Tag Archives: anemia

Pluto and Moose

15 Sep

I keep telling myself that getting the copper in the goats will make things easier.  I’m still waiting.

You might recall, I had to wean Pluto and Anubis really young because of Dolly’s severe anemia from the lack of copper and raising kids.

Pluto and Anubis

She is still struggling with anemia, but she’s holding her own.  Of course, she still comes in when I milk in the evening and gets sweet feed.


It wasn’t long until I saw signs of copper deficiency in Pluto, but I gave him a scant gram of copper and he did start to perk up.


Then we had our week of nonstop rain, and both boys and Antigone ended up with the diarrhea.

Antigone, Anubis, Pluto and Harley

They were also given copper.  All three were wormed for roundworms and coccidia because goats who are low on copper are more likely to have parasites.  And they continued with the diarrhea despite my best efforts.


After a couple rounds of Pepto Bismol (thank heavens they love that sweet cotton candy taste) and probiotics, Anubis really has improved and is doing well.  He’s growing stronger again.


I moved Antigone and Pluto to the Love Shack so I could monitor them more closely.  Antigone finally started eating again, and she’s chewing her cud, but I just can’t get the diarrhea to stop.

Yummy Pepto!

Then there’s Pluto.  The big difference is that he would never touch the sweet feed or loose minerals.  He just spiraled into nearly dead.  He had every treatment the other two did, plus vitamin B.  He still got worse.  He was completely pot-bellied and wasn’t eating.  He grew paler, and everything just kept getting worse. (This is only over about a week that he went from a bit of diarrhea to near death.)  Finally, when his rumen completely shut down, I talked with my vet and in a last ditch effort to save him, I gave him a bottle even though we knew it would make the diarrhea worse again.

Taken three days before his worst

After a couple days of bottles, he seemed a bit better.  I finally took him to the Iowa State University Lloyd Veterinary Hospital for a blood transfusion.  Pluto made it through the transfusion, but they decided to keep him through the weekend to try and get his digestive system back on track.  I’m pretty sure if I had taken him earlier, he wouldn’t have even made it through the transfusion.

Pluto in the hospital this morning

Moose got to go to the hospital too.  I’m guessing Moose doesn’t remember when he was last at the hospital to get a transfusion of blood from his dad, Fionn.  Five years later, I know now that it was copper deficiency that caused that one too (he even had a clean fecal at the hospital).  Anyhow, we loaded all 207.2 pounds of him onto the truck and went to ISU.


Moose’s red blood cell count was excellent!  The copper he had in May is doing its job.  It’s easier to meet those needs when they are not babies, old, pregnant, or nursing.  He got to come home the next morning.  I went to get him, but forgot about the Iowa State football game.  The ISU vet hospital is right by the stadium.  I had a long line to get off the highway.

Then I still had to go the two miles to the hospital.  It took forever!  Luckily, some gentleman took pity on me and let me change lanes to get on the right side so I wouldn’t miss my turn.

Then I could see my turn.  Still. It took forever.  They were actually waving traffic past the entrance to the hospital because those lots were full.  They did step aside for me.  Something about the big cage in the back of the truck probably let them know I wasn’t a tailgater.

We got lots of smiles when Moose was standing up watching the crowds walk past when we left.

The vets at Iowa State did tell me that it’s a horrible year for parasites.  Pluto made their 7th transfusion this week.  After his fecal results, I also changed Antigone’s treatment to match his.  Hopefully, that will get her past all this mess too.  Then we are one step closer to this getting easier again.  I hope.


Today, Moose and the CyVets are my heroes.


Weaning and Leaving

10 Aug

Dolly is not the only girl who is struggling with anemia. A lot of my older girls that had babies in June are struggling.

Dolly (Yes, she busted out again, and I don’t even know how this time.)

I had to wean some more kids.  They are doing well.

Jimmy P (He’s fine. I don’t know why he’s lying like that.)

Freya (on top of the Quonset hut)

Cookie got shut in because her eyes were pure white.  I really wanted to put her in the Love Shack with Dolly so they could share and have an outdoor space, but Dolly wasn’t playing nice.  They drive me crazy with their crankiness.

Cookie who got let back out because the greenhouse is too dark for long-term shut in.

Haley and Victoria were pale, but not white, so they got to stay with the herd.


That means Osiris and Pandora are the only two June kids left with their moms in the herd.


I do have a couple of Harley’s kids that are looking a little pale, so I think I’m just going to sell all the June babies as soon as I can.  Then I’ll see if I can add Zinnia and Sidney (maybe) to my girls getting milked.


Of course, I’m keeping Pluto (and maybe Anubis) around to help  make the perfect kid.


I’m also leaving Antigone up there for now.


Then I think I’ll add Athena up north to keep Antigone company because she and I are having battles over who gets Cinnamon’s milk.


She usually wins that battle.  It will be a relief not to have the kids to worry about.  Then I can just focus on the moms.

White = 5

31 Jul

The one thing left from the copper deficiency that I see in the herd that is still concerning is the anemia.  If you’ve ever heard of the famacha chart, it is a way of looking at the membranes of a goat’s eyes and assigning a number based on color.  Bright red, normal eye membranes are given a one.  As they lose color, they go all the way to the number five, which is white.


I’ve never given a lot of stock to the famacha chart as a way of determining parasite load.

normal and anemic

Part of that is experience.  Millie was sick one time, and the vet came and checked her eyes, but they looked fine.  There was no recommendation to do a fecal or worm her.  The next day, she exploded in diarrhea and I took a fecal sample over, which showed she had lots of worms.

Millie Ann Saanen

Another time, Millie was horribly anemic.  They did a fecal that came back clean–not just a few, but completely clean.  They checked her blood, and no illness was found other than anemia.  I did manage to get her to recover, but I never knew why she had the condition.  Now I know.

Copper deficiency causes anemia.  On April 30th, the vet saw Vixen because her eye membranes were white.  I she was weak.  I had no idea what to do with her because she’d been wormed and I had nothing else I could do.  The vet recommended we wait for a bit.  It wasn’t long after that we discovered the copper issues and gave the bolus to her (and everyone else).  A couple of weeks later, I could see the faintest hint of pink in her eyes.  Now she’s still pale, but it’s better.


Several of my older goats are still pale but improving.  Then there’s Dolly.

Dolly Ann Street

She is also pure white despite having had the copper bolus because she is my oldest girl who had kids and raised twins.  That causes a lot of stress on the body.  That’s also why I weaned her boys.

Pluto and Anubis

They are doing fine.  They have green stuff and lots of friends to play with.

Harley, Antigone (behind), Enkidu, Gilgamesh, Horus, Eve, Pluto, and Anubis (back)

Now I’m hoping Dolly will just quit making milk.  Can you see all that milk in there?  She was using the copper to take care of her babies.  I did milk her once and got a quart, so she was making a half a gallon a day.  Then I remembered I was already giving her extra feed, so milking her didn’t help her gain anything.  It kills me not to be milking her, but it’s what she needs.

Now she needs to focus on herself.

She’s very much in critical condition, but I’m hoping weaning the boys and shutting her in with a diet that his much higher in copper will help her.

If she’s still here but not getting even a hint of pink in a couple of weeks, I’ll add part of another bolus to see if that helps.