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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First of all let me say that I have read several posts on here within the past few days and am thankful for the information provided! With that being said I am no expert or breeder/raiser of goats. My little family own a small hobby farm where we keep 4 goats as pets.


Problem? I have a wether who is 7 years old. His name is Chester and he is a big sweet heart. Several weeks ago I noticed his coat condition was getting bad (coarse and patches of hair thinning) Also his body condition was declining rapidly. I dewormed him (safe-guard) that day, along with a lice/fly/pest spray for goats. 10 days later I dewormed him again. I began to go out to the pasture twice daily for a few min more than I normally do, to pull him aside, give him a little extra feed and a few treats so that I could make sure he was eating and that he was improving. At first his lack of appetite was alarming, but he did nibble just not scarf up his feed like his usual self. Within a few days he was eating with much more enthusiasm. I was hopeful that he was getting better, but I started to notice he was acting "drunk" Not steady on his feet, especially in his rear legs. I called the vet and he told me to just keep an eye on him, it could take up to three weeks to notice a difference. Everyday I did the same and he seemed to have more enthusiasm, but still unsteady. Sunday night I noticed he had bottle jaw. I would call the vet first thing in the morning. Unfortunately, when I did my early morning chores Monday, he was down. I thought he was gone, but when I ran to him he looked up to me, eyes still "there" but body was lifeless. I panicked, crying, praying, and ran him straight to the vet (45 min away). I just knew he was dying, but when the vet came out to help me suspected Polio and seemed to have high hopes that he would be okay. I called that evening. He had been treated with b12 and thiamine. No change. He was certain it was a CNS problem and would see what he was like in the a.m. Called first thing the next morning, no change. He had wormed him that first day with injectible ivermectin, but did a PCV the following day and he was a 10. He now suspected an overload of barberpole worms that were resistant to my previous wormings. He was still so lifeless he believed the only thing (if any) that could safe him would be a blood transfusion. So I wrangled my largest goat (the rest are all healthy with no known issues) and drove him in right away. He called me that afternoon saying that Chester was now raising his head to eat and moving his legs and bleating (something he hadn't been doing in weeks) I was so relieved!! I was hoping to get the go ahead to come pick both my boys up and continue tlc at home.

Not the case. The next morning I called and he was right back down to where he was when I brought him in. Vet changed dewormers again, and just said that the worms just sucked what good red blood cells he was given right back out. He would take a bit more from my healthy wether, but wouldnt be able to take anymore. He was hoping this would carry him through until the wormer did its job and Chester was able to make his own red blood cells.

This morning I called again.. Chester is making "a LITTLE" progress. He is moving his legs a big, and will eat and drink if you help him. He has a SLIGHT bit of pink in his eye lids (previously had been ghost white). But he said there really wasn't anything more he could do for him. He's been given the b12 and extras for the last 3 days and he didn't think he needed anymore. He said now really all we can do is give extra TLC and wait to see how much brain damage has been done due to lack of oxygen to the brain.

I am bringing him home this afternoon. I will clear a spot on my back porch for him so that I can keep a super close eye on him. I asked about this "red cell" I keep reading about on here and my vet said he didn't feel like he needed any more than what he has been given over these last few days. It was really just about waiting and letting him make his own (making sure he eats and drinks) and waiting.

I have been doing SO much reading these past few days, reading, crying, praying and more praying. Like I said I am not a goat raiser and blame myself for not demanding improvement quicker, I just trusted the words of the vet. I should have made him come out. I know I have failed in many areas, but right now I have a goat whom we love very dearly who has been a fighter and I want to get any advice I can on how to help rehabilitate him. Like I said we have had him for 7 years and this is the first time we have had such a huge issue with worms.
 

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First, we have all learned from the mistakes we have made. And we have all made bad judgements at one time or another.

Safeguard is really only good for tape worm and round worm. It should be dosed at 1cc per 10 lbs for the liquid or 3 times the horse dosage on paste. Plus it should be given 3 days in a row.

Having fecals to include coccidia on some type of regular basis is good to do to understand what parasites you have on your farm. Also checking eyelids and comparing to the FAMACHA chart. Included should also be getting your hands on them and body scoring them to make sure they are keeping up their weight.

I would give him red cell. I would also give him B Complex daily along with Probios. Offering him electrolytes in water along with plain water would be good.
 

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Hugs to you from me as well ... it sounds like you are doing your best (Newbie here too)-- its a learning curve, and you are trying to keep him comfortable and caring for him...
Maybe offer him some of that homemade electroyte drench for newborns (recipe is somewhere around the Forum, its molasses and something)....
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Karen- I have since thrown the bottle away as I used the last of it, but I want to say the dosage on the bottle said much less. :/ I'm so upset that I've put him through this because of my ignorance in not knowing about the FAMACHA chart/etc. I tried to look for a different goat wormer but only found one offered at my local UPCO. Later I learned from my vet there are many wormers you can use on goats, but they aren't labeled for goats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I will be picking him up this afternoon. The vet said he will eat/drink with assistance so I will get some electrolytes in his water and see if I can get him to drink it. I'm assuming he won't eat much. What's the best thing for me to feed him since it will surely be in small amounts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Okay. How much red cell, and is it possible to give too much? I know the vet said he doesn't need it so I want to make sure i won't cause further damage by giving him more. Also, how much probios?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you so much for your quick replies Karen!

I will keep you updated. I'm just so frantic bc I don't know his chances. Even the doctor said he couldn't even give me any percentage or prognosis. I'll do whatever I can for as long as it takes and just pray he comes out of it strong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
We just got him home. He looks so much worse than I thought he would. He can move his legs but can not hold his head up and if he's laying upright he it quickly curls to his right side. He is so skinny and covered in urine. My heart sank and I just knew I should put him down. Then the doctor raised his head to show me he would eat and drink if helped and he looked right at me. I just couldn't do it, dangit my baby is still in there!! We got him home and I gave him a drink and he ate a couple tree leaves and a couple bites of chopped alfalfa. We are heading out now to get the red cell and probios.

Oh and his pcv was up to 20. The vet was sure his parasite problem is now gone and his biggest concern is his brain damage. Hes doubtful he will come out of it.

Before I left home we did some rom with his legs and he seemed to push/pull a little and I honestly think he is just so weak from all of this. I know he is on deaths door step but as long as he isn't in pain I'm going to fight a few more days and see if we can get any improvement.
 

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Prop him up so he is in a sitting position and put something around him so he stays there. His head can lay in front (resting on his chin). He needs to be in that position for his rumen.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Okay I will see if I can find a way to keep him from curling his neck. I'm more than willing to make him a sling, but I know he wouldn't be able to hold his head up. Maybe make one for his head too??
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Was able to get him to eat a couple handfuls of alfalfa. We sat him up and he held his head up for a minute! Just to see I got some of his favorite treat (wheat thins) and he craned his head (while I was supporting it it to gobble them up. He was eating them faster then anything else! (Not sure if that's okay buy considering he is so weak from not eating I was happy to give him anything he wanted, especially seeing some excitement in his eyes! I know its not much but to see him happy for even a second was beautiful. ..
 
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