Tag Archives: antibiotics


27 Nov

Antigone is improving.  She’s still on antibiotics, so the poor girl doesn’t want to let me get close to her.


It doesn’t help that I’m also picking the hay dried to her head off.  I was spraying it with a wound spray, but I’m not going to spray her when it’s this cold out.  Hopefully, the antibiotics will be enough to finish healing her up.

She is still in the Love Shack with Cupid.

Did you notice she has a mythology name–she even arrived with it.  That tells me it was fate that brought her back to my farm.


Cupid is still shy.  Of course, it doesn’t help that Antigone screams every time I catch her to give her a shot.

Both of these little girls can really put the food away.  I can’t believe how much they eat.

That might be why Cupid is getting so round.  Of course, we like our fluffy goats.

Scavenger Hunt Sunday Again

22 Feb

This week the items for Scavenger Hunt Sunday are:  makes me happy, hidden, one, dessert, and modern.

Makes Me Happy:  It makes me happy to see the goats going out to pasture sometimes this winter.  It helps them get rid of excess energy so they are less likely to kill me while I’m trying to do chores.

Goats in pasture

Hidden:  I’m also happy to know that hidden, not too far beneath the snow, is spring.  It’s just waiting to burst forth.  Maisie also has kids hidden in there waiting to burst forth in about a month.



One:  Helen is just one of my seventeen goats that is due to kid at the end of March.



Dessert:  Bambi seems to think the scrub cedar tree makes a yummy dessert.



Modern:  I’m grateful for modern medicine.  I currently have two animals on antibiotics.  Bob was beat up again. I’m so tired of cats that don’t belong here coming onto my farm and picking on my cats.

Bob Cat

Bob Cat

His eye is doing better.

Bud is also on antibiotics as of today.  One of the problems with doing the bladder marsupialization was the higher risk of infections.  I noticed that he was looking a bit puffy and wet.  Today when I checked him more closely (I had checked Thursday), it was obvious he has an infection.  He got a shot today and will get another on Tuesday.

wether goat prepubis

Hopefully that will take care of it.  He still acts good and is happy.  Hopefully, as he gets farther from the surgery and we get better weather, he’ll get his immune system built back up and we won’t have to deal with this.

The Sick Kids

7 Jul

I’ve mentioned time and again the sick kids this spring.  I was trying to wait for a definitive diagnosis from Iowa State before writing about it, but their conclusions from necropsy are inconclusive, and they disagree with my diagnosis.  I’m going to go with the assumption, however, that it was listeria, a bacterial infection.  It fits in every way, and I have successfully treated some.  That being said, here’s what we went through, the cause, and how to treat it.

The first clue that I didn’t know was a clue was Maisie aborting her twins.  Listeria causes late term abortions with no signs prior.  Luckily for the doe, once they abort, they seem to suffer no ill effects.  In retrospect, I should have sent the fetuses and placenta to be tested.  I’m not sure what I’d have done because I would have had no way to know who else might have picked up the bacteria.  Luckily, no other does aborted.



When we had our spring break babies, we had lots of weird things that made no sense at the time.  Goober was weak.  It took a week before he could stand on his own.  Special Ed and Sis were weak.  They could get their front legs to work, but not their back.  That’s backwards from what you usually see in kids.  Curly Eight was horribly weak.  I couldn’t get her to straighten her head.  I would move it foreward, and it would go right back to the same side.  I didn’t think she was going to survive, but she began to gain strength and eat, and she did well.

newborn goat triplets

Haley’s boys were big and strong.  One, however, seemed a bit odd.  He was always sleeping and didn’t seem to eat much.  I was trying to give him supplemental bottles, but he wouldn’t suck.  He’d just loll it around in his mouth and his tongue would be stuck out the side.  If I squeezed it down his throat he’d swallow.

Haley's big boys

Gaston I and Gaston II

When Haley’s boy, Gaston I, became weak and wobbly, I took him to the vet, and we tried vitamins, but that didn’t work.  Then, I noticed he was blind.  I treated him with thiamine.  Then I saw Blyssin was wobbly and she was blind by evening.  I treated them both for polio, but it didn’t help. It was horrible.  Blyssin would face plant.  She’d stand and then fall.  Gaston couldn’t stand, but his body would go rigid, legs straight out lying on his side.  I’d have to hold him to keep from hitting his head on the floor.  He lost his ability to nurse the bottle, and Blyssin had no suck reflex even.  She would choke if I tried letting food run down her mouth.  It was just a short time before they died.

goat kids with polio

Not long after that, I was watching kids in the pasture and noticed that Gaston II (Haley’s other buck) and Harley’s Monterrey Jack seemed just a bit off in the back end.  Same with Vixen’s two kids, but they weren’t as obvious.  It’s hard to describe because I questioned whether or not I was imagining it.  You can see in the photo below that Jack has his back foot bent while trying to stand on it.  As the illness progressed, that is something I noticed more frequently.  It’s like they couldn’t straighten the foot out (paralysis?).  I started them on the thiamine and vitamins immediately, but it didn’t seem to help.

goat kid listeria

Gretel was another one that would stay by herself quite a bit.  She had an odd gait and seemed a bit wobbly.  I treated her also, but she didn’t get better or worse.  She could no longer keep up nursing from her mom, so I brought her in the house.  She spent most of her time in a small corner without trying to get up or do much of anything.  The vet saw her and found that she had a pretty good fever.  We started all three kids on antibiotics, but it didn’t seem to help much..  She stayed largely the same, but as I did research, I realized it was probably listeria.  There are few things that will cause blindness.

Blaze's doeling

About that time, I had another vet from the practice came to check the llama.  Djali hadn’t been himself. His vitals were all normal, and the vet didn’t have any suggestions, but I could tell Djali was weak and sick.  He just seemed lethargic and didn’t want to eat.  Those are the first two signs of listeria.  I even mentioned it to the vet, and he agreed the symptoms fit, but it would be unusual for the young goats to have it, as it is usually an illness that effects adults.  I decided we should test Haley’s milk.  If it came back positive for listeria, it would be likely that’s what it was.  If it came back clean, it didn’t mean anything for a diagnosis on the kids, but at least I would know her milk was safe.  (It did come back clean.)

Before we could get it to the labs for testing, Gaston II and Monterrey Jack took a turn for the worse, and I decided to start treatment for listeria.

As I spoke with all three vets from the practice, they postulated other suggestions: polio or CAE.  Neither seemed likely to me.  They did humor me with telling me the treatments for listeria; although it seemed rather conservative compared to most things I read on the Internet.  I split the difference and treated them every twelve hours with 1cc/20 pounds of procaine penicillin.  It seemed to help.  Of the many things the vet asked about, one was an ear hanging oddly on one side.  Gretel clearly showed that symptom.

goat ear listeria

early in illness,                      odd hanging ear,                       after treatment

Another thing the vets all asked about was feed.  Usually listeria comes from moldy or soiled feed.  My hay was great quailty, but there were three things that caused problems.  First, we had an early winter, and the cattle lean-to part of the barn didn’t get cleaned out like I had planned.  It was dirty, but it wouldn’t have been a huge problem with just the goats.  However, MJ (the steer) didn’t go up north.   With him in the barn all winter, he kept adding to the mess and with his huge weight, it kept the muck and crap stirred up.  The final thing was our horribly cold weather.  MJ didn’t leave the barn.  I carried him buckets of water to drink, and I had to feed him in there in that yuck.  That means I had goats in there eating too.  Djali too.  He loved to push MJ out of his pile of hay.  I usually try not to feed in the barn, but I really couldn’t help it this past winter.  All the goats that had effected kids were the ones that ate over there with MJ.

MJ, Djali and goats

MJ, Djali and goats

Five days after the vet saw Djali, he became horribly shaky and weak in the back end.  I called the vet and insisted we start treating him for listeria, but before she could arrive with the large amount of penicillin it would take to treat him, he died.  She did see he had something going on with his back end.  I showed her Monterrey Jack and Gaston II with their involuntary running motions, clearly a neurological symptom.  You can see them a little bit in the video HERE before someone stole the show.



With the treatment for listeria, it took only a few days before Vixen’s kids were completely back to normal.  In the house, Gretel showed improvement.  Gaston and Monterrey Jack improved, so I backed off on the penicillin to once per day.  We had some cool rainy weather, and the boys got much worse, so I went back to the two doses, but they never did improve to where they were before.  In retrospect, I know they already had lesions on the brain, and no matter what, they would not have improved.  As they grew, it was harder and harder for them to get around, and I did have to have them euthanized.

Gaston II, Gretel (in front), Monterrey Jack, and Fez

Gaston II, Gretel (in front), Monterrey Jack, and Fez

About that time, Marley, Joani, and Moose started showing signs of weakness in the back end.  They are also the three that I had been trying to get foot scald treated, but the wet spring made it diffiult, and they were limping off and on.  That made it hard to notice when their back ends started getting wonky.  I noticed that Marley’s back foot turned under, like I saw in Monterrey Jack.  As soon as I saw this, I began giving them all three penicillin twice per day.  I have to thank my son and nephew because I’d have never been able to give Marley, a 200 pound wether, shots by myself.  After a couple of days, he started showing improvement as did the two yearlings.  I kept giving the shots until a full day after they had no symptoms.  They are all doing well, but I do notice occasionally, Marley and Joani have a bit of an odd step in their back end.  Gretel completely recovered her health, but she also always kept a bit of an odd gait. I’m sure she had lesions also that effected her walking.



I had hoped I was done with this illness after I got them over it, but when Helen’s kids were four days old, I noticed that one was a bit wobbly.  I thought it was because she had mastitis, but in the morning, they were so weak and wobbly they could barely stand.  When I tried giving them a bottle, it was just like Gaston I.  The tongues came out the side of the mouth and they just couldn’t nurse.  I started them on a more aggressive treatment of 1cc procaine penicillin 3 times per day.  After the second shot, Clark showed improvement and began nursing again.  By the next morning he was bouncing.  It’s taken Kent a bit longer, but he’s fully recovered now also.  You can check out the video HERE of them after three days of treatment.

Clark  Kent

Clark                                                                                                   Kent

The earlier treatment is started, the more likely it is that they will be able to completely recover.

Just the Facts:

Listeria are bacteria that are found pretty much everywhere.  They occur in the soil and the gut of animals and generally don’t bother anyone.  Occasionally, however, they make their way into an animal (oral-fecal route) and can cause horrible illness and death. Usually it occurs in the winter or spring when animals are inside and fed poor quality feed (moldy or dirty).  Some animals can be carriers without showing clinical signs.

In goats, it generally takes one of two forms.


In this form, the bacteria invade the brain and cause swelling.  There are a wide variety of symptoms depending on the location of the bacteria.  They can include:

  • depression
  • weakness
  • drooling
  • tilting
  • leaning
  • paralysis
  • circling
  • blindness
  • drooping ear
  • lying on one side
  • involuntary running movements


In this form, the bacteria invade the blood stream and cause abortion.  This usually happens in the last trimester.  The fetus(es) usually die in utero, but it possible for them to die shortly after birth.  Some are born weak and others are viable carriers.

It is a zoonotic illness, meaning it can be transferred from one species to another.  Yes, it can be transferred to humans.  It can cause abortion in pregnant women, and is also dangerous to the really young, old and immune system compromised.


Merck Veterinary Manual
National Institute of Health
Onion Creek Ranch
Alabama Cooperative Extension