I have a 10 yer old pet Pygmy cross. A couple of weeks ago I noticed that he seemed to be losing weight and wasn't eating much of his hay. He didn't seem to be eating much fresh greenery outside either. He didn't have any other signs of illness -- no diarrhea, normal temperature, no discharge from his eyes or nose and he's wormed regularly. Not knowing what else to do I took him to the vet. They did a thorough exam, checked his heart. lungs, etc. did a fecal and ran blood work. Except for a somewhat sluggish rumen and his bilirubin being 2 points too high, everything checked out normal. The vet felt the sluggish rumen & elevated bilirubin was probably due to the fact Bosco was barely eating. She gave him a steroid shot and a vitamin shot. I started him him on probiotics and Nutri-drench. He still barely touches his hay. I even bought some alfalfa to mix in it without any luck. If I cut greenery for him, he'll eat it. If I put him on a lead and walk him way out back, he will forage for a while then wants to come back to his area. He makes little effort to forage in his area. For over a week now to ensure that he eats, I've been cutting greenery 3 times a day to bring him and walking him out back on a lead. I am at a loss as to what to do. Any suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreciated.
I have no idea, this is usually where I cut my loss and sell at the next sale. But I understand he is a pet. Once it warms up like it has my goats will not eat as much as in the winter. Wish I could help. I do not know how long a goat lives since I have never had one make it to old age.
Since he has been checked by the vet and this has been going on for more than a few days, I am at a loss as well. My first thought (since it is a male) would have been possible urinary stone issues. I assume the vet checked for this and he is urinating? I would expect him to have already passed away if that was the cause of his decreased appetite. Have there been any other changes in your situation? Anything that might lead him to be depressed? Loss of a companion animal or anything like that?
Thank you brr and goatmom for your posts. There haven't been any changes here recently that would lead him to be depressed. For a short time he had an older female goat as a companion, but she died over two years ago. His barn buddies are my two miniature horses.
Bosco (a wether) isn't having any problem urinating. As a matter of fact, his urine output has increased a lot over the past two weeks. Could it be that he has some type of urinary infection?
If he had an infection, I would think his white count would have been up. You could contact the vet and let them know he still is not back to his normal behaviors and see what they think. If he were mine, I wouldn't hesitate to call and see if they have any ideas based on what the tests showed and you are still seeing.
I would mix a little GatorAid in a gallon of water for him. Also would consider a little calf manna. It has Vit D and Vit B. Has a licorice taste and might interest him. I don't give too much of that to males but use it to increase milk on does or to stunted kids. The Vit B can increase appetite. The increase in urine output may be due to the fact his body is aging and it may be getting about time that his heart is slowing down and the fluids are not going to the back end of the animal. If his legs give out in the back you will know it is his ticker getting too weak to pump. Might be along time off though you never know as none of us have a for sure expiration date. His body temperature needs fuel so I would keep him warm and out of drafts in good bedding. Maybe mix up some Magic and drench him with that. Sometimes that can really perk an animal up. Have you tried apple slices? That is the one thing I try and give with a sick animal. If they eat some they are trying to hang in there. I went through my notes and I see my VET has given me instructions to give 3cc C&D Antitoxin for an adult goat off feed. I have Boers. The Vet I use has a large herd of goats. Your Vet may have given the shot but if you check your invoice and it is not there then I would consider giving the shot. The animal I was treating recovered fine.
Last Edit: Apr 18, 2012 16:32:03 GMT -5 by GoatGuru
He has a stall in the barn with lots of good bedding and an infrared heater. The increase in urine output is a recent development. His legs don't give out in the back. The vet said both his heart and lungs seemed to be fine. She did not give him C&D Antitoxin, just a vitamin B-12 injection and a dexamethasone injection. He ate the apple slices last night, but never touched his hay. The hay I use is timothy/orchard grass mix. Didn't have any calf manna to try yet. He will still graze a bit and eats some of the branches and greenery I cut for him. So I don't think he's just given up. I honestly think my vet is as puzzled over this as I am. Does anyone have any ideas of any other ailments, diseases, etc. I should ask the vet about?
I am taking him back into the vet's at 1 PM today. I'm taking another fecal sample, just in case she missed something like liver flukes for example. I also have a urine sample. Although I agree if he had a urinary infection, his white blood count should have been up. I will also ask about C&D Antitoxin.
Back from the vet. 1. Teeth checked okay. 2. His weight was the same as it was a week ago. 3. Again his heart and lungs checked out fine. 4. All the blood work checked out fine. Even the bilirubin checked out normal. 5. The urine sample showed a small amount of bilirubin. The vet didn't know what to make of that. 6. Did another fecal. This time the vet wasn't sure if she was seeing fluke worm eggs or strongyle eggs because they look so similar. I looked at the slide and I couldn't tell either. 7. His rumen still sounded a tiny bit sluggish but not as bad as it sounded a week ago. The vet put him on vitamin B-12 injections for 10 days and I'm going to treat him for liver flukes. Hope it helps him.
Thanks GoatGuru! I hope so, too. Everything checked out okay with the exception of something not quite right with his liver. I don't know what it could be if it's not liver flukes. I can tell you this -- Bosco certainly didn't act like a sick goat at the vets. He pooped & peed all over the examining room, head butted the vet every chance he got and when it was time to leave, he leaped into the back of my pick-up truck.
It is good that he has not lost weight. Maybe he is eating more than you think. I would have to say he certainly has a good home with you and a caring family! Not everyone would spend the money to take him to the vet to get this checked out so thoroughly.
He sure does sound like he has quite a personality. When my goat had an infection and her liver was being taxed my Vet told me to give her Keto Gel from the cow isle to help her liver as it was going to fail and had possible damage. I went to the cow isle and got it and drenched her with three 6cc of the stuff over a couple hour time frame. She is a very heavy and large Boer with a little Nubian. Way over 150 pounds. Big wide doe. She recovered just fine and I was so happy to have her back because truthfully I almost lost her. If I lost her I vowed I quit goats. My whole herd was going and I was going back to horses in the barn. I just thought I would share that remedy for the liver problem in case something turns bad and you can't reach the Vet office. Or maybe you could call and ask about that. Glad to hear your goat is recovering.
I'm glad your doe recovered, GoatGuru. Keto Gel - I'm going to ask the vet about that. Although it doesn't appear that Bosco has any infections going on, it does seem like whatever is wrong does has something to do with his liver even it doesn't turnout to be liver flukes.