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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I lost my 18 month old buck last night. I had just gotten home from an out of state funeral and the goat had been in the care of a 12 y.o. - who called me and told me she went out to do the chores and the goat had the following symptoms, but she had to leave for school in 20 minutes.

by the time I got home the symptoms were - lying on his side with his legs out straight, eyes rolled up (but head not turned) unresponsiveness, extreme thinness and very faint signs of breathing. It was 8 o'clock at night, and I had nothing left from the days I'd been through already, so I just said goodbye. He had been looking thin before I left, but I thought he was loosing weight because he was too busy chasing my doe and I just bought him some high end hay and told the 12 y.o. to feed him plenty.

so I don't know what the problem really was, and I'm going to worm everybody again (no one else is looking at all thin or weak) but I am leaning toward Listeriosis because he got loose a week or so ago and had access to corn, rabbit food, and old hay.

my concern is that my doe was in with him for breeding and I am still milking her.

Do I need to dump the milk? for how long? and can I feed it to chickens? I won't pasteurize it - it isn't worth the effort for the quart a day I'm getting right now.

and obviously I'll be watching the rest of my herd closely, but if you have any precautions to suggest - assume I'm too dumb to even know I should wash my hands and tell me what they are.
 

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Chances are you will only see one case of Listeria in your herd and he's it. Next year may be different, but right now, that's it.

If anyone else shows signs, Pen is a great thing against Listeria, in huge honkin' doses.
 

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the symptoms you describe seem nothing more to me than a goat in the last moments of life. it could have been a long list of things with listerioses being one of the more unlikely things. if he was getting thin before you left than there was probably something less acute going on for some time. I think if he had access to old hay he wouldn't eat it unless he was starving, goats are pretty picky. How much rabbit food and corn did he get? I would do a herd check, feel for condition, check the eylids, feet to get an idea of overall health of the herd. revisit your minerals and feeds and husbandry practices with a fresh eye. without more info any suggestions of steps to take as far as treatment or hygiene are nothing but speculation or generalizations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
He got a lot of rabbit food and corn - maybe ten pounds of corn and another 10-15 of rabbit food. he was in the wrong area of the barn all day and unable to reach any food other than the bags he chewed into and any hay he chose to eat from behind the storage area. He was down briefly after that but got back up and seemed fine. He never had scours.

The symptoms described by the twelve y.o. were lying on his side shivering, "mooing" and disinterest in eating. I have no way of knowing how long he may have been lying in his pen before she saw the symptoms as she was just making quick visits to fill food and water and obviously the doe was consuming those. I also do not know if he was eating before I left. I don't always watch to make sure they eat. He was walking and going outside.

had I been home I hope I would have seen a problem sooner. I certainly would have had the vet out yesterday, but calling the vet long distance to go to an empty farm didn't seem urgent - and then I got home and calling didn't seem useful. but I am less interested in diagnosing the buck - who is beyond help now - than I am in taking needed precautions for my family concerning the milk.

I did do a careful check of my remaining goats, and they look good (the mini crosses are a little on the fat side). I also fixed - before I left - the escape gap that let the buck into my feed storage.

but does anyone know anything about using milk or preventative measures relating to the doe if we assume it was listeriosis?
 

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I wouldn't assume listeriosis at all, even though he had access to some moldy hay. He also had helped himself to 10 #s or corn and at least that much rabbit food.

With nothing else to go on, I would suspect acidosis above anything else. No goat in their right mind would partake of even good hay when grain is accessible. I think you could safely assume the rest of your herd is fine and the milk still good.
 

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If the buckling bounced back after over eating grain a week ago, I doubt that caused his death in and of itself. You said you had just bought some high end hay and told the goat sitter to feed him alot of it. This is a feed change. Since your goat just got over his reaction to the grain, another feed change must have been too much for him. Goats develop bacteria in their rumen specific to whatever feed they need to digest. When you change feed, the healthy bacteria can die off and they can't properly digest what they are eating. While this could cause listeriosis, it's more likely what he died from is enterotoxemia. The "mooing" the sitter heard was likely the moaning goats do when their tummy is hurting from entero. Polio is another illness that can be caused by a feed change. I always keep C&D antitoxin and thiamin handy in case of an emergency.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Would the CD&T shot he had six months ago not have protected him?

I did think about the thiamin.

I guess my concern is that it could have been a lot of things, and I'll never know, but I want to take any reasonable precautions against the things it might have been.

My herd is clean and has been closed, so I am ruling out CL or CAE (symptoms don't fit anyway) Listeria being the only one I could think of that could affect people - I asked about the milk.

(I honestly didn't think about going from one local hay to richer bales of a similar also local mix as a feed change - so there's one dumb thing I did.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thank you, but we have been drinking the milk raw for 4 years. Honestly I think the primary cause of death was neglect due to grief. I am not proud of myself, but I have children as well as goats and I simply have not had enough energy to go around the last few weeks. Sometimes we just do the best we can.
 
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