Goat Health

375Nearly 2 weeks ago now I went out to do the evening chores and discovered that 2 of the 3 goats had swollen cheeks.  I then inspected their gums.  Puffy faces or necks and very pale gums mean one thing–a high worm load.  This is caused bottle jaw. I called the vet the next morning and got 3 doses of dewormer–1/2 given then and then 3 weeks later.  Puffy cheeks are gone and they get their last dose this Sunday. The mystery that neither the vet or I can solve is why their worm load would be so high after only 2 months on our farm.  The zoo from which they came said they were screened and treated monthly. 

This past Saturday I was out there taking pictures and noticed that Charlie was a bit stiff in his back legs and not moving as usual.  Charlie is the friendliest and will always run toward me.  He did do that, but it seemed like he could not get his motor started.  Paco agreed and so we started penicillin shots and Vit B injections 4x day.  He bounced back immediately so we knew he was suffering from Goat Polio and not Listeriosis.  Find out more about both these diseases here:


Goat Polio means he has been eating too much grain and not enough green stuff.  His rumen, the “stomach”  that breaks down a nd digests food, is not functioning properly and cannot produce B vitamins.  Untreated, it can cause severe neurological damage and death.  We caught it very early on and he will be fine.  Thankfully, we learned a lot from having goats before and are smarter now.  We discontinued penicillin after 2 days and have been tapering off the B shots.  I have given him probiotic paste every other day to get his rumen back in shape.

So, the lesson here is you need to read and know what the possible problems are so that you can catch things early and they can be treated.  AND, if you need to inject a goat–put the grain down and then do it.  The goat may not even notice.