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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20571
Experience:  As a veterinarian, I have been educated to treat all animals, big and small.
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Old nanny seem to have arthritis? cannot stand what can i

Customer Question

old nanny seem to have arthritis? cannot stand what can i do
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with the nanny?
Customer: will not get up seems to have problems with legs. arthritis
JA: Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help the nanny. What is the nanny's name and age?
Customer: nelly. not sure about age. about 7 to 10yrs
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about nelly?
Customer: not really she drinks and eats. eyes are clear just cant get up
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but can you tell me:

How long has she been down?

Does she have feeling or any movement in her legs? Back ones especially?

Any access to toxins, dangerous plants, or history of trauma?

Does she seem mentally normal?

Was she stiff beforehand? Any joint swelling?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
about a week. front legs are bent she cannot get up too weak. no toxins other animal in same pen access to same small pasture show no sign .She seems normal her eyes are clear. she drinks water and hay when i feed her. she was not stiff but she is old.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

Thank you,

Based on your goat's history and age, I share your suspicion of arthritis. If she appears mentally normal and has some voluntary movement (even if she cannot rise), then deficiency issues or spinal/brain disease would be less likely. Though if she is weak, we'd also need to check her gums to make sure there is no sign of paling and thus weakness from anemia. Or any swelling in those front leg joints that could suggest bacterial joint infections.

If we are able to rule out those other concerns, then we'd want to start some supportive care for her. To start, with how weak/down she is, our best option would be to have her local vet start a strong animal specific non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as ketoprofen, phenybutazone, carprofen, meloxicam, or flunixin. These would just get her as comfortable as possible as quick as possible. As well, if she is very sore, they'd be able to couple this with an opioid to help get her mobile.

Otherwise, at the very least, we could try her on a low dose of buffered Aspirin at 2 mg per pound of her weight every 12 hrs. Aspirin is useful in goats and will decrease some of the joint inflammation she likely has and relieve some of her discomfort if arthritis is our culprit. This can be given after you have fed her or mix it into a small treat to prevent her having this on an empty stomach.

Furthermore, to support her joints generally. we could also start her on glucosamine, chondroitin, or omega 3 fish oil for her. These will help support her joints and reduce the effects of her arthritis. Often we will use products intended for horses, since arthritis isn't usually treated in our small ruminants (of course, this is off license use but fine as long as she isn't intended for the food chain).

Finally, to relax contracted muscles and reduce swelling/soreness for the joints, you can start warm compressing her legs. Just to note, you can make a safe warmer for use as a warm compress by filling a clean sock 2/3rds full with uncooked white rice. Tie it closed and microwave (approx 1-1.5 min). Before use, do make sure to shake to allow the heat to distribute before using as a compress. (If it cools, you can re-warm as required).

Kind regards,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Please rate me afterwards by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

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

Dr. B.