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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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my goat walks around in circles till he gets dizzy and falls

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my goat walks around in circles till he gets dizzy and falls downs. he hasn't moved much for 4 hours. won't eat or drink. it's been very hot here over 100 last few days
Hi, I'm Dr. Steve and I have a few questions. How long has your goat been doing this? Does he have a fever? (you can take his temp with a human rectal thermometer). Where is he housed and how big is he?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
good morning Dr. Steve,
i've had him for a couple of months, got him in may, he wasn't completely weaned. he is about 2 ft. tall, his head is just above my knee. not sure how much he weighs, but he isn't very heavy, probably not more than 25 lbs.
don't know if he's got a temperature, haven't got a rectal thermometer, but he doesn't seem hot.
last friday, 7-23, he started going in circles, stopping and just staring at nothing. by saturday, he'd go in circles, fall down when he got dizzy and wouldn't get up on his own. saturday evening i had him on the deck to feed and water him, use a bottle to give him water or kid milk, and put his dish of pellets under his nose and he ate them. after a little while he left the deck and went into the yard to munch grass, he seemed to be doing much better. but sunday he was laying down again. i tried to give him a bottle, he drank some, but not much. i put his food dish under his mouth and he ate it, but wouldn't drink much.
when i checked on him before i went to bed, he was still lying on the deck floor but scooted away from me as though he were afraid of me.
he's had a little bit of water this morning but hasn't eaten anything.
he doesn't have a goat house, he just wanders around the yard and is able to come up on the deck, it's covered, when the weather is inclement.
i don't know if he ate something that was bad for him, we just moved to missouri and i'm not familiar with the plants here.

Good Morning, This Dr. Steve again, I had to be away so I opted out of the question so someone else could answer. It appears that no one has helped you yet. Thanks for the information. From what you are describing, your goat may have an inner ear infection or possibly a meningitis (brain infection). These two conditions can cause circling and the other symptoms that you have described. Any time I suspect a brain infection or an animal is showing signs of brain involvement, I have to at least consider Rabies, especially if the animal is wandering out loose where it could be exposed to a rabid wild animal (skunk, raccoon, feral cat, etc) . Because of the chance of humans getting rabies and it being fatal, I would be very careful when handling your goat. If you have ANY nicks or scrapes or cuts on your hands or anywhere else and goat saliva gets in them, you could be exposed to rabies. I don't want to scare you, but you need to be aware of the risks you may be exposed to. There are other brain infections that can be transmitted to humans (listeriosis) as well I would strongly recommend that you contact your vet about this goat so he can examine him and possibly do some tests. If you r goat unfortunately happens to die, I would absolutely have an autopsy done by your vet and send tissues to a lab to check for rabies. It isn't a common problem, but I have seen it and I have had people exposed from sheep in my practice. It is very important that if he dies, you make sure he didn't have rabies. The ONLY way to do this is by testing the brain tissue and a vet will have to help you with this. Please discuss this with your vet. Back to your goat's problem. If it isn't rabies, you can hopefully see that there are numerous things that can cause this and it is going to take a hands on examination to determine what is going on an d what can be done to help him. Good Luck.
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