13 July, 2012

A Wormy Goat

Poor Annie. If I were some one else I would say or at least think unkind thoughts about her owner. So I won't begrudge you if you do, we deserve it. This is the barberpole worm infestation I was alluding to. Honestly I didn't think much of her thinness initially (she was not quite this thin a couple of weeks ago when I noticed her slimming down). She & her sister have always been thin. I attributed it to the heat & her being my primary milker.
Generally Mike will take them out for a couple hours out back so that they can free range forage in the forest while he plays goatherd. But like everywhere else it was hot hot here. Little dishes of water everywhere that needed to be flled every hour for the chickens. Buckets & buckets of water to be lugged for the goats. They won't drink from the branch. The chickens were drinking 3 gal. a day plus the little dishes.
I had a very similar bony look after nursing Victor; when Mike came home on his leave from Kuwait. I think he was alarmed at my figure & continually urged steak on me for his 2 week stay. But he's dropped down to 12 stone himself, it's just too hot to eat.

But the swelling of her throat certainly did get my attention at milking time. I announced to Mike she had the tube neck, did some googling & he dipped into the grocery fund & went & got her some Safe Guard.

Safe Guard is good for tapeworms but after further googling & calling in on Michael Bunker's blog talk radio show where Judy from Big Turtle Creek was kind enough to call in w/ the answer, the verdict is Bottleneck. They are caused by barberpole worms, which sound very insidious & live in the abomasom (4th stomach) but the long & short of it is faulty pasture management. Our yard is probably fine for 2 goats but we've now got 5 grazing & other end functions going on out there. The grass is down to sheep level which is bad for goats.

I love Google & must jump on there more times a day than I probably ought. A sheep station in NZ had some deaths from bareberpole worms & made a mix of  "Magic". Magic for goats translates into 1 part corn oil, 1 part molasses & 2 parts Karo syrup. I've got the dark but probably the light would work just as well. This doesn't help w/ the worms but does help w/ the anemia.

I've been spiking their water w/ cider vinegar & giving 2 Tbsp. of the walnut tincture mixed w/ the Magic every other day. On the off days (I dipped even further in the grocery budget than Mike) I give her a .25 oz. of Red Cell which is for horses but I cut the dosage down considerably. It's full of copper which goats need.

This has been going on for about 2 weeks now & the bottle neck comes & goes or just makes it's appearance at her chin. I hated to do it but made the decision last week to dry her up so she wouldn't have the added strain of lactation. She's adamantly stopped nursing; Bertram's tail is a bloody wag where she's pulled out all of his hair. And then it got sunburned & blistered & I had a time trying to keep the flies off of that.

I have been milking but just taking the milk from the teats & leaving the udder alone as I'd hate to add mastitis. She's a great milker; for 2 first years we were getting 2 quarts a day, most of it from Annie. Abigail would be the wet nurse as her bag is just not as conducive to milking.

But after the 2 weeks of treatment she is still thin though her stomach is fuller & we're getting about a pint a day which is still a blessing. The thing of it is that there will always be worms & parasites in any ruminant. It's just a matter of managing them properly & we need to try harder to do so. If anyone else has ever dealt w/ this I'd sure be appreciative of any advice.


His Princess Warrior said...

I love your Blog it is very pretty and I love what you have written in the "About me" section. I believe the same! Anyhow, I wanted to find out what did/do you give for the Barberpole worm in your goat. We have two that may have the same thing. They look like yours, that also drew me to your page. No pun intended. We just gave them safeguard today. Will this work or is there something else we can do?

Thank you,

Mrs. V said...

Hi Sandra, I hope very much that your goat pulls through. I posted on this earlier this week as we had to shoot Annie on Tues. The neck swelling would come & go, she'd put on weight & drop it off. She got so weak from anemia she just couldn't get up. I was in Mo. & Mike did more research; tinctures w/ alcohol of any kind are bad for ruminants but you might try one made from glycerine. An up the hill neighbor of mine has had great luck w/ Molly's herbs over at http://fiascofarm.com/ you might try them out. I've heard Ivermectin works but at Tractor Supply it was as nearly as much as our 2 week grocery budget at $70.00. Pumpkin seeds are an anti parasitic I've also heard but you get to trying anything when you're desperate. I'm sorry you've got this & sorry I can't be of more help.