Saturday, October 8, 2011

31/21 - Enterotoxemia

Since it's a super busy day, I figured I would just re-post my article on Enterotoxemia.


Years ago we'd had a some new bales of alfalfa hay, it was really green and leafy, and the goats loved it (of course). Before going to bed that night, I heard a kid crying. We had some kids being dam-raised, and had a beautiful F3 MiniNubian doeling named Midget. We went out and checked - everyone looked fine. So as usual, we went to bed. A few hours later my Mom awoke to a kid screaming/crying in pain. She went out there, it was Midget. She tried to save her (gave her many things) but within minutes she passed away. We read and she had the exact symptoms of Enterotoxemia, and the single thing that will save a goat's life in the case of Entero., we did not have - C&D ANTITOXIN (not the toxoid). A hard lesson learned.

It's been many years since that happened. I've read a TON about Enterotoxemia and never lost a goat to it again, thankfully. A few times the goats have got into grain, or a goat has bloated, etc., and I always give them a shot of CD Antitoxin. The worst thing C&D Antitoxin can do is, if you vaccinate, is it will negate the CD&T vaccine. The best C&D Antitoxin can do, is save a goats life.
A few months after we lost Midget to Enterotoxemia, a lady called us up and her kid was sick - sounded like she had Enterotoxemia and she was so far into it she was laying on the ground with her eyes rolling back in her head. The owner did not have the antitoxin, so she rushed to our house, got a few syringes full of it, went home and gave it to her doe kid - she was back to normal within hours.

Ever since we lost Midget to Enterotoxemia, we've never been without the C&D Antitoxin in the fridge. I always stress to new goat owners that this is the one thing your medicine cabinet should never be without.

So, how would you know if your goat has enterotoxemia?
Well, it definitely takes a lot of watching your goats, knowing their normal habbits, sounds and routines. The symptoms of Enterotoxemia can be very widely ranged. It can be as simple as a goat crying - but this isn't just any cry - it's a cry that the goat either is getting seriously injured or has enterotoxemia. Once you've heard it, you'll remember it. It's the cry of a goat in pain.
Enterotoxemia can also come on after a goat has bloat, has diarrhea/an upset stomach, is stressed, a slight (or large) change of feed, a bottle kid drinking a large/abnormal amount of milk, or possibly even weather change - these are all prime conditions for enterotoxemia to kick in.

What about if you vaccinate with the CDT Vaccine? It's suppose to prevent it, right?
We choose not to vaccinate our goats. There is a bunch of info why not to vaccinate here. My goats are healthy, we do not believe they need vaccines - after awhile they just suppress the immune system anyway. I know everyone won't agree on this subject, but that's okay.
If you DO vaccinate, your goat can still get Enterotoxemia. The vaccine will lessen the chance of an adult goat getting it, but it's still possible. And the vaccine does not protect young kids from getting enterotoxemia.

Like I said before, if you even think your goat may be getting Entero, don't hesitate giving them some C&D Antitoxin. The worst it can do is negate the vaccine, the best it can do is save a life.

A goat with Enterotoxemia really needs to be treated like this - C&D Antitoxin (reduces the gut flora that has overgrown), Pepto bismal (to line the gut and protect it), Banamine (calms the gut and eases pain), baking soda won't hurt and if the goat is really bad, starting them on Penicillin is also good to take care of any infection that might set in. The goat should be re-treated every 3-6 hours with the C&D Antitoxin and Pepto until the syptomes subside. An adult goat should get anywhere from 10-15 cc sub-Q of C&D Antitoxin, and a kid should get around 5 cc.
Another important thing to note is when a bottle fed kid has enterotoxemia, do not feed them milk. Instead of milk, give them electrolytes (prefferably clear). You do not want to overload the gut with more milk when it cannot handle the stuff already in there.
In conclusion, watch your goats.


Brenda said...

Very good post! Thanks for the reminder.