Tag Archives: worms

One of Those Days

13 Jan

Yesterday started out really, really cold and blustery.  Sky didn’t want to go out when I was getting ready to leave for work, so I decided to text my nephew and see if he could put him out later in the day.  When my mom answered (still don’t know how I did that but glad it was my mom and not some random contact) that she could do it, I should have been suspicious as to how the rest of the day was going to go.

Sky

I got a text from her on my lunch break saying that she’d let Sky out, but she wanted to warn me that he “played” with a plant.  I do assume he had some feline taunting him from behind the plant.

The cats really do get him in trouble when he’s bored and hanging out in the house.  You’d be amazed at how much of my floors he can cover with the dirt from one small spider plant.

I tried vacuuming it up as soon as I got home because I didn’t want it trampled down.  I got a lot of it, but my vacuum overheated.  Seriously.  This is the new vacuum I got just before Christmas because the new vacuum I’d gotten not long before could not stand up to all the love fibers Sky emits. This morning, after tearing it apart and spending an hour on unplugging it, I finally got it to work again, but I really hate vacuuming since they went to those stupid bagless vacuums.  I don’t know what to do.  I now have three vacuums and none of them can deal with the heavy duty job I require of my vacuum.

As I was vacuuming before it plugged up, I did notice Sky had also eaten the box the vacuum came in that I’d put under the bench because the cats like to get in it and sleep.  It might have also given them a place to go to get away from Sky.

Rocky, Snickers in the box, and Noelle

I quit thinking about the carpets and vacuums and boxes and rushed to get chores done before dark (luckily I get to leave work a half an hour early on Fridays).  I had decided a couple of days ago that Stormy’s not feeling well was due to worms.  I hate parasites, and we don’t usually see them this time of year, but she’s very anemic.  I put her in the garage with Vixen and Aurora because of the new crazy weather swing into the deep freeze again.

Stormy

She’s been wormed, but she wasn’t eating well, so I decided to give her a shot of vitamin B to stimulate her appetite.  I did that without too much problem, but I got some on my hands, so I went in the milk room to wash them.

No water.  My milk room is an insulated room inside an insulated garage.  It has a heater, and it’s at 65* in there.  The water line comes up through the floor (sadly two feet into the room) and the water line is never outside the heated room.  Tell me how it could be frozen.  To make it more crazy, the water in the milk room was fine, both the hot and cold water were still running in there.  The lack of water meant putting off the making the ten batches of soap I really needed to get started on today.  My dad did come out this morning, and when I went out to go to the soap room, I heard Snickers.  He was on the roof, so I had to go back in and run upstairs to let him in the window so he didn’t jump off the roof and break a foot again.

Anyhow, we finally figured out that the faucet was plugged right where the water comes out.  I got that cleaned, and it’s all good again.  I guess I’ll have to make sure I at least wash my hands in there every day or two so it doesn’t have gunk settle in it.

And I discovered there’s a mouse in my garage.  Sigh…

In good news, Snickers found a new box to sleep in.

And Sky can’t get to him there (well, he could…).  Now my motivation to do anything is gone, and I’m kind of agreeing with Snickers that a nap would be a good idea.

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Obsession

3 Aug

I think most people that have goats would tell you that they never knew when they got their first goat that they’d become obsessed with poop.  I tell you, though, there’s nothing like seeing perfect goat berries falling from your goat’s back side like a Pez dispenser.

with apologies to Joani for such an unflattering picture

It’s a good sign of a healthy goat.

front to back: LilyAnn, Sidney, and Dolly

This time of year is when the pasture is getting eaten down and the goats might start picking up worms.

Colt and Astra

You hate to see runny poops.  I kid you not, I followed Caroline around with a glove on to try and get a sample a couple of days ago, but she was not about to give it up.  She did enjoy pushing against my leg and bouncing.  I checked her eye membranes, and they are bright red, so I’m not too worried.  I might have to just keep a glove in my pocket for the opportune moment.

Caroline

I had to pull Clover away from her kids and shut her in after worming her because she had bottle jaw (even worse than diarrhea).

Clover

She’s been wormed, and I’m giving her sweet feed twice a day and all the good alfalfa hay she can eat.

Clover and jealous cows

I’m optimistic that she’ll fully recover.  In the meantime, I will continue to be obsessed with everyone’s poops (and their jaws and eye color).

I hope you’ll come back to join me for Friday’s Hunt.  I have this week’s items listed at the top of my side bar.

Anemia in Goats: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

22 Jul

It’s that time of year when about every other search engine term bringing someone to my blog includes “goat” and “anemia.”  I guess that means it’s time to talk about it again.  I know I’ve talked about it before, but not an all-in-one post.  It does seem like goats are very susceptible to anemia, the lack of red blood cells in the body.  It can be fatal if not treated.

Causes:

Blood Loss.  If there is a large blood loss due to an injury, that causes anemia.  The more likely cause of anemia due to blood loss is parasites.  This can be ticks, fleas, lice, or internal parasites (worms).  The haemonchus (barber pole or round) worm is probably the leading cause of anemia in goats.

Diet.  If a goat does not have a proper diet, it can become anemic.  Some areas do not have enough iron or copper naturally in the soil to provide it in the browse the goat is eating.  It’s best to check with a local vet to see if there is enough iron/copper in your area.  Also, just not enough food or poor quality food can cause anemia.  Right now, this is part of my problem because of the drought conditions we are facing.  The browse in the pasture just isn’t as good a quality as usual.  In addition, they want to eat the really short green stuff because it’s the only green stuff in there.  When it’s that short, they are more likely to pick up parasites.

Kids.  Let’s face it.  Those kids are little parasites.  When a doe is pregnant and nursing, she’s going to give her kids what they need.  It’s easy for them to become anemic when they have kids on them.

Kizzy’s triplets

Symptoms:

Coloring.  If you look at a goat, it can be hard to tell if they are anemic.  They might look fat and healthy, but checking the inside of the eyelid might reveal another story.  The paler the lid, the more anemic the goat.  Sorry for the picture quality, but this isn’t easy to photograph on your own.

normal and anemic

If you have a light goat with pink tender parts, that can also be an indicator of anemia, but this isn’t as reliable as the eyelid or gums.

Bottle Jaw.  If the anemia is severe enough it can result in edema (swelling) that is commonly called bottle jaw.  Immediate treatment is required if the goat has become this anemic.

bottle jaw

Behavior.  As they become more anemic, they will be tired.  They will get a dull look in their eyes and just act sick.  It might be like a zombie just going through the motions without any zest for living.

Condition. This will lead to eating less and losing weight and poor coat quality.  Finally, if a goat is anemic, parasites can be a symptom.  If a goat is sick, they are more susceptible to picking up parasites.  It’s important to do a fecal because they might also pick up other types of parasites, such as coccidia.  It requires a different treatment for this type of parasite.

Treatment:

Wormer.  I always look to parasites first.  Pour them for external parasites and do the fecal for internal parasites.  Always do the check for internal parasites because even if you have a good worming regimen (and all goat owners should), it is possible that the parasites have become resistant to that particular wormer.

Remember that the chemicals only kill the internal parasites at one particular stage of development and they are likely to be just as bad in ten days to two weeks.  It will require retreating them possibly quite frequently.  Some vets will recommend treating twice with one wormer and then switching to a different class of wormer.

Weaning.  Once you get rid of parasites, look at those other areas.  If they have kids, can they be weaned?  Chances are the kids are not getting much from a goat that is anemic and spending time trying to nurse doesn’t help them or their maa.  Wean them, get them on goat feed, give them a bottle, provide them with hay.  It’s not going to help anyone leaving them together.

Diet.  Because they are weak and don’t feel well, they probably aren’t going to eat well.  If they don’t have much of an appetite, your vet can provide you with some B vitamins to stimulate their appetite.  I always recommend probiotics when a goat doesn’t feel well.  It can’t hurt them, and it will help them use whatever food you can get them to eat.

You want them to eat as much high quality food as possible, but you don’t want to make drastic changes to their diet all at once.  That will cause other problems.  You can add a small amount of a new food (like grain) and increase the amount of food they get gradually.  I’ve even added a cup of goat milk replacer to the diet of my big goats when they are run down.  Again, you have to add it gradually, and it shouldn’t replace hay or grass.  Nettles are a great multi-vitamin to help them build up strength.

You don’t want them out wandering in pasture using up whatever they eat.  Confine them to a fairly small space and bring the food to them.  It’s a perfect time to cut the scrub mulberry bushes out of the ditch or the little oak and maple trees from the fencerow.  I will cut grass from the ditch for them.

I would caution against just providing iron supplements.  I know my son was anemic, and I had to give him an iron supplement when he was a baby, but iron is just a tiny piece of the puzzle.  You can actually give them too much iron and that will become toxic.  The same is true of copper.  You need for them to build red blood cells, not just increase the iron levels in their system.  It takes (I hope I remember correctly) twenty-one days to really make a huge impact on the number of red blood cells through normal means~diet.  There are other supplements that say they help with anemia, but the body has to produce the red blood cells, and that takes time.

Blood Transfusion.  If you have a goat that is severely anemic, about the only real chance you have to boost the pac-cell count is a blood transfusion.  It is a quick boost to the red blood cells to helps support the body to heal and make more red blood cells itself.  Many vets don’t have the facilities to do this, and you might have to take them to a larger facility or teaching hospital.

Prevention is the best way to deal with anemia.  That isn’t always possible, but when it does happen early detection and treatment gives them a good chance for survival.

Linking to Homestead Barn Hop.