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Author Topic: Common Goat Problems  (Read 14018 times)
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mikey
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« Reply #30 on: April 11, 2008, 09:02:23 AM »

Anaphylaxis (anaphylactic shock)
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Causes:

If you raise a whole lot of animals, sooner or later you will experience the horror of anaphylactic reaction. This is the sort of thing which you hear about in humans as a fatal reaction to a bee sting, or in some people who eat fish or shell food, or a severe reaction to some medications, especially powerful antibiotics injected in a hospital setting. It is, without a doubt, a critical life-threatening situation which, if left untreated, will usually result in sudden death. The typical scenario on the farm is that a perfectly healthy, normal animal is given a vaccination and in 5 to 30 minutes is completely and irreversibly dead.
For the goat raiser, the most likely causes of an anaphylasctic reaction are: vaccinations (especially if outdated or previously opened),injectable antibiotics (especially pencillin) and insect bites. Just because there was no reaction to the first exposure does not mean that the second onewill be safe; in fact, the second one may be more dangerous in that the animal has been "sensitized" by the first one (which is part of the technical definition of anaphylaxis).


Symptoms:

The first sign that you will notice will be a slight difficulty in breathing. This will gradually worsen and, as airways become more restricted, you will begin to see foam coming out of the mouth (and possibly the nostrils). By this time, the animal will be recumbant (down) and weakening rapidly. In some species there may be hives, "plaques" or other unexplained swellings in the skin (but we have never observed this in farm animals). As the "critical" point approaches, the eyes will be noticeably sunken and the tongue (which will become blue) may protrude from the side of the mouth, which may now show a considerable amount of foam. If untreated, death will follow shortly, sometimes preceeded by convulsions or trembling.
Many sources indicate that there can be "mild" cases of anaphylaxis. This is, perhaps, a dangerous concept. Whenever you are presented with the collection of symptoms described above and which can obviously be linked to a recent vaccination, antibiotic injection, insect bite or other known activity of this sort, it is best to assume that you are NOT going to be witnessing a "mild" anaphylactic response.

Other diseases to consider:

Difficulty rating:   [bold type applies]

DEFINITELY a matter for your veterinarian
Do these things until you can reach the vet
You may be able to handle it youself; for the moderately experienced
Fairly simple; give it a try!

Treatment options:

Make no mistake about it: anaphylaxis is a serious, life-threatening situation. However, if you act with haste, you can become a genuine "hero." This is where you will be grateful that you have purchased all the items suggested in our Medicine Cabinet page and have periodically weighed all of your animals. For each 100 pounds of body weight, inject subcutaneously 1 ml (1 cc) of epinephrine. This can be given along the neck, shoulder or back, whichever is easiest. If you have no idea of the weight of your patient, a typical full grown doe will weigh between 120 and 150 pounds; therefore 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 ml will be a good guess. If all goes well, your "near death" patient will be up and walking within a few minutes to an hour or so. The response is really quite spectacular. If the response is less than desirable, you can given a second shot an hour or so later. But remember that epinephrine is a very potent drug and can provide a little too much stimulus to the heart.
If you do have a true "mild" case, which might better be described as a regular allergic reaction, human anti-histamine tablets will help to reduce some of the symptoms; but be sure to have the epinephrine ready!


Prevention

Always make sure that you do not use vaccines that are outdated or have been opened (previously had a needle stuck in them) for any length of time. If you are careful to observe each animal for about an hour after every shot, you will be able to administer epinephrine before the situation gets completely out of hand.
Additionally, now that we have convinced you to keep a bottle or two of epinephrine in the refrigerator, be sure to check the expiration date and reorder when necessary. And please remember that epinephrine is a very powerful drug (hormone) and should never be used carelessly. Over-administration can cause rapid death.

CONSULTANT ©   Cornell's Diagnostic program
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mikey
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« Reply #31 on: April 11, 2008, 09:04:32 AM »

Anaplasmosis
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Causes:
Anaplasmosis is quite rare in goats; but when an infection occurs, it is usually caused by invasion of red blood cells by the blood parasite (rickettsial) Anaplasma ovis. In cattle, the disease is caused by A. marginale or A. centrale. Transmission is through insect vectors, especially ticks and flies. There is also some evidence that it can be transmitted to the fetus in the womb ("in utero").
Symptoms:

The important symptoms are fever, anemia and icterus (jaundice or yellowing of the mucous membranes will be obvious). In cattle, the severity of the disease is directly related to age, with adults showing the greatest difficulty. Additionally, a drop in milk production, weight loss, depression, dehydration, constipation and lack of appetite may be observed. Some animals which recover remain weak and emaciated through life.
Other diseases to consider:

Anthrax.
Difficulty rating:   [bold type applies]

DEFINITELY a matter for your veterinarian
Do these things until you can reach the vet
You may be able to handle it youself; for the moderately experienced
Fairly simple; give it a try!

Treatment options:

LA200® and "TLC" along with a lot of help from your vet and rigid control of insects.
Prevention

The disease can be spread at dehorning and castration; always use sanitary procedures and try to avoid bleeding. Also, always try to keep flies and ticks to a minimum.



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mikey
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« Reply #32 on: April 11, 2008, 09:06:15 AM »

Bluetongue
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Organism:  An insect-transmitted virus
Symptoms:


Tongue cyanotic (blue) and swollen; salivation; mouth lesions (ulcers), exfoliate, necrosis; lips, ears, neck and nose, hyperemia (red and swollen); shortness of breath; pneumonia; corona, vesicles; lameness; depression. Can also have: conjunctivitis, hair loss, high fever, yellow discharge from nose, crusts on upper lips.
Other diseases to consider:

Photosensitization, mycotic stomatitis, vesicular stomatitis, soremouth, foot and mouth disease.
Difficulty rating:   [bold type applies]

DEFINITELY a matter for your veterinarian
Do these things until you can reach the vet
You may be able to handle it youself; for the moderately experienced
Fairly simple; give it a try!

Treatment options [from "goatwisdom"]

Bluetongue is mostly a disease of sheep, but it can be found in goats. Most important thing is prudent insect control, especially "no-see-ums" or gnats. Most will recover on their own. Vaccinations are available, but these should be used ONLY after consultation with your vet since they can cause a lot greater harm than good.


Washington State
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« Reply #33 on: April 11, 2008, 09:09:16 AM »

Coughing
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[This page will later be moved into a section on "Respiratory Diseases."]
Coughing

Coughing usually indicates one of 4 things:

--Choking on food. Some goats may be eager eaters, crowd together and fuss and stew; they tend to choke and cough and snort and sneeze and have an awful time.
--Vitamin A deficiency (See "Deficiencies" section).

--Allergies, dust, etc. Change feed, ignore for a while. There may be a lot of coughing during the late summer months as things tend to dry up and there is more dust in the environment.

--Respiratory infection: Will probably also have sniffles most of the time. Can be bacterial, fungal, viral. Look to see if there are other symptoms. Coughing at feeding time is usually related to choking. Rub front of neck (brisket) and throat to see if you can elicit a cough by doing that. If she coughs again put your ear against the side of her ribs and try to listen to where any sounds are coming from. If it's an infection of the lungs, you will hear a watery rattling noise that is quite unmistakable.


I have a regular routine that I use for all our animals who develop respiratory infections. Day 1: LA200 at 4.5 ml IM per 100 lbs. Days 2, 3 and 4: LA200 at 2.25 ml IM per 100 lbs. If not all better, Days 5, 6 and 7: Tylan 200 at 4 ml IM per 100 lbs. If still not all better: Days 8, 9 and 10: Tylan 200 at 4 ml IM per 100 lbs (once per day) PLUS Penicillin Procaine G at 4 -5 ml IM per 100 lb twice per day 12 hours apart. If this doesn’t work, then either try sulfa boluses or consult with your vet about the possibility of a fungal infection. All of these remedies are accompanied by a liberal application of Vicks® around the nose and throat with a small amount placed on the back of the tongue.

If fungal, it takes a very special Rx from Vet. Nothing will help viral infections. Don’t be too hasty to doctor until you have a fairly good idea as to what you are dealing with But don't wait too long, because you then get to deal with pneumonia.

There is growing evidence that coughing in goats can be caused by one of the mycoplama organisims. For some brief comments on this topic, see our page on Mycoplasma. The above treatment regimens do not apply.


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« Reply #34 on: April 11, 2008, 09:11:25 AM »

Infertility
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The term infertilility can refer to a number of situations and we need to be careful to specify just what we are talking about. These include:


Failure to conceive
Aberrations of the estrus cycle, including dysfunction of the ovaries, hypothalamus or pituitary gland

Prenatal death (including abortion), which may be undetected

Perinatal death, which means death at less than one week of age


Remember than proper nutrition goes a long way in helping the doe begin a healthy pregnancy. Another problem can be that the owner simply fails to observe the heat. Sometimes the doe has to be watched very carefully, especially if she is not near a buck. The heat may last only a few hours while others have heats that can last for a full day or two. In short, there is a vast difference in how does go about having their heats and even the same doe may exhibit heats of different lengths. So if someone tells you that this or that must happen when a doe is in heat, you can be assured that they have not been around a lot of goats.
Silent heat

This confusing term means that the doe ovulates normally and does all the functional things perfectly right, but just doesn’t make a psychological display of what is going on. She can become pregnant if bred at this time. [We will have to confess to restraining does in order to enable a breeding even though they do not show overt signs of heat; they may or may not be cooperative in these endeavors.]

Infectious diseases
Abortion-causing diseases can make it look like the doe hasn’t bred.
Inflammation of the cervix; must be treated with product such as Nolvasan ®.

Inflammation of the vagina: yellow nodules inside lips of the vulva. Paint daily with iodine swab.

Signs may include: lethargy, anorexia, frequent urination, excessive thirst.

Ovarian problems
Ovarian cysts are quite common in goats. They seem more common in "middle-aged" or older does. The doe with ovarian cyst(s) may exhibit "nymphomania," meaning that it seems she is in heat all the time. Or there can just be frequent heats or heats with irregular distances between them, or even masculine behavior. Generally, she will look pretty healthy. This condition can sometimes be treated with hormone injections, which are only available through your veterinarian. Treatment is not always successful. In cattle, the cysts can be manually ruptured, but this may be a whole lot more difficult in goats.
She may have non-functioning ovaries, which will be small. This can be due to low energy feed intake, stress or illness.

Ovarian difficulties can also take the form of too much or too little hormone production which can lead to disturbed cycles, hair loss or constant heat and even reduced growth.

There are also a few cases where the doe will cycle every 42 days, which may indicate problems with one of the ovaries.

Any of these situations usually indicate that you need to discuss the matter with your vet.


Anestrus or irregular cycles
From injuries, endocrine problems or from some disease. In goats, Vitamin E and Vitamin A may help.
Death of fetus
This is possibly the most common cause of infertility. Death occurs 10 or more days after conception, with a mummified fetus and "pyometra" (pus coming from uterus). It may persist for a year or more. The doe will usually expel the fetus. . .eventually.
Retained afterbirth
Can lead to infertility.
Feeding
Don’t feed heavily right after mating. Avoid feed high in estrogen (e. g. alfalfa).
The Buck
The male may be too young or too old, or have other problems.
Obesity
Any overweight animal may have trouble conceiving.

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« Reply #35 on: April 11, 2008, 09:13:38 AM »

Inherited and Congenital Defects
When babies are born which are in less than perfect condition, it is said that they have a congenital defect. There are a number of things which can cause birth defects. Environmental factors can cause problems, such as when a pregnant cow eats some species of lupine, she is apt to produce a calf with skeletal defects known as "crooked calf disease." In our "Goats in the News" section you can read of researchers who are able to produce kids with cleft palates by means of chemical interventions. Some disorders can be inherited from through a gene or a combination of genes. These present a problem for all whole raise animals because they can be passed on to future generations. It is generally assumed that if they appear, the animal should not be used for breeding purposes.

Here we will list a number of congenital anomalies; those which can be heritable are marked with . Where there are known causes, these will be noted in double parenthesis.

1002 General


Lethals and sublethals
Jaws, undershot and overshot

Double or supranumary teats (common in goats)

Rectal prolapse

Entropion (inverted eyelids)

Cryptorchidism ( retained testicles)

Skin folds

Cheiloschosis (cleft lip)

Palatoschisis (cleft palate

Agnathia (lack of mandible)

Abnormal number of teeth

Premature shedding of baby teeth

Dilatation of esophagus

Abdominal hernia

Umbilical hernia (Also caused by hard delivery)

Inguinal hernia

Scrotal hernia

Perineal hernia

Atresia (no opening) of colon

Rectovaginal fistula

"Crooked calf disease" ((lupines))

Arthrogryposis, hydranencephaly and ataxia ((Bluetongue virus in dam))

Cerebellar dysplagia, brachygnathia, alopecia, dysmyelinogenesis, hydrocephalus, optic neuritis ((BVD virus in dam))

Goiter ((Iodine deficiency))

Enzootic ataxia ((Copper deficiency))

Limb deformities ((Manganese deficiency; Akabane virus))

Rickets ((Vitamin D deficiency))

Vision defects ((Vitamin A deficiency))


1003 Musculoskeletal
Usually from toxins or viruses during pregnancy

Brown atrophy (masseter muscles and diaphragm)
Double muscling

Muscular steatosis

Congenital articular rigidity (joints fixed)

Hydrocephalus

Contracted flexor tendons (walk on front of feet, repairable)

Dyschondraplasia

Femoral nerve paralysis (from hard pull at delivery)

Limber leg (incompletely formed muscles)

Osteogenesis imperfecta (fragile bones)

Polydactyly (Dew claws missing, toes may be fused)

Syndactyly (Fusion of toes)


1004 Reproductive

Cryptorchidism (Failure of one or both testicles to descend, don’t keep)
Prolapse of prepuce (from trauma)

Deviation of or corkscrew penis

Hermaphroditism

Double cervix

Rectovaginal constriction


1006 Skin

Albinism
Skin fragility

Epitheliogenesis imperfecta

Imperfect keratogenesis (rash on legs, scaly skin folds)

Congenital ichthyosis ( no hair, horny plaques, lethal)

Hypotrichosis (some lethal, teeth missing)

Dermatosis vegetans


1008 CNS
Most congenital disorders of the central nervous system come with names too long for the average intelligent person to understand and with symptoms that simply cannot be treated. These are more common in cattle and fairly rare in goats. We’ll mention just a few.


Convulsions
Anencephaly (Failure of cranium to develop, prolonged gestation, cleft palate, no tail)

Exencephaly (Brain exposed)

Hydrocephalus

Epilepsy (Appears in 2nd year)

Spastic paresis


1010 Urinary

Kidney cysts
Renal dysplasia and hypoplasia

Ectopic ureter

Spadias (urethra opens on side of penis)


1012 Metabolic
These are progressive and usually fatal during the first few weeks of life. (And, I have no idea what some of them are.


Mannosidosis
Gangliosidosis

Glycogenosis

"Maple syrup" urine

Goiter

Parakeratosis (edema disease)

Osteogenesis

Cardiomyopathy

Dermatosparaxia

Errors of bone and cartilage growth


1014 Dwarfism

Extremely rare in goats.


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« Reply #36 on: April 11, 2008, 09:16:51 AM »

Mycoplasma
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Mycoplasmas are slow-growing micro-organisms, members of the mollicute family, and are characterized as virus-like infectious agents, somewhere between a virus and bacteria. They lack the normal rigid peptidoglycan cell wall of bacteria, which allows them to invade all the tissues and organs of the body, including the brain, causing complex symptoms. There are hundreds of different mycoplasma subtypes and strains.
The two most common isolation sites in humans are respiratory and genito-urinary tracts, although isolation from synovial fluid and other anatomical sites have been reported. Mycoplasma are currently under intense study as being at least a cofactor in the causation of AIDS, Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS), Gulf War Illness (GWI), Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

Mycoplasmas are known to cause serious and often fatal illness in goats. These are caused by several different subtypes and strains. These include M. capricolum subsp capripneumoniae, M. capricolum subsp capricolum, M. conjunctivae, M. mycoides subsp. capri, M. mycoides subsp. mycoides LC, M. putrefaciens, M. yeatsii, A. oculi. For those who like to surf for pictures, the following links to some of the more common types are provided:

A test for detecting Mycoplasma in the blood, known as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has been developed, but it may not be available through all labs at this time. Although they have probably been around for a long time, mycoplasma infections appear to be on the increase in goat herds and will certainly be receiving increased scrutiny in the future.

In goats, the disease tends to lead to five basic problems:


Respiratory (Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia)

M. agalactia, M. mycoides mycoides LC, M. strain F38, M. mycoides capri
This disease appears to be increasing in frequency among adult and baby goats around the world. It is extremely contagious and results in a very high percentage of deaths in a herd. First signs are cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, loss of appetite and severe weakness. It can be accompanied by a high fever, with the head lowered and/or extended and an arched back. Since the causative agents can also be found in cases of mastitis and abortion, it is indeed possible that the disease can be transmitted from an infected dam; although it is generally presumed to be spread via aerosol droplets. Likewise, another of the symptoms that can accompany CCP is arthritis, but this will be discussed below. There are some forms of the disease which show no respiratory signs, but merely weakness and a high fever (septicemia, see below).

Arthritis (polyarthritis)

M. agalactiae, M. capricolum, M. mycoides
This is the situation most likely to be seen by goat herders. Healthy young kids will suddenly start limping, hunch their backs, stop eating, go down crying in obvious pain and die within a few hours. Blindness has also been reported. In some instances, the mothers will be obvious cases of mycoplasma mastitis (see below), but the link is not always guaranteed. The diagnosis must be differentiated from enterotoxemias of Clostridium perfringens C and D and "navel ill."
Mastitis ("Contagious Caprine Agalactia")

M. agalactiae, M. capricolum, M. mycoides, M. putrefaciens
This topic has been covered at our page on mastitis. The dam will show the signs of mastitis discussed there (with the odor of putrification if caused by M. putrifaciens), but the kids may show any or all of the mycoplasmal symptoms of pneumonia, arthritis, conjunctivitis (with yellow discharge), septicemia, fever, weakness, etc. leading to a very high mortality rate.
Conjunctivitis (Infection of the lining of the eye)

M. agalactiae, M. conjunctivae, M. mycoides
It will be practically impossible to tell this type of conjunctivitis from the many other common types, unless it occurs with some of the mycoplasmal symptoms mentioned above. We have had some people report a yellow discharge in cases where this disease has been suspected, but this does not have scientific support.
Septicemia

M. capricolum, M. mycoides, M strain F38
This is a really serious perdicament wherein the infection has more or less penetrated throughout the entire body. It frequently results in rapid death and will resemble the situation discribed under arthritis above. It can probalby be the end result of any of the above.
Treatment
There are some sources which recommend the strict culling of all cases of mycoplasma infection due to the fact that successful treatment may result in the creation of carriers which can later infect new additions to the herd or someone else's animals if the carriers are sold. This may be a matter of personal choice and we do not have enough information to judge the validity of these claims.

If there is going to be any success at all, treatment must be immediate and vigorous. All showing any of the above signs should be isolated at once. All members of the herd should be started on a course of antibiotics. Most authorities recommend the use of tylosin (Tylan200®) IM for 3 or 4 days. Others have had success with high doses of tetracyclines such as LA200®. (We would choose the Tylan®.) There is some evidence that penicillin may do more harm than good. We STRONGLY suggest that you follow the advice of your veterinarian.

Supportive therapy is also important. If the mother has any signs of mastitis (or any of the other mycoplasmal symptoms), the kids should either be bottle fed off other dams or her milk should be pasteurized.

There is currently some speculation as to the transmission of mycoplasmas to humans. Although there is increased attention to possible human disease implications, there has not been enough solid evidence that we know of to justify the classification of mycoplasma as a true zoontic disease. None of the subtypes discussed above have been mentioned as being present in human patients that we know of. But more research in this area is certainly in order and will probably be undertaken in the future. Milk taken from an infected doe would best be disposed of and normal precautionary measures such as milking known sick animals last should always be followed.

Comments

In preparing for this page, I have been deeply fascinated by this topic. It is one which shall certainly hold a lot of interest for veterinary (and human medical) researchers in the near future. There are obviously an awful lot of blank pages to fill in. In our "Symptoms pages"  you will notice the Heidi Disease listed quite frequently. This is a disease which went through some of the kids in our herd a few years back. I was never able to make a definite diagnosis, but in preparing for this page, I have an inkling that it may have been the result of one of the types of mycoplasma.





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mikey
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« Reply #37 on: April 11, 2008, 09:18:56 AM »

Off Feed



This is a brief outline of some of the things that I have gathered together that can cause an animal to go off feed. It's not meant to be an exhaustive list. Just some ideas to explore.

MOUTH

Stomatitis
Dental/peridontal problems (check molars)
Cleft palette
Salivary gland abscesses
Pharyngitis
(Whenever an animal is off feed, it is very important to do whatever it takes to get a good look inside the mouth [teeth, tongue {top and bottom}, gums, cheeks, lips]. This is generally a job for two people.)

DIGESTION

Simple indigestion
Moldy or bad food leading to indigestion
Vagus indigestion
Grain overload
Bloat
Acidosis
Gastritis
Obstruction
Abomasum, displacement
Abomasum, distention
Abomasum, torsion
Abomasum, Impaction
Abomasum, Ulcer
Telescoping of intestine
Loop in intestine
Peritonitis
Moldy lupine
(Except for major surgery, there's not much you can do for some of these.)

PARASITES

Coccidiosis
Nematodirus
Stomach worms
Strongyloides
Stomach flukes
Cestodes
Tick infections
(Most worm infestations seem to happen in herds that have been wormed, but not properly. Rotate wormers to avoid resistance to products. Also, the worm medicine can depress rumen flora and it's a good idea to give probiotics after worming.)

INFECTIONS

Emphysema
Chlamydia/transmissible serositis
Vulva/vaginitis
Tuberculosis
Trichinosis
Salmonellosis
Toxoplasmosis
Foot rot
Clostridium perfringens B and C
Clostridium septicum
Clostridium haemolyticum
Actinomycosis
Anaplasmosis
CAE (Canine arthritis and encephalitis)
Babesiosis
Pneumonia
Cryptococcosis
Leptospirosis
Listeriosis (Most of these diseases require antibiotic treatment, which in turn can depress the activity of rumen flora. It's a good idea to add Probiotics to the treatment regime.)

IMBALANCES AND DEFICIENCIES

Ketosis
Calcium/phosphorus imbalance
Anemia (iron)
Vit B1 deficiency (polioencephalomyelitis)
Salt deficiency
Zinc deficiency
Protein deficiency
Cobalt deficiency
Phosphorus deficiency

POISONS

Bracken fern
Copper
Chlorinated hydrocarbons
2 4-D
Mycotoxicosis
Tall fescue poisoning
Oak leaf poisoning
Tannic acid poisoning
Petroleum products
Rodenticides
Selenium poisoning
Senecio poisoning

PREGNANCY AND DELIVERY, ETC

Pregnancy toxemia (delivery may resolve)
Full of large babies (feed small amounts more frequently)
Milk fever
Uterine infection (a very common cause of anorexia)
Retained afterbirth
Mastitis (easy to overlook)

MISCELLANEOUS

Urinary calculi
Heart problems
Hardware disease

TREATMENTS FOR ANOREXIA

Green roughage, cud material from "donor", molasses on feed and in warm water, Nutri-Drench(R), Glucose, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B Complex, Probiotics, put in with a good eater, uterine wash if infected, mild exercise. If antibiotic is used, consider use of LA200 because it sometimes help stimulate appetite
If the animal is chewing it's cud, that is a sign of a good prognosis.
The sooner you start trying to turn things around, the better the chance of success.




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« Reply #38 on: April 11, 2008, 09:20:49 AM »

Prolonged gestation
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Delivery takes place when the baby releases cortisol, a hormone which signals the mother to begin those activities which result in the expulsion of the fetus. In goats, this takes place on about day 151 of the gestation. The "normal" range is anywhere from 146 to 155 days. If you raise a lot of (full size) goats, you will find that nearly all deliveries take place between 150 and 152 days. The longest gestation that we have experienced is 158 days. Parturition can also be initiated by the death of the fetus, which, although unfortunate, can only be considered a blessing in that it reduces the number of incidences wherein you have to perform this very unpleasant task yourself.

Luckily, a genuine case of prolonged gestation is extremely rare in goats, unlike cattle. It is caused by genetic factors or by maternal consumption of certain plants. A lesion develops in the fetus which prevents the release of costisol.

Symptoms

Obviously, the normal number of days of the gestation period are exceeded. The baby will continue to grow until death takes place, which initiates a half-hearted attempt at labor. There will probably be some udder development with little or no milk production.
Treatment and follow up
The first thing to do when you suspect prolonged gestation is to go back to your records and very carefully review your dates. Chances are good that there's an error in your computations. Also, consider a date 21 days later than what you expected on the assumption that she really bred on the next heat cycle.
If you are sure that you do have a case of prolonged gestation you can get an injection from or by your veterinarian to induce parturition or there is a chance that a Caesarian delivery can be performed to save the dam, but there is a good likelihood of a less-than-perfect offspring. The options need to be carefully discussed with your vet.

Since this disorder can be inherited, you may want to cull the doe.







 
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« Reply #39 on: April 14, 2008, 07:00:50 AM »

Dermatosis
3151


This fancy word simply means any skin disease; it should not be confused with dermatitis which means inflammation of the skin.
The following are some of the non-infectious causes of skin disorders. Very often a symptom appearing on the skin is only an indication of an underlying condition, which has to be discovered and treated before the skin symptoms will disappear. A little detective work will be needed to figure out exactly what you are dealing with. Fortunately, most of these are not life threatening. . .at least for a while. In addition, most of them will be accompanied by loss of hair (alopecia).


Nutritional deficiencies: vitamins, proteins, fats, minerals. Trace element deficiencies, such as zinc, can cause skin problems in goats
Disorders of internal organs: kidneys, liver, uterine infections
Poisoning: hyperkeratosis, rat poison, ergotism, mercury, iodine
Hormones: thyroid (hair loss, dry scaly, folded skin); pituitary (loss of hair in armpits [axilla], rib cage and abdomen); adrenal (skin changes); hypoinsulinism (diabetic itching). Fortunately, hormone problems, especially of the sex hormones, as not nearly as common in ruminants (like goats) as in dogs and cats
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« Reply #40 on: April 14, 2008, 07:03:06 AM »

General observations
3002



Random general comments regarding skin ailments:

Most bacterial skin infections are not contagious.
Areas affected by causes:


Inhalant allergy: face, axilla (armpit), feet
Food allergy: dermatitis and lower back, perineum
Endocrine disorders: truck
Sex hormone: dermatoses, lower back, groin, perineum, folds of flank, axilla, feet, face
Seborrhea: edges of ears, trunk, perineum, groin, umbilicus, nipples, interdigital
Contact dermatitis: feet, scrotum, groin, axilla, lips

Causes sorted by area affected
Face: autoimmune, pyoderma, demodectic mange, contact dermatitis, ringworm, scabies, seborrhea
Feet: neurotic dermatoses, pyoderma, demodectic mange, atopy (inhalant allergy), hookworm, vasculitis
Lateral elbows: scabies, calluses, pressure point pyoderma
Trunk: pyoderma, seborrhea, demodectic mange, cheyletiella, endocrine problems
Ears: scabies, seborrhea, autoimmune, hives, pyoderma, vasculitis, drugs given nursing dam
Lower back: flea allergy, food allergy, hyperesthesia
Groin: pyoderma, autoimmune, contact dermatitis, atopy, seborrhea
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« Reply #41 on: April 14, 2008, 07:05:11 AM »

Skin remedies
3002

On the introductory skin page we mentioned that there will be situations where it will be impossible to determine the exact causative agent for the problem at hand. Here, we will list some of the items in the medicine chest and some hints for their use. One needs to remember that in some situations it is against the law to use drugs in a manner different from and for a species different from what is specified on the label.

Bag balm® (Udder balm):
Great for rubbing into skin of udder and teat; use for those situations where the skin needs to be kept soft and pliable. Do not use when you want the injury to be kept dry. Is a mild antiseptic, but do not use in the presence of pus or oozing fluids. Will sometimes help to relieve itching from bites. Can use as a rub for stiff joints (benefit may be more from the rubbing).

Benzocaine topical spray:

Topical pain killer to spray on wound or bite to keep animal from chewing on itself. May be getting hard to find. Can use one of the products such as Anbesol®, designed for gum or dental treatment in people.

Betadine (Povidone Iodine Solution):

A tremendously useful mild iodine and soap preparation (surgical scrub) that can be used in cleaning wounds and for the treatment of a multitude of skin ailments where regular iodine is just too strong for frequent use. Great for those mysterious little sores that appear on udders. Can be used safely on serious injuries.

Blood stopper:

Effective in stopping minor bleeding in emergency situations. Always have handy when you trim feet. Frequently, kids will knock off the buds a few days after dehorning and this can cause profuse bleeding. It some situations such as this it is helpful to put the powder on a bandage which is then used to apply pressure to the bleeding area. Sometimes, you will have to hold the bandage in place for quite a long time. This product also contains an ingredient which helps prevent screwworm and maggot infestation of the injured area.

Cattle dust:

Useful for external parasites such as lice, flies, etc. Goats are not as much bothered by flies as much as most animals. Helpful for those mysterious summer-time bald spots that sometimes happens to does who are heavy milkers or under stress.

Eye ointment:

Terramycin ophthalmic ointment is the one most available. You always need to have this on hand for eye injuries and infections. Whenever there is redness of the eye, discharge, bruising, cloudiness or infection, ointment should be applied (inside the lower lid). Whenever there is clouding of the eye, ointment should be applied, at least until the exact cause has been determined. In most instances this will prove to be some sort of injury or foreign body, which will have to be located and removed before improvement will be noted. If the cloudiness does not disappear in two days, then you should again examine the eye (especially behind the third eyelid) carefully for stickers or other objects that are scratching the surface, consider one of the serious systemic diseases that can cause cloudiness or have your veterinarian check for cataracts.

Eye ointments can be used very effectively outside the eye because of the safety factor. For example, a small injury or infection near the eye can be treated with eye ointment without having to worry about getting some strong preparation (such as iodine) into the eye. This would also be the case with the prepuce, the vulva, anus and other sensitive areas.

Since the tubes are very small, it is wise to have two or three on hand (preferably refrigerated).

Fungisan® (or some other brand of liquid fungus treatment):

Many of these preparations can be found in the dog section of supply catalogues. Most of these are quite safe if used according to label instructions. Many skin ailments, not just ringworm, are fungal in nature. These are typified by loss of hair with or without white crusty covering. If there are no ectoparasites found in a skin scraping, one should consider a fungal infection.

Fungus ointments:

Sooner or later you will have a case of ringworm. This should always be considered a serious problem and treated immediately and properly. For ringworm, use one of the standard people fungus remedies. An effective approach is to alternate daily treatments of iodine and fungus ointment. Generally, the ointments are more effective than the liquids and a preferred for the more serious problems.

Hemorrhoid ointment:

Do goats really get hemorrhoids? Probably not. But does frequently develop swollen and/or injured vulvar tissues before, during and after delivery. Remedies sold for the purpose of "shrinking" hemorrhoids in people do wonders to reduce swelling in this delicate area, sometimes within a few hours. Many contain anaesthetic ingredients which will also help relieve discomfort.

Iodine:

Good old extra strength 7% tincture of iodine will be the most used item in your medicine chest. It is effective against many bacterial and fungal ailments. It is probably much cheaper to purchase it from your local feed/supply store because many shippers are charging high fees for shipping "hazardous materials." It should always be applied to the navel of all newborns. Many sources are now recommending that lanced abscesses be flushed with iodine rather than hydrogen peroxide. Iodine will be effective against most fungal disorders. Any cut, laceration, abrasion should be doctored with iodine until the wound is sealed. When banding is used as a method of castration, iodine should be applied to the area that becomes raw every couple of days. Iodine can be applied daily to most foot problems.

Do not use iodine on delicate tissues, mucous membranes, in or near eyes. Should iodine get into the eye, vigorous flushing with water will be necessary. Even with this precaution, there is a good chance of permanent blindness. Help from your vet may be in order.

Some animals, especially the young, will show redness with or without an "ashy" border because of overuse of or sensitivity to iodine. This problem can usually be reversed with daily applications of udder balm (and, of course, cessation of iodine). Be careful in applying iodine to only put it where it is needed.

Kopertox®:

A foot treatment intended for horses, that is, animals not used for food production. It is effective against foot rot and for ailments of the skin on or about the feet that are caused by the same organisms which cause foot rot. You have to remember that no foot treatment is going to be beneficial until the affected hoof material and the exudate that is formed by the disease are removed. This product is highly toxic and should be used with utmost care.

Nitrofurazone Dressing

This is another product not recommended for use on animals intended for food or milk production. It is highly effective on wounds which have become infected and resist healing, when no other product seems to be making any progress. It should always be used as a choice of last resort. Where the location permits, the wound should be covered by a bandage, which is changed daily. Injuries to the birth canal which occur during a difficult delivery respond well to this product. (Any necrotic [dead, brown] tissue should be scraped away first.)

Nolvasan® (Uterine) Suspension

This is the trade name for chlorhexidine hydrochloride. Although sold as a treatment for post delivery prevention and treatment for the uterus, it is a good antibacterial product for injuries of delicate areas such as the vulva and anus.

NTZ Puffer

Although fairly expensive, this is one of the handiest products to have handy in the barn. It was originally used as a treatment for pinkeye in cattle. Now use is federally prohibited in "food producing animals" in that it has been shown to be carcinogenic. It is excellent for dusting horn buds that become injured after dehorning. Being a powder it helps to reduce bleeding. It can be used for eye infections that do not respond to milder ointments. It is a good topical antibacterial agent wherever a liquid preparation such as iodine is not appropriate.

Oti-Clens®

This wonderful product is great for cleaning ears, especially all the junk that gets in the ears of dogs. One of the effective characteristics is that of being a drying agent. This is very helpful when you need a product that is drying to the skin. If there is an undiagnosed minor skin ailment that resists all sorts of remedies, this is a very safe product that can be used as a wash.

Pen G

Some have found it helpful to apply a small amount of penicillin directly to an infection on the skin.

Screwworm preparations (Lindane)

Lindane is a highly dangerous product, the use of which is prohibited in most situations. On the other hand, there is nothing more disgusting than to come across an animal that has been victimized by thousands of squirming little maggots. Lindane preparations should be kept on hand for these emergencies. Usually, only one small application is needed and can be followed with iodine. If there is a large or deep injury during fly season, it may be a good idea to use a small amount as a preventative measure.

Triple antibiotic ointment

This is a very mild preparation. It can be safely used in nearly all situations, except in the eyes. There are three problems with its use: (1) Some infections should not be kept moist, (2) as with any ointment, it seems to attract dust and dirt to the wound, and (3) it is not very strong and may give the user a false sense of security. It probably should not be used in the presence of pus or other discharges.

Vaseline®

Many skin ailments will cause terrible drying and cracking. To soften these so that the scabs or crusts can be removed and healing begin, a product such as petroleum jelly will be needed. Just make sure that you are not covering up an infection which needs exposure to the air in order to be treated.

Vetrap®

The biggest advantage of Vetrap® or other similar products is that it doesn’t stick to the hair. It can be used for minor strains and sprains; it can hold splints in place; it can be used rather creatively to hold all sorts of bandages in place. It will do a fairly good job of keeping dirt out of a wound. The biggest danger is that it will be left on too long and do a whole lot more harm than good. The bandage always needs to be removed and the wound cleaned on a daily basis. It is so easy for necrosis to set in underneath any wrapping.

Vicks&reg:

Although not a skin remedy, it can be applied around the nose or on the chest as a respiratory treatment as in people. Vigorous rubbing of the chest and ribcage are always helpful in cases of pneumonia. We have also found a very interesting use for Vicks®: When a animal experiences severe choke, either from milk, grain, or medication, they will frequently go into paroxysmal gaspiong for breath with an extreme amount of foam coming out of the mouth. A dab of Vicks® placed on the back of the tongue has always brought quick relief and probably saved a few lives.

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« Reply #42 on: April 15, 2008, 07:58:01 AM »

Eyes
8456


Blindness


Blindness can be a symptom of any of the these disorders: Pregnancy toxemia; helminth or their larvae in CNS; deficiency of copper or Vitamin A; poisoning by bracken fern, lead, arsenic, salt, rodenticides, selenium, St. Johnswort; botulism; Haemophilus somnus; shipping fever; meningitis; optic nerve damage; Listeriosis; mycotic pneumonia; snake bit; elaeophorosis. Each of these cannot be covered here; the owner should be observant of other symptoms and events of recent history that would help in the diagnosis.
If a baby goat has severe diarrhea and/or a high temperature, it is not unusual for this to be accompanied by temporary blindness. Once the primary illness has been resolved, eyesight usually returns to normal.


Trauma

Injuries to the eye are fairly common in goats of all ages. This may first come to your attention due to a watery eye or redness. Or the lids will be closed.
If there has been a bruise, you will probably notice a red-purple discoloration where the iris meets the white. There isn't much you can do for this. An ice pack may help. Eye ointment is always helpful to prevent infection and is mildly soothing. It usually takes a couple of weeks for the redness to go away.

 A very common eye problem in goats is hay awns (seeds or "stickers"). These frequently lodge behind the "third eyelid" (nictitating membrane). The lids will be closed and there will be a lot of tearing. When you open the lids you will probably see some redness and a lot of water. The sticker usually escapes casual inspection. There is probably some cloudiness, which indicates surface irritation. You have to forcefully examine all parts of the eye. The accompanying photo shows how to pop out the third eyelid so that you can see behind it where the sticker is usually located. You can use tweezers to pull out the hay seed, but I prefer using my fingers to avoid further injury. A cotton swab can also be helpful to pull one end out so you can grab it. Try to remove it slowly and firmly so that you get the pointed end which may be embedded in the tender tissues. Always check the situation after you have removed a sticker because there may be a second one awaiting more action. Always use eye ointment 2 - 4 times per day for about two days after you remove a hay seed, especially if there is clouding.



Inverted Eyelids
1706


Entropion is a condition where the eyelids turn in and rub against the eyeball. This is usually first noticed because of a watery and partially closed eye. It is a good idea to check for this right at delivery. If found, manually roll the lid out and give the lashes a little bit of a pull. Do this every couple of hours for a little while. If there is still a problem, then you must intervene. You can seek help from your veterinarian who may do one of several procedures.
If you want to correct the problem yourself, you can inject with a fine needle a small amount of Pen G, sterile saline, or air into two or three locations of the offending lid (1/2 cc pen G 3/16" from margin of eyelid). It takes a real steady hand and a little bit of courage. I like to use Pen G to help guard against infection, although it is a little hard to get through a fine needle. You may have to repeat the procedure once or twice, but this is not usually the case. Inject enough into each site to cause the lid to puff out a little. If the process is succesful, this will keep the lid from rolling back in.

Another option is the use of clips or staples designed for this pupose which can be optained from Pipestone. I have have no experience with them and cannot comment on their effectiveness.


Always follow up any treatment with ophthalmic ointment several times per day.
This is apparently an inherited disorder and you may not want to keep the victim for breeding purposes.


Rolled Out Eyelids

This largely congenital disorder will cause minor difficulties for the rest of the animal's life. The floppy lower lid allows for the accumulation of dust, dirt and other foriegn particles with possible subsequent inflammation and infection. The only real teatment is surgical intervention by a qualified veterinarian.
On the other hand, we have kept goats for many years which have had real floppy lids and some haven't had many problems. Occasionally, they get some dirt in the cavity and need a brief treatment with ophthalmic ointment.


Keratoconjunctivitis ("Pinkeye")

This is not anywhere as serious a problem in goats as it is in cattle. Partly, this is due to the fact that flies are nowhere as numerous on goats and there is less likelihood of infection spreading. Those affected tend to seek the shade and will have watery to purulent discharge. There may be a small ulcer on the surface of the eye, but this is rare in goats. (Be sure to check that there is not some foreign object in the eye, which, in goats, is more common than "pinkeye.") Most of the causative organisms are susceptible to penicillin. A couple of drops in each eye for 3 - 4 days will usually reduce the infection. Some of the more popular eye "puffers" are becoming more difficult to locate, but these work well also. We prefer to start with the penicillin.



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« Reply #43 on: April 16, 2008, 07:26:46 AM »

Eyes
8456



Blindness


Blindness can be a symptom of any of the these disorders: Pregnancy toxemia; helminth or their larvae in CNS; deficiency of copper or Vitamin A; poisoning by bracken fern, lead, arsenic, salt, rodenticides, selenium, St. Johnswort; botulism; Haemophilus somnus; shipping fever; meningitis; optic nerve damage; Listeriosis; mycotic pneumonia; snake bit; elaeophorosis. Each of these cannot be covered here; the owner should be observant of other symptoms and events of recent history that would help in the diagnosis.
If a baby goat has severe diarrhea and/or a high temperature, it is not unusual for this to be accompanied by temporary blindness. Once the primary illness has been resolved, eyesight usually returns to normal.


Trauma

Injuries to the eye are fairly common in goats of all ages. This may first come to your attention due to a watery eye or redness. Or the lids will be closed.
If there has been a bruise, you will probably notice a red-purple discoloration where the iris meets the white. There isn't much you can do for this. An ice pack may help. Eye ointment is always helpful to prevent infection and is mildly soothing. It usually takes a couple of weeks for the redness to go away.

 A very common eye problem in goats is hay awns (seeds or "stickers"). These frequently lodge behind the "third eyelid" (nictitating membrane). The lids will be closed and there will be a lot of tearing. When you open the lids you will probably see some redness and a lot of water. The sticker usually escapes casual inspection. There is probably some cloudiness, which indicates surface irritation. You have to forcefully examine all parts of the eye. The accompanying photo shows how to pop out the third eyelid so that you can see behind it where the sticker is usually located. You can use tweezers to pull out the hay seed, but I prefer using my fingers to avoid further injury. A cotton swab can also be helpful to pull one end out so you can grab it. Try to remove it slowly and firmly so that you get the pointed end which may be embedded in the tender tissues. Always check the situation after you have removed a sticker because there may be a second one awaiting more action. Always use eye ointment 2 - 4 times per day for about two days after you remove a hay seed, especially if there is clouding.



Inverted Eyelids
1706


Entropion is a condition where the eyelids turn in and rub against the eyeball. This is usually first noticed because of a watery and partially closed eye. It is a good idea to check for this right at delivery. If found, manually roll the lid out and give the lashes a little bit of a pull. Do this every couple of hours for a little while. If there is still a problem, then you must intervene. You can seek help from your veterinarian who may do one of several procedures.
If you want to correct the problem yourself, you can inject with a fine needle a small amount of Pen G, sterile saline, or air into two or three locations of the offending lid (1/2 cc pen G 3/16" from margin of eyelid). It takes a real steady hand and a little bit of courage. I like to use Pen G to help guard against infection, although it is a little hard to get through a fine needle. You may have to repeat the procedure once or twice, but this is not usually the case. Inject enough into each site to cause the lid to puff out a little. If the process is succesful, this will keep the lid from rolling back in.

Another option is the use of clips or staples designed for this pupose which can be optained from Pipestone. I have have no experience with them and cannot comment on their effectiveness.


Always follow up any treatment with ophthalmic ointment several times per day.
This is apparently an inherited disorder and you may not want to keep the victim for breeding purposes.


Rolled Out Eyelids

This largely congenital disorder will cause minor difficulties for the rest of the animal's life. The floppy lower lid allows for the accumulation of dust, dirt and other foriegn particles with possible subsequent inflammation and infection. The only real teatment is surgical intervention by a qualified veterinarian.
On the other hand, we have kept goats for many years which have had real floppy lids and some haven't had many problems. Occasionally, they get some dirt in the cavity and need a brief treatment with ophthalmic ointment.


Keratoconjunctivitis ("Pinkeye")

This is not anywhere as serious a problem in goats as it is in cattle. Partly, this is due to the fact that flies are nowhere as numerous on goats and there is less likelihood of infection spreading. Those affected tend to seek the shade and will have watery to purulent discharge. There may be a small ulcer on the surface of the eye, but this is rare in goats. (Be sure to check that there is not some foreign object in the eye, which, in goats, is more common than "pinkeye.") Most of the causative organisms are susceptible to penicillin. A couple of drops in each eye for 3 - 4 days will usually reduce the infection. Some of the more popular eye "puffers" are becoming more difficult to locate, but these work well also. We prefer to start with the penicillin.


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« Reply #44 on: April 17, 2008, 10:38:29 AM »

Freshened Doe
General Aftercare

1281




The purpose of this page is to discuss some of the things that can go wrong with the doe as she approaches or the first few days after delivery. Some of the ailments involve some pretty serious metabolic disorders that may require the diagnostic skills of a veterinarian and/or pharmaceutical products that can only be obtained through a licensed vet.
Obviously, the doe should have lots of good feed and water available to her at this time of stress. She should be kept warm because she is susceptible to shock at this time. She should be kept clean, especially the teats, udder and vulva. Until the passage of the placental membranes (afterbirth), you may have to remove the babies from her. She may dig at her bedding, pace nervously around the stall and generally behave in an obnoxious manner. She may exhibit aggressive behavior toward the kids. We frequently put the babies in a large tub or box so that she can see them but not have contact. This seems to help her calm down.


Prolonged Gestation
1291


This may be due to a glandular problem in the fetus which interfers with the release of cortisol, which is necessary for the start of labor. Some plants when eaten by the pregnant doe can also cause this. The eventual death of the fetus will usually stimulate delivery. Otherwise, the veterinarian will need to inject glucocorticoids or perform a caesarean delivery. This is very rare in goats. The normal gestation range is 149 - 153 days. We have had normal deliveries after a gestation of 159 days. Beyond that, we have no experience. [This topic is duplicated here.]

After an Abortion
1301


The general topic of abortion is discussed in our "Diseases" section. [Link to abortion.] When you have an abortion or delivery of stillborn or extremely weak kids, you should do as much as you can to try to discover the cause. A fetal death in late pregnancy is almost always infectious in origin; if more than one doe aborts, then you definitely have to consider the presence of a disease. In these cases, the fetus, afterbirth and blood from the doe should be submitted to a diagnostic laboratory by your veterinarian.
Abortions in early gestation are fruently due to the ingestion of toxic substances from plants or environmental contaminants. Other non-infectious causes include: malnutrition, Vitamin A deficiency, crowding, injury, fatigue, shock, drugs (including some wormers), poisons or chemicals.

In an abortion, there will not be the usual enlargement and discharges from the vulva. There will be little falling of the sides by the root of the tail. Frequently, there will be no preparatory signs whatsoever, especially if early in the pregnancy.

After an abortion, the afterbirth and bedding should be burned. She should be isolated from other members of the herd until a diagnosis has been completed. Treat her just as if she has delivered, with lots of "TLC." The abortion causes page may suggest some treatment measures for specific abortion-related diseases. Otherwise, give the doe a long-acting broad spectrum antibiotic such as LA200® or 48hr penicillin. Taking her temperature may provide some information about the seriousness of an infection (but not always). If she has a high temp or is in obvious pain, she can be given aspirin or other pain killer as recommended by your vet. Symptomatic treatment of other signs such has runny eyes or lameness may help her feel better.

If she has an infection of the uterus, that should be treated aggressively with Nolvasan® suspension or uterine boluses.

Pay careful attention to the cleanliness of the tail, vulva and back of the udder, keeping discharges frequently cleaned off.

Nutritional needs should receive careful attention. If she will not be producing milk, you will want to avoid large amounts of high protein feeds; but a well-balanced ration should be provided. It is extremely important that she not go "off feed" (stop eating) at this time of high stress. Make sure that she has access to her "favorite" treeats as well as leaves, branches, fresh grass, balanced concentrate ration and the like. If in doubt, it is much more important that she continue EATING than that she eat "properly." For once she stops eating, the situation can become grim real rapidly. If she has surviving babies to feed or if you decide to milk her, or at least to try, then she should receive a normal diet.

Pay attention to her general health. Has she been recently wormed? Does she need to be treated for liver flukes? Parasitic infections seem to blossom during times of stress.

Finally, there are some situations where it is probably best not to rebreed a doe who has aborted due to a serious disease. Even worse, the owner should consider removing from the herd a doe who could be a carrier of a serious infectious disease. These decisions are best made in consultation with your veterinarian.


Toxemia and Ketosis
1341


These serious ailments are very difficult to discuss in a format such as this: they are very complex problems, web page viewers come with a wide variety of backgrounds, and I only understand a small part of what I know about them. Many sources describe different symptoms and terminology for the these diseases in cattle, sheep and goats. Furthermore, some of the treatment options can only be obtained from a veterinarian. Our emphasis, therefore, will be on early recognition of the symptoms and differential diagnosis from other similar disorders.
Another introductory comment: Pregnancy toxemia is not to be confused with the enterotoxemias produced by infections caused by Clostridium perfringens Type B and C. Pregnancy toxemia and ketosis are metabolic malfunctions and the other are caused by actual toxins produced by the micro-organisms, against which there are vaccines available.


Ketosis

This is a technical term referring to the presence of "ketones" in the blood and urine. It is readily recognized by the odor of nail polish remover. Generally, it is felt to be caused by a reduction of carbohydrate absorption. Whenever the body resorts to the breakdown of fat to meet its nutritional needs there is a danger of ketosis. It can be the primary cause of illness or the result of another disease (secondary ketosis). It is usually seen shortly after delivery and the symptoms include: lack of appetite (which only makes the problem worse), laziness ornervousness, drop in milk production, weight loss, constipation, a staring expression and some problems with coordination. Treatment involves glucocorticoid injections (vet only) and glucose, with or without oral propylene glycol (available through most suppliers). Prevention is easier to deal with: proper nutrition of the doe before and after delivery. Since the illness usually occurs in over-fat animals, the early stages of pregnancy should not be accompanied by overfeeding. The feed (especially grain) can then be increased during the later stages of pregnancy (when the babies are growing rapidly in the womb) and even more after delivery (when milk production begins in earnest).

Pregnancy toxemia

Although the term "ketosis" generally refers to a condition which occurs after delivery and although "pregnancy toxemia" refers to a condition of the pregnant animal, the terms are often used interchangeably and this results in a great deal of confusion. This is because one of the major symptoms of toxemia is ketosis, the presence and odor of ketones. This is predominant a disease of sheep and cattle, it can occur in goats. Early detection is difficult because the signs may not be clear-cut. She may just appear a little "odd;" the classic description is that they act "stupid" and this is really the thing to watch for. There may be a certain listlessness, grinding of the teeth, leaning against objects and slight loss of appetite. If the situation gets more serious, you will see incoordination, recumbancy, coma and death.
The important differential is between toxemia/ketosis and milk fever, which is a deficiency in calcium due to milk productivity. With milk fever the animal will appear "drunk" as opposed to the "stupidity" of toxemia. Milk fever will cause as definite coldness of the extremities, which will not be found in toxemia. There will not be any odor to the breath and urine in milk fever, but there probably will be with toxemia.

Treatment is much more difficult than prevention. If delivery is near, it should be induced. Oral propylene glycol by itself may or may not be helpful. At any rate, you should consult with your vet.


Summary

Although pregnancy toxemia is not common in goats, attention should always be given to the proper nutrition of the pregnant doe. During the first two to three months, keep her "lean and mean." Then gradually increase the feed up to delivery, giving more grain during the last 6 weeks of gestation. If at any time during the last couple of weeks of pregnancy she should show any of the above symptoms, stress her a tiny bit by making her do some serious walking for a few minutes. If the symptoms become more pronounced, then this means that you could be on your way to a problem. Immediately increase her grain and maybe add a little molasses to the ration. If this solves the problem, then you may be turning things around. Keep careful watch of her and be ready to turn things over to the vet if they get worse. Problems with ketosis can occur after delivery as well and the demands of milk production require that you maintain a high level of nutrition.
As we indicated above, ketosis is basically a symptom. It can also be present in a large number of other disorders where there are metabolic disturbances and liver malfunction, such as poisoning, diabetes, etc.

Note to veterinarians: Should any veterinarians be willing to add comments or corrections to any of the material presented here, it would be greatly appreciated. This condition is obviously hard for the amateur to describe and deal with. A link to my e-mail address is provided at the bottom of the "main page."


Obesity
1345


A non-professional cannot attempt to describe the metabolic processes involved in sustaining the life of all animals. The basic thing that we need to understand is that overfed animals mobilize fat from body deposits and this leads to some really disastrous results. In the pregnant or recently delivered doe this can result in ketonuria, lack of appetite, weakness and even death. At the other extreme, underfeeding can cause an equal number of problems. So, pay careful attention to maintaining the proper weight level in your pregnant doe.

Milk Fever
1351


Milk fever (postparturient paresis) is neither an infectious disease nor is it characterized by a high fever. It can occur shortly before or after delivery. It is a calcium deficiency that results from the movement of calcium from the body of the doe to the milk in the udder. It can occur before delivery as the udder expands. It is a fairly common occurance in high producing dairy cattle. Generally, you'll expect that there will be more of a tendency for milk fever to happen in those does which have large udders. Overzealous milking of the recently freshened doe, no matter what the size of the udder, can trigger a case of milk fever.
The first symptom that you will probably notice is an unsteady gait that will remind you of a drunken person. The eyes are dull, defecation will cease, appetite will completely disappear if standing they will rock back and forth, if lying down they may grind their teeth or assume a strange position and be unable to get up on their own. The doe may fall off the milk stand. The most diagnostic signs at this time are that the ears and extremities will be very cold to the touch and the doe may be shivering. If treatment does not begin immediately, she will lapse into a coma and die.

At this point you need to either get a veterinarian right away or provide her with an IV or IP injection of calcium gluconate. Do NOT try any of the old-fashioned remedies such as inflating the udder with a bicycle pump. I have only treated this disesase in cattle; I would start with about 75 ml in a goat. The calcium should be administered very slowly because of a very real danger of heart failure. It is best to monitor the heart rate throughout the prodecure. (An SQ injection is much safer, but will take longer to take affect and the dosage will have to be divided into 3 - 5 different sites.) If she doesn't get up in 8 to 12 hours or has a relapse, repeat the dosage. If everything goes well, you will feel like a real hero because recovery is rather dramatic.

(We will provide more info at a later date on giving IV and IP injections.)

When you milk the newly freshened doe you have to be careful to take out the right amount. Taking too much milk can lead to milk fever; not taking enough can cause mastitis. Our basic rule is "one-fifth per day," which means on day one, take one fifth of what's there, on day two take two fifths and so forth until you get to day five when you should milk her all the way out. The new pastes designed as preventive remedies in cattle work very well (adjust the dosage). Avoid sudden changes of feed in late pregnancy and avoid rations too high in alfalfa. In fact, alfalfa, clover, corn and other feeds high in calcium should probably be totally withdrawn from the diet during the last few days of gestation. Some say that a Vitamin A/D shot before delivery helps to prevent milk fever.


Vaginal Prolapse
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The first time you witness a prolapse, I guarantee you will be very shocked. All this strange stuff will be hanging out of the back end of your dear Suzie Q! It can be her vagina and cervix, her uterus or her anus. None of it is very pleasant to think about. And YOU have to put it ALL back in!
Generally, a prolapse that happens before delivery is vaginal (aka cervical). It usually happens in overweight animals. It seems to have a genetic predisposition. If it happens once in an animal, there is an increased chance of it happening again. Although fairly common in sheep, it is good to know that it rarely occurs in goats

We have had it numerous times in sheep and that is the limit of my experience. Thay make devices called "Ewe Savers" or "retainers" which after you clean and push the vagine back in can be tied to the wool. This isn't possible on a goat and if you use one of these devices (which do work very well in sheep) you would have to get pretty creative to keep it installed. Standard procedure is to clean and reinstall the vagina and keep it in by means of sutures placed in the vulva. You obviously have to leave room for the passing of urine. The worst problem is that she will be straining quite vigorously while you are doing this. And, the sutures have to be removed prior to delivery and the presentation of the first baby should always be checked.


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