Mystery Goat Illness: Follow up on Totes

I wanted to give a quick update on our doeling goat Totes. The previous farm news article talks all about her symptoms and lists a ton of information about several potential causes for them. See that article here. We ended up treating her for several possible diagnoses due to the severity of her symptoms, the significant overlap of those symptoms, and how quickly it came on. We feared she wouldn't make it through the night when we first discovered she was ill. We treated her with an antibiotic to treat for possible listeriosis, vitamin B1/thiamine injections to treat her for goat polio/PEM which is caused by thiamine deficiency, and 5x the dose of fenbendazole to treat for possible meningeal worms. We treated for the thiamine deficiency for 7 days and the meningeal worms for 5 days as recommended.

During her treatment course we noticed that she had nystagmus (a rapid and rhythmic eye movement). It is a common symptom seen in goat polio/PEM. She also improved significantly after her first dose of the thiamine/vitamin B1, which is another indication that her likely diagnosis was the goat polio/PEM/thiamine deficiency. Thiamine plays a critical role in the metabolism of carbohydrates into glucose and if the brain is without glucose it can't function properly. It also plays a part in the conduction of nerve signals and muscle contraction. This helps explain her symptoms.

She still holds her head to the side a little and her gait is just a little off, but otherwise she seems to be doing very well. We will continue to add brewer's yeast to her feed in the evening to help boost her thiamine for awhile. We are so grateful for all the resources we found online to help us diagnose and treat her successfully. We hope this article and all of our other articles will also be helpful for you!

Disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian and strongly advise you discuss any potential diagnoses and treatment options with your veterinarian first. This article is for informational purposes only. Riebel Farms LLC and its authors will not be held liable for any use of the information provided.

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