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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16202
Experience:  As a veterinarian, I have been educated to treat all animals, big and small.
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I have a herd of dwarf and pygmy goats that have all developed coughs

Customer Question

I have a herd of dwarf and pygmy goats that have all developed coughs and runny noses. I believe they are all under 1yr. This started to develop about 2 weeks ago after a rain storm. There doesn't seem to be a loss of appetite. I lost 2 in the past 3 days.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.
What color is the nasal discharge?
Any fever?
What have the been vaccinated against? Up to date on worming?
Any treatment so far?
Where are they housed?
Did the 2 that have passed had any other signs?
Have they been sent for autopsy?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
discharge is white/clear
took 2 temps. 103.7 & 103.4no known vaccines. not wormed
no treatment
kept in a large pen 100'x75' with access to shelters and shadeno other signs
no autopsy
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
some have dark green diarrhea.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you,
My apologies that I didn't receive your reply before I had to be away. Still I have received it now and will respond with my thoughts after my rounds.
Speak to you soon,
Dr. B.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello again,
Now based on all the information you have given me, we do have some serious concerns here. To start, since we have had multiple animals affected, we can initially rule out diseases of the individual and focus on infectious agents and shared exposures (toxins, nutritional issues, etc).
Now if they are penned with a limited access to odd items, toxins are hopefully not an issue. But do make sure that they did not have access to pesticides like organophosphates. In regards ***** ***** this would be an ideal time to double check their ration is balanced and that there is no signs of fungal contamination here.
Otherwise, considering the infectious agents, the most common are the bacteria (with mycoplasmas, Mannheimia, and Pasteurella topping our list of concerns here) and viruses (where these kinds of signs can be associated with adenovirus, caprine respiratory syncytial virus, goat pox, parainfluenza virus, MCF and bluetongue –though hopefully those last 2 are not an issue here). As well, with this having arisen after the rain, we do have to consider that could play a role or be a red herring. If it was a trigger for their signs, then fungal pneumonia would also be a concern. And both a concern with the rain and their lack of worming; lung worm would also be a potential trigger for their presentation.
With all this in mind, we do need to take a step-by-step approach here. So, again, we’d want to rule out toxins and check their diet. Further to that, you may want to worm them now or have a fecal sample tested to determine if we have a parasite problem. If you do worm them, do choose a wormer that covers lungworm but also make sure it does our other helminths and liver fluke. The reason is because we do sometimes see respiratory disease with fatalities be actually secondary to an ongoing worm or fluke infestations. Furthermore, I would also note that fluke infestations notoriously peak after we get a good rain and wet pastures (and I have seen similar outbreaks to what you have reported be triggered by fluke with secondary Pasteurella in the lungs pushing them over the edge).
As well, I would also suggest since bacterial agents so commonly cause pneumonia, you may want to consider also treating them at this stage with a broad spectrum antibiotic (ie Oxytetracylcine, Nuflor, Draxxin, Excenel, Penicillin, etc). Some of these are OTC at local feed stores, but others may require you to have your vet dispense them.
Finally, since we have had some deaths, I do want to note the value of autopsy. It can be a real short cut to diagnosing what is present so that we can protect the rest of the herd. Therefore, if you have any die from here on in or have one failing to thrive just now, do speak to your vet, as they may be able to perform the autopsy in the practice. Alternatively, if you live near a vet school, agricultural college or veterinary lab, they will also be able to provide this service. Once this is done all the organs can be evaluated and samples taking for analysis and testing. This will both give you closure on the losses, but also help you know what is threatening the whole herd. And once you know the causative agent, you will be able to protect them effectively.
Overall, these would be our concerns for your herd and the signs they are showing. So, I would advise the above approach here to pinpoint the root of their signs so that we can effectively treat and clear this for them.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
Dr. B.
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