Friday, August 05, 2005

It's day three of Bolly and Lufu's internment on the back porch "goat hospital". They are separated from but in visual contact with AlphaBetty goat who continues to hack like a three pack a day smoker. I'm breaking down and starting her on a course of pen-G today. Penicillin is always scary because you have to have that epinephrin right there for anaphylactic shock. You only have moments to administer it.

Bolly and Lufu were scouring down in the pasture three mornings ago. Scouring is the livestock term for diarrhea. It's never a good thing in goats. I actually had to drag Lufu up to the house, he was so sick. Bolly was better...not in that hang- eared, degected state that Lufu was in. This had happened overnight. On the plus side, no one was hollering and they were still interested in eating.

I did the no-brainer stuff first. Got them cleaned up (they get the poop all over themselves), comfortable and hydrated with electrolytes. Then administered a big dose of Pepto-Bismol.

I went out to visit everyone else to make sure that no one else was spewing green efluvia. They were fine, but I found something alarming in the water bucket. My pastured goats have access to a spring fed pond, but they prefer that I keep a hose fed bucket near the house. So I do. It gets filled and changed daily. There was a dead rat in it.

I freaked. Goats are incredibly fastidious about feed and water sources. They won't touch fouled water. But Bolly and Lufu are at the age where they aren't the brightest bulbs in the pack and the possibility was there that they ingested rat infused water. So I went back and wiped out any surviving good gut bacteria with an oral antibiotic. Treated them all day with that then started them on Probios and yoghurt innoculated goat milk to repopulate the gut.

Day change. They are no better and no worse. I started them on 35 cc's of C & D anti-toxin sub-Q, in case there was any entero. I continue to feed them goat milk. Lufu got bad enough to warrant a shot of banamine, a prescription pain reliever and muscle relaxant. But they are still eating like fools so this is good.

The scours are green and watery. They aren't really terribly smelly such as you would expect in Cocci. So the other condition that causes this is plant poisoning. I've been spending a huge amount of time examining goat poop over the past few days. Provided I can get to it before the dogs do. Dogs love goat poop, it being both perfume and snack in one go. Healthy goat poop looks like rabbit poop. Little pellets. Green, liquid poop is indicative of three things: a) coccidiosis; b) gorging on too much fresh pasture; or c) plant poisoning. The gorging would have resolved by now but cocci and plant poisoning are high on my list of possibilities. I'm hoping it's not cocci. It doesn't smell like cocci.

This morning I began treating them for cocci and worm infestation. They got Vit. B complex shots. I took them off of free choice hay, which they were consuming rather rapidly. They'll just have the innoculated milk and electrolytes until this resolves. I was really excited that Lufu had a poop that showed a bit of definition to it. I'm hoping that Bolly will follow suit soon. I'm really hoping that the nutty boys just ate too much poke weed.

I'm calling my goat mentor now that I've tried everything she would have told me to do. Finding qualified caprine vets is a tricky sort of we all find experienced goat people who help us out. Betsy has been my mentor since I started keeping goats. Her herd is where my Saanans come from.

Keeping goats is hard. Don't ever think it's not. They can't just eat any old thing. So...I'm chained to the house and goat nanny until this clears up. I'll post pics of them when they are feeling better...they asked not to be photographed looking all sick and pathetic.


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