Polio or Listeriosis? Signs and Treatment!

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by RunAround, Jan 14, 2010.

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  1. RunAround

    RunAround New Member

    Feb 17, 2008
    Because of the increase of members dealing with Polio or Listeriosis I have decided to post some general info about both diseases along with symptoms and treatments for each, for reference in an emergency. Please use this information at your own discretion. I have tried to find as much accurate info as possible. Please consult your veterinarian when possible about your own goats individual needs and treatments.

    Signs and symptoms- Stargazing, Weaving, staggering, diarrhea, muscle tremors, twitching or bouncing eyes, head bent back over body, circling, blindness

    Treatment- Thiamine ASAP. 10mg/2.2lbs of body weight every six hours for 24 hours. The first dose of thiamine should be IV if possible.

    Polio is caused by a thiamine deficiency which can be brought on because of feeding moldy grain or hay. Or by feeding too much grain and not enough hay. It can also be brought on by stress or anything that would interrupt normal rumen flora. Thiamine is produced in the rumen, so once the rumen is compromised and isn’t making enough thiamine things just spiral downhill. Kids are more susceptible to polio than adults.

    Because this is a deficiency of a vitamin it is NOT contagious.

    Signs and symptoms- Depression, fever, staggering, facial paralysis on one side, drooling, abortions, blindness.

    Treatment- HIGH doses of Pen G every 6 hours until all symptoms has disappeared. 1cc per 10-20lbs. Higher than normal dosages of Pen g are needed to cross the blood brain barrier. Dexamethasone can also be given to reduce brain swelling. Please consult your vet on the dosage of Dex and please be aware that dex will abort kids.

    Listeriosis can be brought on by feeding silage, parasites, weather changes and abrupt changes in feed. All of these things change the PH of the rumen which makes the goat more susceptible to the disease. This bacteria does not do well in an acidic environment, so when the PH of the rumen turns towards a base the bacteria can grow.

    Listeriosis is a bacteria that can live pretty much anywhere and invades the brain and brain stem. Adult goats are more likely to come down with listeriosis.

    Since this is a bacteria it CAN be contagious.


    As you can see both Listeriosis and Polio have a lot of the same symptoms. Tests are available to figure out which your goat has, but by the time you got results back the goat would be dead. So it is advisable to treat for both when in doubt.
    Tee Ann likes this.
  2. heathersboers

    heathersboers New Member

    Sep 5, 2008
    Wilson N.C.
    Great Info!!- the day before Brady passed on to Rainbow Bridge-he had a crusty nose- the vet told us that (breathing problem) that could have brought on the listeriosis and we just didnt know it. He was off of his feed that day. the first thing i am going to do from now on is keep thiamine on hand!!! he then started running through the fences...didn't catch that either (partial blindness) because we had never experienced polio or listeriosis.

  3. citylights

    citylights Member

    Jul 3, 2009
    Southern California
    Good post, Runaround. Can I add my two cents?

    Polio can also (and I know this from experience) ..... how to say this? ..... when my buck got it, the first thing I thought was that he had pulled a muscle or something b/c he was walking stiffy and looked uncomfortable. I didn't realize til later that day that his difficulty moving was due to his muscles becoming rigid which is why, like Runaround points out, that the symptoms are " Stargazing, Weaving, staggering, diarrhea, muscle tremors, twitching or bouncing eyes, head bent back over body, circling, blindness " THey lose control of their muscles... the stargazing seems (imhp) to occur b/c the muscles contract and pull their heads backwards. I

    I've also heard that listeria can be contracted from rats

    If I had an animal with unknown cause, I think I'd treat with anitbiotics and B. my opinion, only
  4. AlaskaBoers

    AlaskaBoers New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Wasilla Alaska
    thank you. great information here. very straightforward and to the point

    GotmygoatMTJ commented on another thread about temps- "If its below 102.5 then its polio. If she has a fever its Listeria and it requires a totally different medicine" http://thegoatspot.net/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=12319
  5. RunAround

    RunAround New Member

    Feb 17, 2008
    The temp thing is not entirely true, if they go into septic shock from Listeriosis then they would not have a temp.
  6. bheila

    bheila New Member

    Jan 9, 2009
    Kent, Wa
    My doe had Polio last week, her temp was 102.9. I only had Vit B complex on hand. It was absolutely amazing how fast she improved. Within 3 hours she was almost back to normal. The only reason I knew to give her the Vit B is because I've been reading other peoples post about their own experiences lately :wink:
  7. kids-n-peeps

    kids-n-peeps New Member

    Aug 24, 2009
    Vitamin B complex
    Thiamine (which is a specific form of Vitamin B, right?)
    Pen G (is that what the label reads or does it/can it go by another name?)

    Are all of these typically available at a store like Tractor Supply?
    Are all of these in liquid form?
    And how are they to be given (syringed into mouth, injected, etc?)

    These probably seem like basic questions, but would be really valuable to newbies like me :love:
  8. RunAround

    RunAround New Member

    Feb 17, 2008
    Thiamine is B1 usually comes in a 200mg/ml bottle. Needs to be injected IV, IM, or SQ This medicine needs a script.

    B-complex injectable solution. Has multiple b vitamins in it and depending on the bottle differn't concentrations of b1(Thiamine). Some are 12.5mg/ml and others are 100mg/ml. It is preferable to have the 100mg/ml bottle. This is also given IV, IM or SQ. This should be available at your local grain store.

    For thiamine and b-complex it is important to give the first dosage IV if possible when you are treating for polio.

    Pen G is procaine Penicillin. There are several differn't names. What the label should read for active ingredients is 300000 units of Penicillin G Procaine per ml. This medicine is IM or SQ ONLY. Do not give it IV or you could kill your goat. This should be available at your local grain store.

    Dexamethasone should only be used by someone experienced in it's administration and only under a vets supervision. Your vet will give you the correct dosages if it is needed. It is an injectable and needs a script.
  9. kids-n-peeps

    kids-n-peeps New Member

    Aug 24, 2009
    Thank you - this is great information and I will keep it bookmarked :clap:
  10. cdtrum

    cdtrum New Member

    Aug 25, 2008
    Northern Indiana
    Ashley thank you so much for posting this info......I have made a copy and it will go into my med kit for my boys!
  11. kids-n-peeps

    kids-n-peeps New Member

    Aug 24, 2009
    Ashley - what do you know about how easily listeriosis transmits to people? I was perusing a book at the farm store and it said people should be very careful around goats they suspect have listeriosis. I wasn't really sure what it meant by that, because you would have to come into pretty close contact in order to treat your goat? Do you know any specifics? I'll google it, too, as I am really curious.
  12. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    Great information....very informative ....... thank you.... :thumbup: :hug: :greengrin:
    TexasGoatMan likes this.
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