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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, everyone...

We have a 4-month-old wether -- Maurice -- with a pretty serious skin infection or cellulitis...wanted to see if anyone has had any experience with something similar.

Last night, we heard Maurice hollering -- all of the goats are vocal, but this was enough to catch our attention. We pulled him (he's in with two bucklings of the same age) and took his temperature -- 104.5. Our initial thought was that perhaps he had an infection at the banding site (we banded him four weeks ago); nothing obvious there. We checked him over really well, stem to stern, and nothing. We decided to give him a dose of Banamine and start him on penicillin. We checked his temp again before bedtime, and it was normal (102.7).

This morning, we went out to milk and checked him over -- he seemed fine, and his temp was down to 101.5. He was playing with the other kids and gave us no cause for worry.

We had to run some errands during the day, and when we came home tonight, Maurice was laying down with his legs kind of skewed out. My husband went in to pick him up, and he said, "Maurice is covered in blood." On bringing him out into a well-lit area, it was clear that he had a serious rash (that's the best way I could describe it), bilaterally, on his front legs...running from his armpits (if that's what you call that spot) to his knees. The rash is on the insides of that part. It was red and oozing, and the whole top part of his legs were swollen. He was in so much pain that he wouldn't walk -- he would shift his weight from one leg to the other and cry. He had a fever of 104.7 again.

We called our vet, who had nothing that she would have rather done than come spend Saturday night with us, I'm sure, and she came out to the farm. The "rash" is actually the skin basically splitting open...she said that it's like a severe cellulitis. Her thinking is that he may have scratched himself several days ago, and the bacteria has been in there, running rampant just below the surface of the skin. It would explain his crying last night and the temps -- especially since we didn't see anything wrong. The weird part is that it's bilateral and almost perfectly symmetrical...which would suggest multiple channels for the infection.

Not knowing the exact cause of the infection and seeing how bad it was, she put him on several different antibiotics (Exceed and a cephalosporin) and Banamine. We're checking back with her in the morning for more antibiotics that we can administer ourselves or checking him into the clinic for more intensive IV therapy.

Her major concerns are with the edema -- the swelling could compromise blood flow to his lower legs and feet, resulting in gangrene -- and with the infection moving into the bone, etc. She also said that there are some nasty infections that are very tough to control with antibiotics sanctioned for use in livestock.

The Banamine seems to have helped with the pain. He's in the house with us now, and he's walking pretty comfortably. But gosh, his legs look frightening.

Again, curious for any experience with something similar...we'll keep this post up to date with what we learn.

Fingers crossed for Maurice!
 

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Oh poor Maurice, sounds like you have a great vet & are on top of this.
I wonder if a weak betadine tea would help his legs?
Exede is wonderful stuff.
Did vet say anything about possible secondary staph infection settling in?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The vet's thinking that it's most likely staph or strep, which should respond to the antibiotics she got into him tonight. The worrisome one is Pseudomonas...I think because it's a gram-negative bacteria and her options for treatment are limited if the broad-spectrum antibiotics she gave tonight don't help.
 

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I don't know much about goats, yet, but vinegar is very good with any wounds and against infection. Pine tea is a good rinse, as well. A handful of pine needles crushed and steeped in hot water. Strain and cool before rinsing wounds. Be careful and sanitize everything, just in case it is contagious to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Maurice is doing much better today...

By the time we went to bed last night, he was resting comfortably. Hate to say this, but we kept him on the bed with us overnight -- he hated being in the kennel, and if we left the top off, he managed to hop out. So he cuddled with my husband, which might be the very best medicine...

This morning, his temperature was back to normal (102.3) and he was moving around without too much discomfort. The ooziness has dried up and sort of scabbed over, although his legs are still hot and swollen. We touched base with our vet, and she was pleased enough with his progress to let us continue treatment at home with Baytril and the cephalo-whatever (I need to look at the vial to get the exact name; my husband drew up the meds tonight). All goat functions are normal (pooping, peeing, eating, drinking), but I started him on some Probios because I'm sure those antibiotics wiped out the good bacteria in his tum. He seems comfortable enough that we felt the dose of Banamine our vet OK'd was unnecessary.

The edema in his legs, particularly his left, worries me a little, but he has nice warm little feet, so it's not impeding circulation. We're trying some cold compresses on his legs now...

When we brought him in the house for the compresses, we discovered that Maurice loves TV! He stood in front of the screen, with his giant ears (they really are freakishly adorable!) silhouetted against the picture, transfixed. Watching him watch TV was better than anything that was actually ON TV!

I've attached a few pictures from tonight -- things look a lot better than they did, but it will give you visual a sense of things. Thanks for the ideas and good wishes...
 

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