Seizure, Polio or not?

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by fishman, Jan 21, 2020.

  1. fishman

    fishman New Member

    Oct 7, 2019
    My goat Lu had what looked like a seizure 2 days ago. He was on his side with his body stretched out and muscles tight with his head shaking and eyes rolled back. This lasted for a couple minutes and then stopped. After the incident he was visibly dazed, wobbly when trying to walk, and seemed like he was blind. This lasted for about 20-30 minutes and then the symptoms seemed to go away. This of course happened on a Sunday night so I could not just run him to the vet. I called the Vet Emergency number and was told that he most likely had Goat Polio or Listeriosis. They said to keep a watch on him overnight and set up for me to pick up meds when they opened the next morning. The emergency vet prescribed penicillin and Thiamine to treat him. The vet that was on duty when I picked up the meds said to give him 2 cc of each once a day (Lu weighs 45 lbs), but said that since Lu no longer showed any symptoms other than a slight change in personality (skittish around me and more aggressive around our other goat) that he did not think he had Polio or Listeriosis. He indicated that once they start showing symptoms, they continue until treated or dead! (This vet unlike the other I spoke with was very pompous and difficult to deal with, so not sure I trust his judgment so much!) He agreed that it would not hurt to go ahead and treat him for Listeriosis just in case. I have never given an intramuscular injection before, so I watched a few videos on youtube before I did it, but it did not go as smoothly as the videos! When I gave him the shot, he started yelling horribly, then went quiet and started shaking, then dropped to the ground totally limp and not moving! Needless to say I thought I killed him, he did not move for about a minute, and then gasped really loud and got up but was visibly dazed. I have been checking on him every few hours and he seems normal, eating, drinking, and ramming the cage trying to get to the other goat! I am just not sure if I should continue the treatments based on how traumatic it is for him, and he is not showing any signs of the disease? If I do continue the treatments, should I only be giving him the B1 once a day like the vet said or twice a day like the bottle and online recommendations say? I put another call into our regular vet, but he is out and will most likely not call back until tomorrow! Any help or insight would be appreciated!
  2. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    Yikes! I'm so sorry, this sounds traumatic.

    Well first off, neither Penicillin nor Thiamine need to be injected intramuscularly. Those can both be given subcutaneously.

    But secondly, if it WAS or IS polio or listeriosis - once per day injections isn't going to do a darn thing for him. Treatment for those diseases is pen. and thiamine injections every 4-6 hours around the clock! Plus Banamine or Dexamethasone.

    Now, since his symptoms don't appear to match Polio or Listeriosis at all, I think you should take a step back.

    How old is Lu and is he a wether or a buck? And what about his companion?

    Check Lu's rectal temperature with a digital thermometer and check his FAMACHA score just for good measure.

    Seizure can be caused by so many things, but high fever is what I am wondering about, so a rectal temperature will give us some information!

    Have there been any changes to the herd or their environment or feed supply in the last week?

  3. fishman

    fishman New Member

    Oct 7, 2019
    Hi Katey,
    There is probably more background info than you would ever want to know on the Beginners forum under "Advise on care for my 2 goats". Lol
    I think you replied about Marty who was diagnosed with CAE. Thank you again for your comments! :)
    Lu's Temperature has been around 101-102, which I was told is normal? I had moved them to our new house a few weeks ago. They are still seperated due to Marty's injury and the aggressive change in Lu's personality. They are in adjoined 10x10 cages, which are a lot smaller than they had, but it is temporary until I can move the larger inclosure and get it set up.
    They are both 6 year old wethers and were banded way to early from what I have read, so we are constantly worried about urinary calculi.
    I am not really sure what a FAMACHA score is, but will look it up when I have a chance.
    As far as food changes: When we moved them up to the new house I got hay from a different place. They hay looks and smells good, but they do not like it as well and seem to waste most of it! They get hay twice a day, 1/2 flake each, and I only feed them oat hay and orchard grass as they have less protein! They get 1/2 cup of a grain mix each night. I use the grain to give them Ammonium chloride (as a UC preventative), granular minerals, Probiotics, and Marty's meds for CAE (Gabapentin and Meloxicam). They have a Cobalt mineral lick in the cage as well. The grain I give is rolled oats, black oil sunflower seeds, and an all life stages feed; mixed 1/3 each.
    The vet suggested that Lu might have gotten ahold of something toxic. I find that very unlikely as they are in cages with stall mats and ceder chips on the floor. The only thing I have ever seen blow in the cage is a few dried oak leaves, but I have never seen them eat one.
    The new house has a small almond orchard around it. I did have the orchard sprayed for weeds and pre-emergent last Thursday, but rolled the tarps down on the cage so it was completely enclosed during the spraying, so I do not think there is anyway they could have gotten exposed.
    The one thing I question is if Lu might have caused some brain damage by headbutting. The last few months his behavior has changed and he has gotten very aggressive. This has gotten worse since we moved him. He headbuts everything in his cage: wire mesh, spools, and even a large log I put in there. He has hit the spool and log hard enough to be dazed several times! I know goats instinctively headbut stuff, but I cant imagine that hitting his head as hard as he does, as many times as he does, will not cause some kind of brain damage. lol
    As I think you can tell, these goats live a very sheltered, pampered life. I am almost thinking I am taking too good of care of them. I see goats on some of the farms around me that get no attention at all and seem to be doing fine, yet ours seem to keep having problems!
    Thanks again for the comments and advice!
    Iluvlilly! likes this.
  4. Treva Brodt

    Treva Brodt Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2019
    West Union, Ohio
    Animals do have seizure disorders just like people. I had a dog that had seizures and learned to tell when one was imminent due to behavioral changes. He was generally more aggressive before a seizure and there’s a post icthal period after where the animal or person acts a little disoriented or dazed. Usually the worse the seizure, the longer it takes for them to return to baseline. If it’s a seizure disorder gabipentin should help but I wouldn’t have any idea what dose. My dog took phenobarbital before gabipentin was discovered. If this is a beloved pet and you’re willing to give it medication every day then discuss it with your vet. Video the event with your camera and send to the vet and let him determine. I’m sorry your vet was so callous but I have to agree. My experience with listeriosis was deathly ill in a very short amount of time. It doesn’t wax and wane.
  5. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    Yikes - I feel like seizure disorder causing the aggressive change in temperament is possible, and this just happens to be the first seizure you witnessed! OR vice versa, he has had an aggressive change in temperament and the incessant head butting has caused the seizures as you mentioned.

    Either way - is there a possibility of getting him out free ranging a bit and out of that small pen? Did they used to free-range about your yard/property at the old house? Most goats won't "take off" from their safe area unless very very spooked.

    Any time I hear about a goat becoming more aggressive, I always think if their minds are being kept busy. They are made to forage >8 hours a day. I can tell you, when given the option, my herd will walk more than 4 miles in a day just traversing the farm for foraging options! What I"m getting at, is being kept contained with hay just doesn't busy the body and mind in the same way.
    toth boer goats and happybleats like this.
  6. happybleats

    happybleats Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2010
    Gustine Texas
    YUP. Being bored creates many of troubles!