Dead goat - a cautionary tale

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Mr. Dot, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. Mr. Dot

    Mr. Dot Well-Known Member

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    Well durn.
    Lost my first goat yesterday. He was a five yo wether Nigerian dwarf that had developed a wheeze lately and a dry cough. I had been watching the symptoms and monitoring his temp (never a fever - a little low if anything at 100.5 on average). No nasal discharge, had his appetite, active as usual, possibly a slight loss of weight and maybe just bit "off" in overall look (coat looking a little rough? a little less "bright" in general demeanor?). I figured him for lungworms and dewormed with Valbazan last Saturday.
    Hadn't seen improvement in the wheeze or cough and decided to contact Goat 911 for advice. While waiting for a response I got restless and called the vet. After describing the symptoms he thought we were probably talking lungworms too and suggested another wormer (Cydectin). I decided to ride into town to pick some up and almost as an afterthought decided to bring in the wether and we set a time. At this point I felt it was probably unnecessary to have the vet inspect him but possibly worth the expense in peace of mind.
    After the 40 mile trip in I opened his crate to find a completely changed goat. Wild-eyed, gasping for breath, spittle on his lips. A real shocker. The vet gave him corticosteroid, baytril, banamine and suggested I leave him there for a few days so he could watch him. I kept expecting the little feller to calm down as I had never seen these symptoms or anything remotely similar. I thought he was having some sort of goat panic attack and wanted to get him back home to his buddies. The vet agreed that it might be less stressful in familiar surroundings but said he didn't like the look of things and thought it best if he stayed. Nevertheless, I picked up some meds and started back home with him. Got about two miles down the road and he keeled over dead. Just like that.
    I turned around and went back to the vet and he did a quick necropsy. All his organs appeared normal and healthy until we got to the lungs. There wasn't a lot left of them. At first he thought he was looking at massive cancerous growth then as he proceeded it looked as though the lungs were full of what he thinks is CL. Or at least he couldn't imagine what else it might be. Kind of an orange cottage cheese. He sent a sample off to a lab and I should have word back in a week or so.
    There has never been any sign of external CL around here whatsoever. No lumps or bumps, etc. I'm trying to do some quick reading on CL to see what that means to the rest of my bunch if the test comes back positive.
    Well that's my story. Poor little guy. Thought I had a fairly routine situation on my hands that morning. I can't help but wonder how much longer he might of plugged along without our trip to town. If it is CL he had, finding it so I can start dealing with it is invaluable though. If he had died here I doubt there would have been a thought of necropsy.
    Moral of the story is, I suppose, sometimes a cough is just a cough and sometimes it ain't.
     
  2. GoldenWood Farm

    GoldenWood Farm Legally blonde! Supporter

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    No offense but if my goat had a temp that low I would be MIGHTY worried. They only start dropping temp when they are really sick because their systems start shutting down. 100.5 is VERY low for my taste. What you want is 102.5 on average.

    I am so sorry about your goat. Is it possible he had phnemonia? It might have been CL....you can get CL on the inside and when it bursts it can kill an animal if its on the wrong organ.

    Again I am so sorry :waa: .

    MotherClucker
     

  3. farminghandyman

    farminghandyman Well-Known Member Supporter

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  4. GoldenWood Farm

    GoldenWood Farm Legally blonde! Supporter

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  5. Mr. Dot

    Mr. Dot Well-Known Member

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    At what temperature should a low reading generate concern? I'm looking at one book here that lists 101~102 as normal, another shows 101.5~104 as within normal range, Merck shows 102.3 plus or minus 1 degree and I just read online that temps can start out low in the day and creep up. 100.5 was low but not so low that it triggered alarm bells. Should it have and what does it generally indicate? I have a basic idea of what I can do for a goat with fever but don't find info regarding low temps.
     
  6. GoldenWood Farm

    GoldenWood Farm Legally blonde! Supporter

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    With any goat that has a low temp you try to get the temp up. My general rule of thumb is that I like the temp to be 102.5. Sometimes it is 102 or sometimes its 103 but thats not a huge differance to me.

    When a goats temp starts going down they in a sense are dying as their body is cooling off and they will eventualy go into a coma type state then die if left alone and untreated.

    When ever I find a goat with a low temp like that I would first check to see how they are acting...like how they are eating, drinking, are they lethargic, dull eyed, that sort of thing. Then I get something on their body to get them warm.

    After that is all done I try to figure out what could be wrong with them and go from there.

    MotherClucker
     
  7. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    Wow. What a horrible day you had!

    Honestly, I don't think I would have done anything differently than you did, Mr. Dot. Sometimes you're best just isn't enough...

    It doesn't sound like anything you could have done would have made much difference, though. An abcess bursting inside the lungs would be pretty devastating for any animal.
     
  8. susanne

    susanne Nubian dairy goat breeder

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    that is a very sad story. i can't think of anything you could have done different. lets hope all your other animals and you are okay.
    i think the worst thing that can happen is CL inside where nobody can see it.
    CL in the lung is transmitted through coughing to other animals. what a good idea from you vet to make a necropsy.
    susanne
     
  9. Mr. Dot

    Mr. Dot Well-Known Member

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    Howdy
    Just got word from the vet:
    Boy. I've been sweating bullets as I've been reading up on CL this past week.
    Thanks for the kind words and advice.

    -out