Hi, we have just lost our third goat and about to lose the forth. They aren't showing much symptoms, but a very bad case of the runs, and the inablility to stand before death. Right now our boy is laying in the barn, he seems to be alert, and theres a circle of dirt around him so I believe he's been moving and unable to get up, and the runs still.
We have wormed them and everything, but nothing has helped, and we are pretty sure it's contagious. My parents have pretty much given up hope and think we are going to lose the herd to it. If anyone can help or has any idea what they have, please tell us immediantly!
Have you treated for cocci? How old are these goats? Where do you live (what state)? Location helps us figure out climate and how that might play a role in what is going on? What are you feeding them? Is there anything in the pen that could be poisonous to them? Chicken feed or toxic plants? We need all of the information you can give us. How long has this been going on? If he is down, you need a vet if you are unable to diagnose and treat this quickly or you will lose him too.
I don't believe I've heard of cocci before. Uhm, they range from yearlings to elder, are oldest is nine years old I believe. We're from Washington State, the eastern side. Our climates usually dry, lately it's been wet and snowy because of it being winter, but not harsh. We feed them alfalfa. No, there aren't any toxic plants in the area. This has been going on for a few weeks, I'm not sure when it started exactly, I hadn't payed any mind to my parents about it until they started really dying because of it.
Sadly, he is gone. We lose goats often every year. Though normally from natural causes, like sick babies that were premature, or if a dog got them. My parents figure It's better to put them down if they are going to die, as they can't afford to call in a vet for our goats when they're sick.
Right now, no one else is showing signs, but I worry another one will. I really worry for them.
Post by garysfarmer on Jan 14, 2011 6:40:03 GMT -5
Masani, Welcome to Goatwisdom.
Cocci must be treated with a sulfa based drug. I use Dimethox 40% injectable. The first dose is injected and the other doses are given orally. One illness can trigger another one. The weaker they get the more likely other sickness' will kick in.
21 Questions; Do you ever give them minerals? Not a mineral block but loose minerals. Do you/how much do you feed them; Corn?, Hay?, Things from the woods that still has green leaves on it during the winter?,How often do you change the water? Is the water warmed in the winter? Do you scrub out the water containers? Do your goats poop in the food containers? When you worm them do you give them medicine or pellets? Does this happen ever year around the same time? Is the hay/corn moldy?
The more of our questions you answer the more likely we can pinpoint the problem. I am off to work, however others will be along to help. I'll try to check back in tonight if it's not too late when I return.
Post by Rose's Goats on Jan 14, 2011 9:09:05 GMT -5
I agree with the coccidiosis diagnosis. Coccidiosis is an internal parasite that is not a worm. It lives in the goat's intestines and is always present in small amounts in any goat. The problem occurs when some stressor causes the cocci population to explode. Weather, grain changes, hay changes, and other major changes can cause coccidiosis. It usually is signaled by diarrhea that is brown and very smelly. It is contagious between goats but not to other animals or humans.
You must treat it with a sulfa drug. The Di-Methox injectable is good. I prefer to use Di-Methox 12.5% drinking water solution (due to availability in my area at stores). I give it at 1cc per 5lbs orally as a drench for 5 days. I follow each dose 12 hours later with a dose of Probios probiotic paste. The sulfa drugs are very harsh on the good stomach bacteria so the probiotic paste helps to replace them. I then follow the 5 day treatment with Probios every day for 5 days. This should kill your coccidiosis.
To prevent further infection after treatment, you can feed a medicated grain or a medicated mineral. I prefer to feed a medicated mineral in the winter when my goats seem to be at higher risk for coccidiosis due to weather changes and increased confinement. I use Sweetlix Meatmaker 16:8 with Rumensin as my goat mineral. This mineral is a loose mineral that is formulated specifically for goats. The Rumensin is a coccidiostat that is a medicine that keeps coccidiosis populations low in goats with already low populations. It's a preventative treatment, not a full treatment of massive infection.
What type of dewormers have you been using? Some dewormers have become ineffective in much of the US due to overuse and worm resistance. You might need to switch to a different dewormer to kill the worms you have. Coccidiosis and worms are a 1-2 punch to kill most goats. I would treat for cocci first and then treat for worms with a different dewormer than you normally use. There's a worming chart on the "One-Click Reference" section of this board that has common dewormers and there recommended dosages for goats.
One way to check for worm load is to pull a goat's lower eyelid down and look at the color of the membrane. If the membrane is white/light pink, then the goat is anemic due to worms sucking its blood. The goat needs to be dewormed immediately. If the eyelid is red/dark pink, then the goat is fine and doesn't have too many internal parasites. Coccidiosis can cause anemia as well, so if your goat's eyelids are white, then I would treat for cocci first then dewormer a week after finishing cocci treatment. Follow treatment in an anemic goat with doses of Red Cell (a horse iron supplement) once a day for one week then twice a week for a month. This will help replace any lost iron due to anemia.
Another thing to do right away when a goat is sick is give oral drenches of Fortified B Complex. B vitamins are water soluble and are the first vitamins to be depleted when a goat is sick. Most likely the reason your goats got down and couldn't get up after getting diarrhea is due to loss of B vitamins. Thiamine (Vitamin B1) deficiency causes goat polio which is signaled by a goat's inability to get up and walk. They lose muscle control and eventually die of the heart muscle giving out. Fortified B Complex can be bought at the feed store and make sure it is "Fortified" and not regular B Complex. The fortified stuff has more thiamine in it.
If another goat gets diarrhea, I would treat for cocci, give Probios, give oral doses of Fortified B Complex, and make sure they are drinking plenty of water, all at the same time.
I would bet on it being cocci as well given the information you have shared. Do you feed your hay on the ground or in a feeder? Feeding on the ground can be bad as the cocci and parasites can live in the soil and be eaten with the hay or when grazing. Since you don't live in an area where you get really cold temps to cause a hard winter freeze, it may be more common to have cocci and parasite problems. Here in the midwest where we live, the cold freeze every winter kills off some of these things so spring/summer are when these problems are more commonly encountered.
I would treat for cocci even if the others aren't currently showing symptoms.
I would not feed medicated grain/mineral/feed for prevention.I would feed it as a treatment.Parasites and virus's can become immune to the medication and be harder to treat.I learn that from the local vet. and from drug manufacture sale reps. when i worked at Walco as a salesman.
I don't think the medication level in the feed is adequate for treatment of an outbreak. It is meant to be used more as a preventative. I would get the medication you need and dose it in a way that you know each goat is getting the proper amount for their weight.