Cache Valley Fever

18 Jun

I introduced you to the new kids yesterday, but I failed to mention one little girl.  I was saving her for a happy ending story, but that is not to be the case.  Strangely, I’m only telling about her now because her story intersects with two other little girls here, Nellie and Wanda.

Muffin had twin girls on May 15th~two very pretty little girls.

Muffin with Nellie and Wanda

I noticed right away that Nellie was possibly the world’s most photogenic goat.  You can’t take a bad picture of her.


Wanda, on the other hand, generally doesn’t slow down long enough to get a good picture of her.

Wanda with Muffin

I was sad to see one day that Nellie seemed to have hurt her back.  I figured it was from one of her flying leaps off the log and she’d be better in a day or two.  However, she got worse.  Her back end would wobble when she walked.  She’d fall and have a horrible time trying to get back up.


Then I noticed Wanda looking a bit shaky in her back legs.


I called my poor over-worked vets and Dr. Schmitz came out.  At a month of age, they are really too old for floppy kid syndrome.  They are too young for meningeal worms.  The most obvious cause of weak back legs would be a vitamin deficiency.  We treated both girls with selenium and thiamine last Thursday.  It didn’t help, and they actually grew worse.  Nellie was now reduced to pulling herself with her front legs, and Wanda was beginning to get more wobbly on her back legs.  Nellie was grinding her teeth, a sign of pain.

Nellie and Wanda

On Saturday, I called and reported their worsening conditions and we gave them an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory as a last ditch effort and left their fates to Nature.  Sunday, I noticed that Nellie was no longer grinding her teeth.  Her mobility wasn’t any better, but she was not in pain.  Wanda was actually out playing with other kids.


I called back on Monday because I was still concerned that if this was an infection they would simply be reinfected if we didn’t find the cause.  That’s where my other pretty little girl comes into the story.

When Pebbles had her little buck on Friday, she also had a little girl who was not well.  She could not move her back legs at all.  Her joints were stiff, and the hooves even went the wrong way.  Her front legs would not completely straighten.  Even her mouth was fairly stiff and locked, and she didn’t have a sucking instinct.

She did improve enough to nurse, and I decided to give it the weekend to see if we could get her joints working.  If not, I’d take her to be euthanized on Monday.  She did improve, but not a lot.  Ever helpful, Leo was there to wash the milk from her face.  I think she truly enjoyed his attention.

On Sunday evening, she began to develop pneumonia because she didn’t have the muscles to cough all the fluids from her lungs.  This morning I took her to the vets to end her pain.

This dear little girl was the final piece of the puzzle for Dr. Schmitz to recognize Cache Valley Fever in all three girls.  The locked joints, birth defects, and kids that begin life fine and then develop neurological symptoms are all signs that their moms were infected with the virus during their pregnancies.  It is a virus transmitted by mosquitoes, and there is nothing to do for the kids but love them and end their suffering when they no longer have a good quality of life.

Bless my beautiful little girls.

More information HERE.

Linking to You Capture where this week’s theme is pretty.

48 Responses to “Cache Valley Fever”

  1. TexWisGirl June 18, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

    good lord. the hits are still coming.

    • Teresa June 18, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

      It’s still our non-winter. There are not usually mosquitoes around when my girls are pregnant. I will be very grateful when the year is done.

      • TexWisGirl June 19, 2012 at 8:28 am #

        truly. had no idea it could affect so much for you!

      • Teresa June 19, 2012 at 8:31 am #

        This is about the first time I remember mosquitoes or any bugs in winter here. At least I know a normal winter will take care of this problem. 🙂

  2. Barbara F. June 18, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

    I never even heard of this. Poor little kids. You are so good to them. I hope Nellie and Wanda are better. xo

    • Teresa June 18, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

      Nellie will go to the vets tomorrow to be euthanized. Wanda will be here until her condition warrants euthanizing. It is degenerative in nature, and they will not get better.

  3. TheGirlandTheGoats June 18, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

    I am so sorry to hear about your girls… It must be a very helpless feeling. And this just gives me one more thing to be horrified about for when my kids are born. Thank you for the link about the disease, I read through it and found it very informative. I will keep it in the back of my mind in case I come across these symptoms again in the future.

    • Teresa June 18, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

      Unfortunately, this year has been quite the learning experience. 🙂 If it helps you to help someone, I guess it is worth it. That’s why I share the bad with the good.

  4. Claire Moxon June 18, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

    Oh no! That’s awful. I never heard of that illness. It’s probably in my goat health book but it wasn’t something I encountered. Mosquitoes are a scourge. I am so sorry about your losses, Teresa. That’s just heartbreaking, especially when there’s nothing you can do to even prevent future occurrence. Just so sad.

    • Teresa June 18, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

      The chances of this happening again are slim. My girls are bred in January. Mosquitoes are not usually around at that time. It’s just another thing with the warm winter we had.

  5. Alica June 18, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

    I’m sorry. This is heartbreaking…not much else to say. 😦

    • Teresa June 18, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

      Thanks. It has been a tough week. 🙂

  6. WolfSong June 18, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

    Damn. I’m sorry Teresa. I know that there’s nothing that could be done, and it comes from the unseasonal warmth of the winter, but still…at least them goat babies had a wonderful, caring Human to look after them before crossing.

    • Teresa June 18, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

      Thanks. I think the helplessness is the worst about it. If I do something wrong, at least I can change what I do and prevent it again. I haven’t figured out how to control the weather yet. 🙂

  7. Melodie June 18, 2012 at 6:47 pm #

    Oh Teresa, I am sorry.I know this was so hard but I am glad you shared. I have never heard of this either but because of reading your story it will forever be in the ” goat files” of my brain.

    • Teresa June 18, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

      It really isn’t very common. That’s why there has been no vaccination developed for it. I don’t want to scare everyone, but it is out there.

  8. Gail June 18, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

    Nellie & Wanda are so dang cute! I’d be following them around with a camera all day. 🙂

    • Teresa June 18, 2012 at 8:54 pm #

      They are beautiful! I wish I had time to carry the camera around following the kids all day. That would be my ideal summer! 🙂

  9. Pat June 18, 2012 at 11:07 pm #

    I’m so sorry Teresa. This is just heartbreaking.
    What a wonderfully sweet cat Leo is.

    • Teresa June 19, 2012 at 8:16 am #

      I’m pretty sure Leo was a wonderful momma kitty in a former life. 🙂

  10. tayet1353 June 18, 2012 at 11:51 pm #

    That is just too sad. That little girl was the cutest little thing. I’m so sorry you’re having a rough year with your goats =(

    • Teresa June 19, 2012 at 8:17 am #

      That is the nature of farming. I can link every bad thing this year to our non-existent winter. I’m just hoping for snow. 🙂

  11. LB June 19, 2012 at 4:37 am #

    So sorry 😦

  12. Pondside June 19, 2012 at 8:46 am #

    It’s got to be the hardest thing about having animals in your life. Mosquitoes are such pests and responsible for so much pain – everywhere in the world.

    • Teresa June 19, 2012 at 10:05 am #

      Yeah, I can’t find anything good to say about them.

  13. Anonymous June 19, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I can’t tell you how much I am crying right now.
    I want so badly to save *all* the wee goats……

    You are lovely….and so much braver than I will ever be……….


    • Teresa June 19, 2012 at 10:34 am #

      You would be able to do it if you had to. The loving is easy, and when they can’t truly be their sweet goatie selves, it is possible to help them cross. It’s not easy, but you could do it. 🙂 Sometimes, there are things worse than death.

  14. Candy C. June 19, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

    Dang Teresa, that just STINKS!! 😦 You are lucky to have such caring vets available to you. I’m so sorry about your sweet babies. Are Muffin and Pebbles okay? I read the report at the link but I couldn’t quite figure out if it is something that just affects the babies.

    • Teresa June 19, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

      I believe it is just the fetal development that is affected. I am too sleep deprived to really read a scientific article. 🙂 I have really put my vets through the paces this season. They truly deserve an award.

  15. Marilyn June 19, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

    I’m so sorry 😦

    • Teresa June 19, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

      Thanks. It seems like I am always finding something new that can happen with the goats.

  16. Stillmary June 19, 2012 at 11:30 pm #

    Such pretty pictures of your pretty little girls. I’m so sorry it was such a sad ending but I’m glad you were able to at least find out the cause. I always look forward to visiting your blog on You Capture days!

    • Teresa June 20, 2012 at 5:00 am #

      Thanks. I wish we could always have happy endings, but hopefully, the information can at least help someone else. It also gives me hope that I won’t have to deal with this again as there aren’t usually mosquitoes when my girls are expecting.

  17. Ozarks Goat Girl June 20, 2012 at 10:59 am #

    Teresa, will the does remain infected? As in, will the CVF affect only this year’s babies or might it affect future kids that these does have? Thanks for the sharing the information. You are so good to your goats. I am sorry for the loss of these babies.

    • Teresa June 20, 2012 at 11:38 am #

      My understanding is that it will only effect kids when she is infected during that pregnancy, and the effect is different depending on when she is infected. That said, I’m not a vet and I was sleep deprived when I was reading the article. 🙂

  18. Life with Kaishon June 20, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

    Oh, how very, very sad. I am so sorry your sweet little kids are infecting. I hope this will not happen to you again because I know it must be heartbroken. They are beautiful babies!

    • Teresa June 20, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

      Thank you. They are sweet kids. Hopefully, we’ll have a normal winter, and I shouldn’t have to worry about this again.

  19. kateri June 20, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    Wow, this was both very informative and so sad. You’ve really been put through the wringer this spring. The little sick kid looks so sweet in her pink shirt, though.

    • Teresa June 20, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

      I will not disagree about the difficult kidding season. I will be glad when it’s done, and I”m hoping for a nice cold stretch this winter. That will make things much better. 🙂

  20. Bee Girl (AKA Melissa) June 20, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

    Incredibly heartbreaking.

    • Teresa June 21, 2012 at 9:42 am #

      It really is hard to watch as they lose control of their bodies. Wanda will go to the vets today, and I hope no more have this problem.

  21. Marigold and the Goatmother June 22, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    I am so so very sorry. But I can see them bouncing around all together is some verdant pasture now. Big hugs to you.

    • Teresa June 22, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

      Thank you. That’s what I told Muffin. Her girls went to the ultimate forever farm. 🙂

  22. truth13J June 23, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

    Ah, so cute!

    • Teresa June 23, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

      They truly were cute and sweet little girls.


  1. Another Sad Ending « Razzamadazzle - August 16, 2012

    […] a beautiful kid due to a mosquito bite when her maa was pregnant.  Sometimes nature is cruel, and Cache Valley Fever is very cruel.  For less depressing stories, visit G-Man.  It’s Friday Flash 55 time again. […]

  2. Bottle Feeding Goats: 10 Important Points You Need to Consider - January 19, 2017

    […] via Eden Hills […]

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