a preponderance of punctuation marks (reedrover) wrote,
a preponderance of punctuation marks

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Loki goat is still sick (and I'm very worried)

Loki has very high parasite counts, but oddly low anemia and protein deficiency scores. In summary, he is suffering an unsustainable load, but his body is compensating (more or less) to the point that he has nearly regular energy and activity. Also, his bottle jaw has diminished only slightly. More details about Loki-goat and the issue are behind the cut.

In short, Loki is really sick, and is not getting better with all the deworming we've done. We still have a chance to reverse his problems, but it is a small one. No matter what we do, we will have a very fragile goat on our hands for the rest of his life.

I spoke with [the vet] just now. The vet is honestly surprised that Loki is still up and at 'em with how sick he is. If we can't get a grip on Loki's parasite counts, we are going to lose Loki sometime in the next few weeks. However, we probably have the time to make another effort. He is either metabolizing the dewormers so fast that they are ineffective, or he has absolutely no natural defenses left against the parasites.

The medical facts on Loki's case:

(bad) The McMaster floatation came back with really high counts -- over 3,000 worms and 3,500 coccidia per gram. Either of these is normally fatal; references in the last paragraph.

(good) The blood work came back without a copper deficiency and showed a blood iron count of 22, which is only mildly anemic. Loki does have a low protein count (causing the bottle jaw) and a slightly elevated white blood cell count (caused by the bottle jaw).

The treatment:

coccidia --
Please mix 3 ounces of Corid with 16 ounces of water. From that, draw 15cc per day to dose Loki orally.

worms --
I have been advised by [the vet] to try as a last deworming hope either a cattle dewomer that is not labeled for anything else (Cydectin) or an ancient dewormer that isn't used much anymore these days (Ambazole). I will call the co-op about the availability of Lebasol (Ambazole). I will pick up either one or the other at the co-op.

Other things to do:

We need to get Loki off that pasture. He needs to be on dirt being fed clean hay and grain. My first thought on that is to fence off part of that back pasture that has been torn up (and is now just dirt) for just Loki. The problem then becomes shelter for him -- purchasing another dogloo is an option.

In order to find out if this is a *Loki* problem or a *pasture* problem, I will need to pull a fecal sample from both Curley and Sancho and take them to Warrenton lab on Monday morning. The lab opens at 7:30 AM, and no, it is not open on weekends. Because I want a McMaster float on both samples (physical count rather than just a qualitative look-see), it will take a few days to get results. They send the samples to VA Tech for analysis. (Hrm. Now that I think about it, I should probably get a fecal from Jared as well...)

More information for me to keep for later:
Eggs per gram counts of 500-1000 are considered moderate to heavy parasite burdens for small rumanants. Reference: http://www.uwex.edu/ces/animalscience/sheep/wisline_03/parasite_control.pdf. In vague contradiction to the previous statement -- one can allow a gradual rise to an epg count of 2000 in strong/healthy goats provided with proper feed and care, then a strong deworming. Reference: http://sheepandgoat.com/PPT/IPM.pdf Of course, Loki is not a strong, healthy goat.

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