I think the vet made a good diagnosis with Oreo. He thought it was a vitamin/mineral deficiency. She’s been getting thiamine (goat polio) and vitamin E daily. He also gave her selenium. She’s actually looking a bit more perky.
The problem is that she has no muscle mass. Try giving those intramuscular shots on a goat this emaciated. It’s not easy. She’s eating well. I’m giving her nutri-drench to provide calories and nutrients. She’s getting Gatorade to drink. Mom cut her some green grass to go with her goat chow, corn and hay. It’s time to start physical therapy so she can walk again.
For someone little like Oreo, this is my instrument of torture. I used the flannel sheet to make a sling. I tied it with twine to keep the sling from slipping. Then I just had to slip the goat in.
At first, it was too low to the ground, so I took her out and raised it. That’s perfect!
Her back legs are standing pretty good. She does have a little bit of strength left in them. The front ones she just wants to drop to her knees. I kept straightening them until she realized she was really going to be hanging if she tried getting on her knees.
Notice the sheet covers her entire belly. That way it supports evenly and doesn’t put undue weight on her lungs or belly.
I was impressed with how long she actually “stood” there before she just had to lay down. Of course, having lots of green grass in front of her was a good incentive.
Please note that I was with Oreo the entire time she was in the sling. Do not ever leave a goat in a sling unattended. It is way too dangerous.
The first time I had to do physical therapy on a goat that was down and couldn’t walk was my big buck Grover. That was a bit more challenging, but it was the same principle. I tried throwing him over a bale of hay, but he gained enough strength to push with his back legs and end up laying sideways on his face. I’d have to rescue him (that was his goal~getting me to come back). Finally I had to get creative and created a method to hang him.
It worked! As a bonus, when he was laying I could get the belts (XXX Large from Wal-Mart) under him and use it to stand him up and then support him while he was re-learning to walk. First a few steps and then around the edge of the pen. It’s a long process, but it is worth it. Again, NEVER leave a goat unattended like this.
Grover made a full recovery, and I’m actually starting to be optimistic that with continued extra care and physical therapy Oreo will be able to completely recover too.
Linking this to Farm Photo Friday~are you really on a farm before you’ve had livestock in your kitchen?