The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Goats => Topic started by: Polyanya on February 12, 2016, 09:27:02 am

Title: Whats wrong with my goat?
Post by: Polyanya on February 12, 2016, 09:27:02 am
Please help - a couple of days ago I noticed my 10 month old doeling giving an occasional dry cough, she has also been passing logs for a couple of days, as opposed to the hardened berries she usually does and today didn't want to eat her concentrate.  I left her this morning munching on a willow branch. Can anyone advise as to what might be going on?
Title: Re: Whats wrong with my goat?
Post by: goosepimple on February 12, 2016, 09:30:45 am
I keep goats but not sure - willow good - also ivy is usually tempting.  I would give a good dose of natural yoghurt for the gut - has she eaten anything perhaps she shouldn't?  The cough is a bit odd - just in case she doesn't see it I'd contact Anke on this website - she's a goat ace.

Good luck, always worrying isn't it.
Title: Re: Whats wrong with my goat?
Post by: Polyanya on February 12, 2016, 10:01:39 am
Thank you :) Thought I'd go an offer some bicarb see if she needs it.
Title: Re: Whats wrong with my goat?
Post by: Anke on February 12, 2016, 10:24:07 am
When was she last wormed? sloppy droppings are one sign of a worm infestation - so faecal egg count would be my first step. Lungworm may also be a possibility. Your vet may be offering this service? (As in you take in a fresh sample and they do the count for you?)

Has she got a valid pasteurella vaccination? (As in Ovipast in the last 12 months?). Any nasal discharge or damp under her chin?

Does her stomach feel full and tight? No chance she has got into any poultry food?

Temperature? High or low? Normal goat temperature is between 38.6 and 40.6 deg C.
Title: Re: Whats wrong with my goat?
Post by: Polyanya on February 12, 2016, 01:06:37 pm
Thanks Anke

Right - wormed last October, since then Vermex for 5 days at the beginning of every month - she doesn't share any pasture with any other livestock.  I wouldn't say her stools are sloppy just soft but formed. I will take in a stool sample. I am a bit paranoid about resistance to worming meds.

The breeder hasn't vaccinated any of her goats or kids, says theres no need in Shetland? No discharge anywhere.
She's the wild one and wont be touched unless cornered (which we did this weekend to put on her new collar), she is taking a few raisins from my hand this morning. I will catch her again to feel her abdomen. Presumably I would need to take an anal thermometer reading for temperature?

No chance of eating anything like poultry feed but she did eat a blackcurrant branch at the weekend but so did the others and they have had access to our own haylage this last month but always with available hay.
I'll ask the vet about lungworm.

Thank you so much,
Title: Re: Whats wrong with my goat?
Post by: verdifish on February 12, 2016, 02:02:58 pm
I would vaccinate and worm using something other than vermex. ! ????????????
Title: Re: Whats wrong with my goat?
Post by: Polyanya on February 12, 2016, 02:26:05 pm
Well why? Surely if there is no safe goat wormer its better to use a prophylactic? I mean isn't that why folk give garlic and oregano etc etc. People have kept livestock for centuries before the inception of the big drug companies and used whatever natural methods of prevention they could. Aren't you at all worried that there are fewer and fewer wormers that are effective?  Please understand I'm not trying to be provocative at all just questioning the over-reliance on the chemicals.
Title: Re: Whats wrong with my goat?
Post by: verdifish on February 12, 2016, 03:45:18 pm
Vermex is basically just a tonic, ie it has no active ingredients that will kill and flush worms.  If your goats came to you with a worm burden you are doing nothing to a worm burden with vermex, other than potentially covering one up.  As for vaccinations.  Don't believe everything your told.  As for no safe wormer for goats it's all relative.  And I think " no safe" is very strong when the fact is there are " non licenced" this doesn't mean unsafe.it just means the drug companies can't be bothered to do any testing on goats as there is little finacial return for them.
Title: Re: Whats wrong with my goat?
Post by: Anke on February 12, 2016, 04:22:36 pm
A faecal worm egg count will give you some idea of her current status - if she has worms there is no choice but to use a chemical wormer. Preferably an ivermectin (like Oramec) or a Levamisole one. Oral administration preferable in goats. Ivermectin at 2x sheep dose rate, Levamisole at 1.5x sheep dose. Either your vet or a sheep farming neighbour will have them. Then a 2nd worm egg count a few days post-worming will give you an idea of resistance.

Re vaccination - clostridial bacteria will almost certainly be present where you are, these live in the soil.... I would strongly recommend vaccinating with Lambivac (2 x2ml initial dose, 4 weeks apart, under the skin) - against enterotoxaemia and tetanus mainly, and probably also separately Ovipast (same as Lambivac, just preferably not on the same day/same injection site) - against pasteurella. Maintenance dose is is 2ml every 6 months Lambivac, annually for Ovipast. This is different to the sheep regime, but as always - you have to do your own risk assessment/cost analysis.

Taking a goats temperature - use digital human thermometer, rectal temp, easier if someone else is holding the goat. Only take a couple of minutes.

Do you have fluke where you are?
Title: Re: Whats wrong with my goat?
Post by: pharnorth on February 12, 2016, 07:24:39 pm
I don't follow the logic of being concerned that there are 'fewer and fewer' wormers  that are effective so instead you use substantially less effective vaguely prophylactics.  Wormers are effective if they are used effectively. That is, backed up by worm counts so you are not using them inappropriately.

And drug companies can't test everything for everything it simply is not cost effective there is only so much money in the drug development budget and time to do studies and it is better spent on looking for a new class of wormers for example than adding every species under the sun to the cast of tested animals. Any good Vet can make a judgement based on the info available about what is and isn't suitable but regulations prevent adding a species to the product info unless the right studies have been done in full.
Title: Re: Whats wrong with my goat?
Post by: Talana on February 12, 2016, 08:15:13 pm
I agree with what others have said.
Vaccination is important I do know sheep farmers in Shetland who's sheep are on the heptivac p system. I would discuss with your own vet a health plan for what's best for your goats health with their knowledge of diseases in the local area. I know some who has goats in Orkney and they had to vaccinate their goats with a different vaccine (not lambivac or ovivac heptivac can't remember the name) which is the only one that covers the disease that was killing their goats. Goats will have some worms which is fine but when theres a lot that's when problems, if in the same pasture all the time worms /fluke will multiply. Pasture rotation with different species say ponys  can help as don't share the same worms as with field rotation/ cutting. Although fluke needs strategic worming as affects all species, habitat management helps.                 
 My OH took lambs to slaughterhouse, there was some organic lambs there, my OH remarked to the man you won't have any injection sites with them. The man said you'd be surprised a good lot of them have a lot more injection sites. Ours have 2- ovivac p first dose 2nd dose. There is so many things that can go wrong with animals I' rather do what I can to prevent any ill health.
 Our vet does a free worm count pre and post worming if you buy the wormer from them, if they are unsure of dose they phone goat veterinary society. Herbal remedies don't always work. Find out with worm count and vet advice. I would also recommend vaccinating. As for cough if not lungworm maybe your kid has a cold goats do get them. If not worms maybes just eaten too much of something and will be back to normal soon, yogurt or rumen stuff from vet can help.
 Hope your goats will be fine, they don't half worry you at times.
Title: Re: Whats wrong with my goat?
Post by: Polyanya on February 13, 2016, 08:55:07 am
Thank you everyone for your valuable input I am calling out the vet this morning as she has developed a runny nose and is still refusing the hard feed but wanting to eat a willow branch.

As for chemical worming I did say all the goats were wormed (chemically) in October then came to me the next day to fresh pasture, although I didn't let them out outside for three weeks. As they were clean I wanted to use the Vermex on a monthly basis and then do a worm count in the spring and assuming the worm was low a following worm count the following autumn. I am not an idiot (trained nurse in fact) and I drench my sheep for worms and fluke a couple of times a year, again following worm counts. I also don't run to the doctor the minute I sneeze and have faith that the body (whosever it is) is designed to heal itself and as I run my croft on organic principles I do turn to natural methods of treating illness wherever possible.

I will discuss vaccination with the vet to see what he recommends for my area. Thanks again.
Title: Re: Whats wrong with my goat?
Post by: Anke on February 13, 2016, 10:34:30 am
Keep giving her willow or any other branches you can find - it keeps her occupied and her rumen going until you can find out what is wrong. Carrots/apples/bananas? Have you got something like readigrass -often they will still eat this if nothing else. Mine also quite often will still eat some rolled oats and/or flaked maize. Soaked warm sugar beet shreds with a drizzle of olive oil on is also liked.

Hope she picks up.
Title: Re: Whats wrong with my goat?
Post by: goosepimple on February 14, 2016, 12:43:21 pm
my girls guzzling the readigrass just now...
Title: Re: Whats wrong with my goat?
Post by: pharnorth on February 14, 2016, 07:48:44 pm
Hope all goes well. Let us know what happens.
Title: Re: Whats wrong with my goat?
Post by: Polyanya on February 20, 2016, 01:23:12 pm
An update on Heidi - thinks she's over the worst. Vet diagnosed chest infection and I asked for stool sampling for worms. So she had a course of im injections and rumen stimulant drench and she started to eat again a few days ago. Her improvement is gradual though as she still only nibbles at her concentrate (I've decided to buy the goat feed even though its near 17 a bag, but has added selenium and copper), and at least she's interested in eating hay. Her stools are still a bit soft but might be due to antibiotics?

For anyone interested the stool sample results for worms were encouraging as the count came back at 200 which the vet said was low, no lung worm either or eggs but the cocci count was 800 which again the vet said might be because she is ill. I have been looking into Heptavac for them but only when she is back to normal and her temp is back down to 102.2.

My biggest concern is how she became ill in the first place and how much of it was due to what I did or didn't do. Thanks again for everyone's input I really appreciate the time taken to write and sorry if I came across as a bit grumpy  :-[.
Title: Re: Whats wrong with my goat?
Post by: Anke on February 20, 2016, 01:30:29 pm
Given that she is not milking/in-kid not eating concentrates for a few days is not the end of the world, can you get readigrass (from the horsey section)? Mine absolutely love it, or try Alpha-A (the plain version, yellow bag), again loved by my milkers at the moment. Both of them a good fibre as well as energy/protein for goats.

Goats can also get viral infections, just like humans...

If she has got a high cocci count it may be worth giving her a dose of Vecoxan or Baycox (same as sheep, but needs fairly accurate weighing of the animal). Usually adults have quite a high level of cocci, but only a small percentage of them is causing illness, the rest is just there... The oldest mine have been when given vecoxan was 7 months, and then it was in conjunction with wormer to clear up diarrhoea.
Title: Re: Whats wrong with my goat?
Post by: Polyanya on February 20, 2016, 02:00:34 pm
Yes she had Vecoxan on Weds along with vit b jab and Ketosaid orally - poor thing has been pumped full of stuff for over a week. What she wants to eat is our silage, which is more like haylage but I'm very wary of giving that due to any potential listeria bacteria which in her present compromised condition would not be wise.
Title: Re: Whats wrong with my goat?
Post by: Anke on February 20, 2016, 05:17:03 pm
Yes she had Vecoxan on Weds along with vit b jab and Ketosaid orally - poor thing has been pumped full of stuff for over a week. What she wants to eat is our silage, which is more like haylage but I'm very wary of giving that due to any potential listeria bacteria which in her present compromised condition would not be wise.

Definitely NO silage!
Title: Re: Whats wrong with my goat?
Post by: Polyanya on February 21, 2016, 07:37:29 pm
Can you expand on that Anke please - is it from the listeriosis factor or something else? I know people who keep goats and feed sileage even bought in stuff, whereas ours is for our sheep primarily . Thanks.
Title: Re: Whats wrong with my goat?
Post by: Anke on February 21, 2016, 09:07:52 pm
Main danger is listeriosis, especial younger animals. Goats do seldom recover from listeriosis, just not worth the risk in a small herd. Also if it is mouldy or anything like that, just not as many dangers with hay. If the hay is low in protein (and this year's isn't great) then I would always top up with either readigrass or Alfa-A. I don't run my herd along strict commercial lines, but don't keep any pets, so feed costs are not that important.

Most commercial herds feed haylage and factor listeria losses into their business model. But they go through several large bales per day... 

I do however keep a couple of small bales of Horsehage for absolute emergencies (as it lasts if plastic is not broken), as we do get snowed in every so often and it usually happens on the day I have a scheduled hay pick-up.... :-\ The goats love haylage I have to say....
Title: Re: Whats wrong with my goat?
Post by: kelly58 on February 21, 2016, 10:18:59 pm
We all get upset when our animals are unwell , so you dont need to explain yourself about being ' grumpy '
We all strive to do the best by them and thats something you obviously do , after all goaties are very addictive!   :goat: :love:
Hope shes back to normal soon  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Whats wrong with my goat?
Post by: Polyanya on February 22, 2016, 10:22:14 am
Thanks Kelly for being understanding  :D she actually took a piece of horse apple and oat treat from me today, so must be feeling perkier.

Yes Anke they do seem to love it don't they - I shall have to check out the Horsehage from my supplier. We cut our own sileage in small bales so as we're feeding sheep we go through a bale in 2 - 3 days max and I was only giving them a small bowl full twice a day as they seem mad for it, more to give a bit of variation. But I suppose even a small bowl full is dangerous should it have the listeria bug in it  :(

Title: Re: Whats wrong with my goat?
Post by: shygirl on February 22, 2016, 12:51:32 pm
I use to buy small bales of horse haylage with no issues, mine loved it and it helped them keep their weight on.
Title: Re: Whats wrong with my goat?
Post by: Polyanya on February 22, 2016, 09:05:57 pm
Thanks Shygirl