina has alot of salt therefore they get less mineral intate and it has alot of mollasis in it. I know that also moving to one home for a week then to another is also alot of stress which could have caused something to pop out, I know when I got my goats from SC that is what happened and they had alot of problems from it. I sure hope it is something as simple as a zinc deficency and will clear fast for him. Keep us updated on how that works.
     
  8. bigoakfarm

    bigoakfarm New Member

    228
    Oct 5, 2007
    Kentucky
    Hi Teresa,

    I know it's natural to assume when something like this happens that someone along the line didn't provide quality care for the animal but in time you will see too that ANYTHING can happen in ANY herd. The past owners of this buck know goat nutrition and are as confused as I am. I don't feel comfortable naming names out of a sincere respect for the seller and the breeder because so much gets taken out of context online and I don't wish to appear to be placing blame. That's too easy and doesn't provide any real answers for me or for the next person who runs into this problem. I think I have to say in all honestly that simple poor nutrition has to be eliminated from the list of possiblilities here.

    I switched to Purina minerals only recently and the goats in my herd consume waaayyyy more of the Purina than they did before and I have seen improvement in coats, skin and ease of kidding so I have to assume they're getting more benefit this way. If the salt and molasses make them more palatable it's ok with me. I know several standard dairy goat breeders who offer salt free choice right along with their minerals and baking soda so I'm not all that worried about it being in my minerals. My herd is fine. The other goats in the seller's herd are fine.

    I'm just a little frustrated that NO ONE I have spoken with or shown photos to has seen this before. That's why I went ahead and posted them on an open forum. Surely, someone will come across this site who has seen this and can tell me if there is a real chance to reverse it. After all these years I have learned that sometimes those big vet bills are worth it and sometimes there never really was any hope anyway. OF course, ALL advice is appreciated so keep it coming but between myself, the seller, and breeders I have known for years I've already pretty much exhausted the quick fix remedies and questioning what happened and I'm really looking for actual experience with this problem now. HELP!

    Thanks!
    Kristen
     
  9. bigoakfarm

    bigoakfarm New Member

    228
    Oct 5, 2007
    Kentucky
    We considered that at first but I'm wondering if moving had much to do with it at all now. The person who held him for week noticed those front legs when he arrived so the change didn't cause it (but may have worsened it). I don't imagine the stress of relocating has helped him but his legs were already bowed when he arrived at the 2nd person's farm and it's progressing. It's very confusing.

    Thanks!
    Kristen
     
  10. enjoytheride

    enjoytheride New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Humboldt Co Ca
    Can you take another picture or two? To me he doesn't look like the cannons are bowed- more like he's standing camped out- which in horses usually means heel soreness. All my knowledge of anything pretty much comes from horses which I realize is not directly applicable to goats but I have heard of too much copper causing a weakening of tendons which could cause him to be back at the knee but with goats, I would think that copper toxicity would kill him before that would happen. But have you checked to see whether they also copper bolused him? Around here people do it a lot.
     
  11. Muddy Creek Farm

    Muddy Creek Farm New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Keokuk, Iowa
  12. enjoytheride

    enjoytheride New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Humboldt Co Ca
    Wow, Chelsey- that's it.
     
  13. bigoakfarm

    bigoakfarm New Member

    228
    Oct 5, 2007
    Kentucky
    THANK YOU Chelsey! My vet said selenium and copper, the person who picked him up fo rme said selenium and copper and the seller said she knows they have a huge problem with selenium and copper in her area. But he's had BoSe regularly and a copper bolus since so I was freaking out that everybody was missing something.

    I will top dress with calf-manna for a while and let you know.

    Kristen
     
  14. Muddy Creek Farm

    Muddy Creek Farm New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Keokuk, Iowa
    Glad I could help :wink: I found that a few months ago and thought of it when seeing your guy.
     
  15. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    some other signs of copper deficiancy is a blad tail tip, and the hair on the animal turns different colors then the original color of the animal. black goats turn reddish gray goats turn yellowey. They hair will also feel very course. I don't know about the copper deficiancy if this is what it is its a very severere case. It almost looks more like a case of founder to me. The bones in the hoof start to turn cause the goats a lot of pain and walking in odd ways.
    beth
     
  16. bigoakfarm

    bigoakfarm New Member

    228
    Oct 5, 2007
    Kentucky
    His feet have never hurt. He is now walking on the back of his heels as his knees have become more and more "backwards". That's just really been a natural progression since the shape of his legs is fundamentally changing. The front of his hooves are pulled upwards. There is absolutely no pain or tenderness in his feet, thank goodness. He didn't really seem to be in pain at all until two days ago. He started holding weight off his left leg.

    He had another BoSe shot yesterday. He has been bolused w/copper since Christmas so I'm probably just not waiting long enough. There is definite improvement today so maybe the BoSe? But, I'm afraid to over-do it.

    I have a call in to the vet's office about what I can do as far as the lab work and skip the expensive x-rays for now. We used to feed calf manna daily but I stopped it for some reason so I feel that's safe to try and certainly won't hurt him.

    I hope I can reverse the damage and post updated "correct" photos soon. :leap:
     
  17. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    thats good. I dont think i would give him any more selinium either. Is he showing anymore signs of copper deficiancy?
    beth