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Dr Steve
Dr Steve, Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4277
Experience:  20 years of mixed animal practice experience
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A friend has a goat and she seems to be paralysed in her back

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A friend has a goat and she seems to be paralysed in her back legas. She is eating and drinking fine and there is response when you touch her back legs but she is not getting up. My friend took her to the vet today whoi knew nothing about goats and they have put her on anti inflammatorry injections. She seems a little better but it is breaking my friends heart to see her this way. My friend has been shifting her from side to side every few hours and managed to get her up and about today by using a sling underneath her but her legs are just knuckling under her. My friend is at a loss. Please help

Dr Steve :

Hi, I'm Dr STeve. How long has the goat been this way?

Dr Steve :

From what you are describing, it is possible that her goat does have an IV disc injury in her back. This is like a person "throwing their back out". The symptooms are very consistent with this condition.

Customer:

I will text my friend and find out exactly how long. I think it has not been very long.

Customer:

What is the treatment for an IV disc injury?

Dr Steve :

The treatment that I use is injectable antiinflammatories likek dexamethasone for 3-5 days. If the IV disc is only slightyl putting pressure on the spinal cord and causing swelling, then the injections may help reduce the swelling and often some response is seen in a few days. If the IV disc is actually cutting into the spinal cord and causing physical damage in addition to swelling, then the prognosis is not as good. Unfortunately there is no easy way to know how much damage is actually going on.

Dr Steve :

I typically have clients use the injectable for 3-5 days and hope for a response, if none is seen then it would be unlikelythat she will get better. Fortunately this condition doesn't seem to be a painful one so you are not putting her through suffering by treating and waiting while the medicine is doing its job. Getting her up into a sling can help imptove blood flow to the back legs and reduce chances of additional problems, so I do have clients do this. I also caution them to not let the goat move inthe sling too much. If the goat fights the sling and is twisting or arching her back, it can further push the IV disc up into the spiinal cord and cause more problems. Hopefully she tolerates the sling and will stand in it quietly.

Dr Steve :

It sounds like your friends vet, even though they don't treat many goats, does have the condition correct and the treatment as well. Once Ihave treated the goat with the injection, I usually have my clients continue the injections for the next few days . Your friend may want to discuss this with the vet.

Dr Steve :

THe reason that i asked about how long this has ben going on is that the sooner the condition is treated after it first happens, then better the response. Hopefully she started the treatment within 24 hours of finding the problem. Thart would give the best prognosis. I hope this has helped. If it has would you please click the submit button so I may receive credit for my answer. If you have more questions, please continue. Thanks for using just answer and good luck. I will be checking in throughout the weekend if your friend has more questions.

Customer:

Thank you Dr Steve. Extremely helpful.. I will come back if my friend has more questions. Your quick response was very much appreciated.

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Hi Katherine,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr Steve
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
My friends goat is doing much better thanks. They have taken your advice with the sling and she is improving every day and also continued with the injections. They did seek advice straight away
Thanks for the update. I am glad she is making progress. Have a nice night
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