On October 1st when I went to return Minnie to her herd mates she was down and couldn’t get up. Damn! This little lady is 11 years and never been sick a day in her life. She gave us our first baby out here so without question she’s my rock.
I had put her in a smaller stall to be with her friend who wasn’t doing well. Sadly Louise died most probably from an overload of parasites. This has been my
curse out here. So much so that we bought a microscope and text books on parasitology.
Over time, I’ve learned which parasites mostly strike our goats and horses and do a fecal count frequently. ENOUGH ALREADY! I’ve had it with parasites!
Although I didn’t test Louise or Barbara for parasites, the membranes on their eyes were sheet white so I went with a parasite overload. These two ladies are a bit older than Minnie so I figured their immune system had been compromised. Besides they collapsed and died fast so I didn’t have time to turn them around. Immediate death usually comes from coccidia.
But Minnie was eating well (Thank you, Lord) … she just couldn’t get up. The first fecal count was off the scale on coccidia and strongyles.
(I think. Not being a doctor I always assume I’m sort of wrong but I would rather make an informed decision incorrectly then an uninformed decision at all. I figure I’m closer to being right and the odds of being correct are higher than a wild ass guess. Bear in mind that I’ve been breeding goats since 2003 so I’ve experienced many of the same behaviors many times.)
With that said, I proceeded to medicate Minnie with my best deworming techniques and monitored her fecal count several times that first day. It was a scary time. But thank God she kept eating well. As long as she’s eating, there’s hope.
I called my vet and told him what I’d been doing and asked for his advice. He’s wonderful and suggested a steroid. It helped; I could tell Minnie felt better but she still didn’t get up.
Then my husband and son build a pulley system so I could lift Minnie on my own. I wanted to get her up on her feet so she would regain strength in her legs. The first day she just hung there without putting any weight on her legs. I only kept her up for about 15 minutes. The second day she hung for about 20 minutes, still no weight on her legs. In addition to letting her hang in her sling, I also massage her legs briskly.
The third day she was in her sling for about 30 minutes because she put weight on her front legs – the therapy seems to be working. Or at least we’re making progress.
The fourth day I left her up for an hour because she was putting weight on all four legs. HA when she’d had enough, she walked off the sawhorse and laid down. Husband Bob and I moved her to her bed area so she could rest.
The fifth day we did not put her in her sling but did clean her area, which we do several times a day.
The sixth day son Don and I moved her into the sun and on grass. She nibbled on surrounding grass and tried to walk around. She wants to walk but just isn’t strong enough.
That brings us to today.
Her fecal count has improved tremendously although she still has too many. These little buggers are being resistant but I’m not giving up on getting rid of them.
Yesterday I bought some diatomaceous earth and will be implementing that. I’ve asked our vet to come out and make sure I’m on the right track just to make sure she has something besides parasites.