Cookie-goat started staggering on his back legs late last week, and was having balance problems as well. I wasn't sure if it was spinal injury from having his tail pulled too much, or a foot injury, or what. I checked the bottoms of his feet, and his toenails were reasonably clean, without anything pokey or stinky (infection) in them. So basically, I decided to wait and see if he would walk it off at all. On Sunday, a couple of goat-friends said "meningeal worm!" and freaked me out completely. I called the vet first thing this morning, and was fortunate to get a regular appointment rather than an emergency call.
Yesterday, when I went to move Cookie to his own field, he was limping on his front right foot, too. ARGH! I convinced him to walk over to the dog yard and left him the llamas for company. This morning, when I went out to feed everyone, it took Cookie almost five minutes to decide to stand up. (He only stood up because I didn't immediately run over to feed him where he was lying down in magesty.) Obviously something
was definitely a problem.
The vet visited this morning
while I was not there, and brought an assistant. Despite Cookie being completely lame and "staggering" (the vet's words), it took both of them to trap Cookie between the mastiff mansion and the fence.
The vet's final diagnosis was a 1% chance of meningeal worm, and a 99% chance of a between-the-toes fungal infection. In short, my goat has a three-leg-limping case of athlete's foot
The vet made great friends with Cookie (not!) by scrubbing between the goat's toes with a betadine solution, and shot him up with antibiotics. The vet also did treat for meningeal worm just in case he was wrong about the toe rot being the only problem.
Cookie should be completely back in fighting shape by Wednesday night. Otherwise, I'm supposed to call the vet back on Thursday morning for another round of exams and discussion. I'm really glad that I'm not paying for an emergency call for this, and I'm also glad to get it cleared up for him since it was bothering him so badly. And now I know to look up between his toes for fungus, not just for splinters.