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Dr. Maggie
Dr. Maggie, Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24
Experience:  Certified by American Veterinary Chripractic Association in Animal Chiropractic. Vet since 1996.
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Goat unable to stand, legs seem very weak. Vet came and gave

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Goat unable to stand, legs seem very weak. Vet came and gave her dewormer and penicillin, but it didn't seem to help. She flops over on her side and has difficulty holding her head up and straight so it ends up at an odd angle.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Maggie replied 7 years ago.



Could you please give us some more information so we can better address your concern?


How old is your goat?

Did the vet check out her ears, or is there a foul odor from either ear?

Do wild deer have access to her pasture area?

Do her eyes seem to "dance" when she moves?

How long has this been going on with your goat?

Is she still eating and drinking? Are her stools still normal?

Are you following up with more doses of penicillin?


Thank you for taking the time to provide more information.


Dr. Maggie

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Stools are normal

Followed up w/ 3 more doses of penecillin so far, she has been down for one week. The first 2-3 days she would walk if lifted to her feet, but she seems to be getting progressively worse. She will eat and drink, but needs assistance to keep her head upright sometimes. There is a lot of gurgling in her stomach, especially when we right her from the laying down on her side position. Don't know if that is normal rumination or something else. There are definitely wild deer around the pasture, but they cant actually get in there. The goat is 3 years old. One ear smells a like wax, but i wouldnt describe it as foul. The eyes appear normal.

Expert:  Dr. Maggie replied 7 years ago.



Thank you for answering my questions.


I would be most concerned about a wild deer parasite called the deer meningeal worm. Wild deer are the carrier, and goats often end up becoming sick, with symptoms you describe, this time of year. The intermediate host for this parasite is snails and slugs, so even if the deer cannot get into your goat's pasture, if they are near the snails can become infected and move into the pasture, where your goats eat them.


To diagnose this condition, definitively, an examination of the fluid around the spine is evaluated. However, the treatment is supportive and involves deworming, which you mentioned your vet has already done, and anti inflammatory drugs. The deworming drugs effective are levamizole (7 mg/kg by mouth, once) or Thiabendazole (250 to 440 mg/kg of body weight two days in a row). It is unknown if Ivermectin is really successful against this parasite. Anti inflammatory drugs such as aspirin (100 mg/kg two to three times a day) OR banamine (flunixin meglumine) 1 to 2.2 mg/kg twice a day can be given to help alleviate the neurological side effects you are seeing (inability to stand, weakness, head tilt, ect.)


It is important NOT to give both banamine and aspirin at the same time because of the risk of stomach ulcers and other side-effects of NSAIDs. You should consult your veterinarian for the drug they feel is most appropriate for your goat before giving them either drug. I would also recommend confirming which deworming agent your Dr. gave as you may need to give a different deworming medication to help your goat get better.


The gurgling you hear in the stomach is probably related to the rumination, but I don't believe it is "normal". Try to increase the roughage/fiber you are feeding her to help with this.


Also, try and get her up, even if she cannot stand, for at least 30 to 40 minutes twice a day and move her legs (like a physical therapist would for you). Use a straw or hay bale, or other such supportive, padded device under her while you do this.


Please let me know if I can be of further assistance with your goat.


Dr. Maggie



I apologize for hitting "answer" on the previous information request. I have asked to moderator to correct my error.
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