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I have a yearling kiko doe that acutely could not stand or…

Customer Question
I have a yearling...

I have a yearling kiko doe that acutely could not stand or walk, but was not paralyzed. She was arching her neck and head over her back. She is alert, nothing otherwise remarkable on exam. Herd mates are well.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?

Feet are fine. The problem seems neurologic.

Veterinarian's Assistant: What is the yearling's name and age?

Anna and she is 11 months old.

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Anna?

No, she was perfectly healthy yesterday.

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
3/25/2018
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 4 months ago
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23,477
Experience: Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

Does Anna have a fever?

Are her inner eyelids pink or white/pale?

Any wounds or ticks present on her legs or elsewhere?

Could she have eaten anything harmful (ie plants, chemicals, etc)?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
No fever. normal pink conjunctiva. No wounds or ticks. Pasture is just now greening up, but she has been in that pasture a year. No changes to her diet other than pasture is reeling up. No access to chemicals.
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 4 months ago

Hello again,

Now I am glad to see we can exclude toxins, though based on your history, especially with her neck posture, I'd be concerned that Anna could be showing signs of polioencephalomalacia (PEM).When this occurs it is due to low thiamine (or high intake of thiaminases- which are in some plants). Other concerns for her signs (which I agree sound more neurological then orthopedic and even less likely spinal) also have to consider that this could be due to bacterial agents (ie clostridia, listeria, etc), meningoencephalitis (viral, bacterial or parasitic), sarcocystosis, & brain based masses (ie hemorrhage, inflammation, cysts, or growths).

In this case, for thiamine induced CCN/PEM, the treatment of choice is thiamine. If treated early on, we can get clinical recovery but the longer they are down the poorer their prognosis. To dose with thiamine, give 10-20mg per kilogram of her body weight into the muscle or under the skin 3x daily. With her being down already, it would be advisable to give the doses IV (provided you have sterile needles and the preparation you have is IV compatible of course). If we are going to get a treatment response, then we usually see this within 24 hours,. If they have no improvement, we will usually keep treating for 48-72 hours to give them a chance. Further to this, we can give dexamethasone (at a dosage of 1–2 mg/kg IM or SQ) to reduce brain inflammation. Furthermore, I would also consider starting Anna on Penicillin to cover for listeria and other bacterial concerns. And if she is completely down, make sure she is well bedded and turn her very 4-6 hours to avoid bed sores. For the others/from a prevention angle, you may want to consider supplementing their diet with thiamine (3-10mg/kg in feed).

Overall, your lass is showing quite characteristic signs of PEM. In this case, it would be advisable to treat with thiamine and cover with a broad spectrum antibiotic (ie Penicillin). If you do this and we don't see improvement within 24 hours, then we'd want to have her local vet out to assess her for those other concerns as we may need to treat for those as well.

Kind regards,

Dr. B

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