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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This isn't my goat, but a goat I sold last year. He's a year and a half old wether. Everything I know has been relayed to me by the owner, who isn't at the property right now and is in turn getting her information from the groundskeeper and the vet. So there may be a bit of telephone going on, but this is what I've got:

A few days ago he started acting subdued and started making these weird jaw movements. Holding his mouth open wide like he's yawning, moving the bottom jaw around, then closing his mouth. (The owner sent me a video but I don't know if I can post it, so I'm including a couple of pictures.) The vet has been out a couple of times since then. He has an elevated white blood cell count but apparently no fever. No other apparent symptoms. He doesn't always do the jaw thing. Urinates normally so doesn't sound like UC.

He's fed orchard grass hay and a little bit of 16% Purina Goat Grower. Sweetlix Meat Maker minerals. I was out just a week before this happened and gave him a CD/T booster. He looked really healthy (probably better than my own goats!) and is very well cared for. He and his 3 herdmates (all the same breed and age, all disbudded, all grew up together) are kept in a large barn stall with an attached turnout area. There are things to climb on but not much he could hurt himself on.

I'm completely at a loss. His herdmates are all healthy. The vet has given him thiamine but that's all I know for for sure. I believe they started him on an antibiotic but I'm not 100% clear.

He's being taken to an equine center later today for x-rays and more testing (this lady seriously loves her goats!) but in the meantime I wondered if anyone else had experience with anything similar?

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That's a tough one. I know that yawning can often a sign of some pain somewhere.

Is his jaw opening wide or is it locked? I would want to rule out tetanus for sure, he could progressively be getting a tighter jaw. Have you checked his teeth? And by you I mean the vet!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Is his jaw opening wide or is it locked? I would want to rule out tetanus for sure, he could progressively be getting a tighter jaw. Have you checked his teeth? And by you I mean the vet!
It's not locked, he can close it. When the vet was out the second time (Tuesday I think) she noted that he wasn't doing the jaw thing at first, but she gave him some pellets and he started doing it after that.

I did consider tetanus, but he was vaccinated and given his booster before he left my farm last year, and just got his annual booster last week. (Same brand I've always used, and same bottle I used on her other 3 goats and 3 of my own 2020 kids.) There is absolutely nothing sharp in his pen and no wounds on him.

Did they check for blockage, maybe he is trying to move the feed stuck in there with his mouth motions.
I didn't ask specifically, but the vet even checked his ears so I imagine she would have checked for that as well. The vet said that there appeared to be "discomfort in his right TMJ when [she] applied a good deal of pressure there"...not sure what a TMJ is...something-mandible-joint maybe?

His appointment is in an hour, hopefully the equine center will be able to shed some light on it!
 

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I would check for sticker or other irritant between teeth. Saw a case similar where a foxtail was festering. Hard to see since goats are not usually cooperate.
 
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It's not locked, he can close it. When the vet was out the second time (Tuesday I think) she noted that he wasn't doing the jaw thing at first, but she gave him some pellets and he started doing it after that.

I did consider tetanus, but he was vaccinated and given his booster before he left my farm last year, and just got his annual booster last week. (Same brand I've always used, and same bottle I used on her other 3 goats and 3 of my own 2020 kids.) There is absolutely nothing sharp in his pen and no wounds on him.

I didn't ask specifically, but the vet even checked his ears so I imagine she would have checked for that as well. The vet said that there appeared to be "discomfort in his right TMJ when [she] applied a good deal of pressure there"...not sure what a TMJ is...something-mandible-joint maybe?

His appointment is in an hour, hopefully the equine center will be able to shed some light on it!
Have they checked his teeth really well? Maybe they need floated? Or his pellet is gettin stuck in the side of his jaw and he is tryin get it out? Jas he ever jad problems with impacted cud in his jaw maybe and now has a pocket there for pellet to get stuck in? Toothache?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've suggested that it could be impacted cud or something stuck in his gums, maybe a tooth abscess, so his owner will hopefully make sure the vet has checked for that. (Haven't heard back one way or another.) No answers so far- he had an X-ray today but she said they didn't learn anything from today's exam. They're going to sedate him tomorrow and do a more thorough examination and "scope" (endoscope?) him. The owners are bringing one of his herdmates to the equine center tomorrow for company for him at the vet's suggestion, so it sounds like he may be staying there for a while. I can't even imagine what all this is costing his poor owner- he must be the most expensive wether in the nation by now!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Nothing showed up on today's x-ray, scope, or exams. His white blood cell counts are still up, but other than that they can't find anything wrong. They're sending him home on antibiotics, he'll have another vet check in a few days, and they've sent bloodwork to a different lab for further testing. So bizarre!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just an update on this guy. The vet did some more tests and they showed that he had low levels of vitamin e and very high levels of selenium. This is completely bizarre to me because he's received no selenium supplementation ever. His owner feeds him only orchard grass hay, sweetlix meat maker minerals, and maybe a tiny bit of Purina Goat Grower (although I think she's weaned them off of that.) No Replamin or BoSe or anything like that, and he has no access to browse.

My own goats have a selenium block (and a cobalt block, in addition to their loose minerals) and I dose pregnant does with Replamin. I added the selenium block because I have one doe with slightly weak pasterns and she's had kids that were born with weak pasterns, so if anything I'd think my herd would have a selenium deficiency. I sold this boy when he was about 4 months old, so the status of my own herd is probably irrelevant anyway.

The owner has removed access to his minerals for now at the vet's suggestion. She says he's doing better. I'm not sure if he's made a full recovery yet, but it sounds like he's moving in the right direction. I believe he's going to have his selenium levels tested again, and they'll test one of their other goats for comparison.
 

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I believe he's going to have his selenium levels tested again, and they'll test one of their other goats for comparison.
Wow that is so strange! Let us know what the results are.
 
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