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How can a goat be down before she will not be able to walk…

Customer Question
How long can a...

How long can a goat be down before she will not be able to walk again

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?

No. She had coccidia (treated her) but she got weak and now doesn't seem to be able to stand. She was dehydrated but she is now drinking and eating. Yesterday she was able to get up by herself... ate and drank and everything was working ...pee and poop...chewing cud. Haven't seen her pee or poop today or chew any cud. I gave her B12 and probiotics earlier today but I am worried about how long she can be down.

Veterinarian's Assistant: The Expert will ask you more detailed questions to find out what is causing this. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the goat?

She is eating good (lots of leaves, weeds, good hay green grass) drinking bounce back and fresh water, she sits up and is very alert she just is too weak to get up.

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Large Animal Veterinary
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Answered in 46 minutes by:
10/11/2017
Large Animal Vet: Dr Linda, Veterinarian replied 8 months ago
Dr Linda
Dr Linda, Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1,721
Experience: I am a practicing veterinarian with over 20 years experience in a mixed animal practice.
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Hello, this is Dr. Linda. I hope I can help with your question.

Your goat can be down for a long, long time, weeks to months, & as long as she does not develop pressure sores, or nerve paralysis, she may still eventually get back up. Keeping her well bedded on clean dry straw & shifting her from side to side twice a day will help. Assisting her to stand will engage her muscles & nerves to prevent degenerative changes from occurring. If you can, slinging her is very helpful.

Now, the question is, how practical is this, both for you & her? I would expect her strength to return within a few days after the coccidia was treated if this was the only problem. My concerns would be that there may be something else going on here like CAE or poliomalacia, meningeal worm & even rabies. Listeriosis would be pretty high on my diagnosis, but she is still eating. You might want to start some antibiotics, like Pen G.

If she were mine, or a client's, I would recommend working with the goat for about a week to 10 days. In all honesty, if she is not up by then, she probably never will get up on her own. But continue your B vitamins, especially thiamine. You can give her 5 grams to start, then 500 mg by mouth every day. If she responds, I continue the thiamine for about a month. You might also supplement her feed with some goat chow, either a sweet or pelleted feed.

The rest is up to her, unless you have access to a large animal vet who can do some diagnostic tests. I hope, though, that you find the information useful. Please let me know if you have any additional questions or concerns.

Thank you.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I've had some brown stomach worms this year. When I saw loose poop I dewormed. It didn't clear up in a few days so I treated for coccidia, loose poop was gone in 3 days as usual with treatment. She has pooped normal since I asked the question, but I haven't seen her pee yet. She is eating and drinking like she never was sick. I supplement with 12% sweet feed daily, not a lot, just about a 1/4 # per 100# ***** to get them to the barn at night. I always give B12 when I suspect rumen problems. She lost weight so fast she probably had worms too. The paralysis is my concern. I have been working her legs, shifting her and trying to help her stand. So as long as I keep her legs moving and try to keep the blood flow as normal as possible should her legs be okay? I would not want to put her down too soon if she seems comfortable and there is a good chance for her to walk again. I am retired and I have all the time in the world to work with her
Large Animal Vet: Dr Linda, Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

Glad to hear from you. The paralysis is definitely the main concern, but without some diagnostics it would be impossible to predict if she will ever get up. If you can keep her comfortable & prevent sores, there is no time limit on working with her. However, the longer this goes on, the less likely she will get up on her own. My personal rule of thumb is after I have exhausted most diagnostic tests, & any appropriate treatments, if an animal ( & especially a farm animal or horse ) is still down after 72 hours, I recommend euthanasia. But you can work with the goat for as long as possible. I would also go ahead & start an antibiotic. At least try some Pen G at 5 ml under the skin or in the muscle once a day for 5 days & see what happens.

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Large Animal Vet: Dr Linda, Veterinarian replied 8 months ago
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr Linda
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Large Animal Vet: Dr Linda, Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

Hello, again. Just checking to see if you have any additional questions. If not, please do not hesitate to rate my reply. It is the only manner in which I can receive credit for helping you. I would greatly appreciate this.

Thank you.

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