I’ve seen and talked to the vets way too much lately. You might remember I told you about Haley’s boy, Gaston, who was weak and a bit thin. I couldn’t get much milk in him, but I took him back to her, and I saw him eating. I’ve watched him closely and he’s gained his weight back, but he didn’t get over being shaky. I took him to the vet because I noticed that Maggie’s doe was also a bit stumbly. We decided to try treating for white muscle disease. This is a selenium and vitamin E deficiency. I gave him the meds (a shot of Bo-Se), but our wet rainy weather made it hard to check closely on him like I wanted to.
Then Pistol had her kids out in our frigid rain, so I got them shut in the north lean-to. They were all fine in the morning when I gave her little boy his supplemental bottle. When my mom came to feed them at lunch, they had busted out and were out in the cold, damp windy weather. Her little doe was really cold, so my mom took them to the greenhouse, which is the warmest outbuilding I have. She got a little milk in her and she left when the doe walked under the workbench, figuring she’d curl up with the other kids and warm up.
When I found her after work, she was laid out and unresponsive. We brought her in the house and put her on my mom’s lap with a heating pad on low and covered with a blanket. I know some people have mentioned hot water baths and blowing them dry, but I really don’t like the risk of shock associated with such a sudden change. (My vet agreed.) After warming her all night, the vet came and tubed her. He used a large syringe and tube to put 5 oz. of warm milk directly into her stomach.
She continued resting and was doing better. She started shivering as she warmed up. She finally had to urinate and then she tried to get rid of all the pellets that needed to come out. It wasn’t working. It’s hard work to start those body systems up again after shutting down to conserve energy and protect the vital organs. I never thought I’d do this, but I gave her an enema with warm water, and we got her cleaned out.
In the middle of this, I noticed Gaston had come out of the greenhouse and was awfully wobbly. I went and checked on him, and he was getting cold too, so I brought him in the house. He slept, and when he woke up, I took him outside to potty. Also, he can’t stand on the linoleum with his slippery feet. While we were out there, I figured out that he can’t see. That immediately told me it was probably polio. In goats, polio is a thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency. I went to the vets and got the medicine to start thiamine injections.
Sadly, I don’t know if it will help or not. It’s one of those things that the earlier you start treating it, the better chance you have for recovery, but the vet said to keep it up for a few days. I also started treating Maggie’s doe, who just showed signs of blindness as well that same day.
I’m also treating Blaze’s smaller girl because she’s awfully weak. As she’s in my kitchen right now, I just saw her “star gazing,” a muscle reaction to that causes them to throw their head back like they are gazing at the stars. She is not showing any signs of blindness, so I’m more optimistic for her recovery. I just wish I knew what was causing this. It’s harder to figure out the cause in little kids than in adults (information HERE), but I’d really like to avoid this happening again.
I’ve also given them banamine to help alleviate the pain that comes with the swelling in the brain and muscle tremors. I’m trying to support them by feeding and helping them stand, but they are a full time job right now. I just hope they can make it. I’m going to try to milk Maggie out because I hope her little girl will be better and need to go back to nursing her soon.
Just to make sure things don’t calm down, I had to take Pistol’s girl back to her to eat because she’s too stinking stubborn to take a bottle. She went out to pasture with her mom and when she got back, I went out to put a coat on her for the night. Well, Pistol looked at her like she was an alien. I gave up and brought her in for the night. She was out again this morning, but I went and retrieved her from pasture. She’s just too weak to spend that much time out there.
Pistol and Victoria with their kids and Fez
For now, she’s joining Victoria in the yard.
I’m sharing with Alphabe-Thursday for the letter V.