Weak & staggering kids! Please help!

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Hi , I really hope someone here can help! I have had 7 kids in the last month start getting 'drunk acting'. They will be completley fine one min. & then the next there stumbling & falling over. They have no fever , pink gums & normal weight. I have had goats for 3 years & never had this happen! There was 2 kids who got 'drunk acting' then a few days later they seemed to take pneumonia. Both were kids off of a doe I also had trouble with last year. Her kid was never healthy. Thoose two died & I sold the mom this morning. None of the others though that have did this acted like they were taking pneumonia though so I really believe thoose two had something else. My main concern though is why are they acting like this? There is Selenium in the food so I wouldn't think it was lack of that. My husband gets the food mixed & has 1 lb of 4 in 1 minerals put in every 100. They have Selenium , Cobalt , etc... in it. I called the vet & he's really pretty clueless. He even told me not to worry about Selenium , goats didn't need it can you believe that?! So I really can't trust him to good. He sold me a bottle of Thiamine Hydrochloride (500 mg per ml) but , didn't even give me a dosage for goats (Anyone know?). The first two kids who started acting like this I gave Nutri Drench , an Iron shot & a B Complex shot. They both pulled out of it so I wander if one of thoose helped? The selenium my husband is having added in our food isn't to much is it? He just started adding it about 2 months ago. This really has me puzzled as to what it is! It isn't FKS , nor cocci (no scours). If another one does the same thing & dies I'm thinking having an autopsy done but , I don't know how to go about it. Who do I contact or where can I send one? I live in the Southwest VA area near Kingsport , TN / Wise , VA / etc... I've never had one done before but , I need to know whats wrong with these kids. I had kids last year in the same pasture & they never did this. All the kids whom have done this are anywhere from 6 days to 14 days old. If anyone can help me I would greatly appriciate it!!! Thank you!!!!!!

-- Chely Lancaster (chely@centralpets.com), April 09, 2002


I don't know nearly enough about this but I will tell what I can. Try giving them a BO SE shot, about 1/4- 1/2 cc per kid. Talk to the other serious goat breeders in your area to find out whether or not your area is deficient and what they are doing about it, talk to several to get a good overall view.

I don't think selenium is the problem here though. It sounds like floppy kid syndrome to me. You say they are on pasture- could there be a poisonous plant, such as lupine (bluebonnets) ? I've heard that lupine has a drug like effect on sheep, makes them act drunk, and that it can be poisonous. The treatment for floppy kid will not harm them if they don't have that, so try it first. Then I would see if there is some other cause- toxic plants, are they eating lead paint off a barn or fence, etc. I'll see if I can find something about floppy kid for you.

-- Rebekah (daniel1@itss.net), April 09, 2002.

floppy kid

-- Rebekah (daniel1@itss.net), April 09, 2002.

more on floppy kid

Here is another one.

-- Rebekah (daniel1@itss.net), April 09, 2002.

Give them baking soda ASAP.

-- shari (smillers@snowcrest.net), April 09, 2002.

B complex has only very small amounts of B1/Thiamin in it. This is exactly what was happening all around us this year, right before we kidded out, and in very nice herds, with lots of experience. 3 days old the kids were floppy but did not respond to the normal floppy kid regime. What they ended up responding to was thiamin. Always go to saanendoah.com to get your drug amounts.

Mixed feed can only contain .8 (I am fairly sure that is the amount I don't have time to look it up) of selenium BY LAW. It is against the law for a feed mill, even with a custom mix to mix selenium at the level you need it. So unless it is also in your soil so they are browsing and grazing selenium inriched grass and hay than you are defficient. I would not mix anything into your grain mix. I would offer them a good mineral mix free choice, then mix in kelp, and perhaps a plain selenium crumble if you know what you are doing. 1 pound of minerals put into 100 pounds of feed doesn't sound right, sounds like you will have salt posioning, since most minerals are lots of salt with a few basic vitamins and minerals. How about boosting your vitamins and minerals in your grain mix with Calf Manna or one of the many knock-offs, Head Start, Purina's annimax etc. Saanendoah.com also has a really good article on colostrum, read it and notice that E is not passed to kids from their mom. So kids are born E difficient, which can cause weak kids, and you would have to give 1 ounce to get the 300 IU of E the kids need. Lack of E can cause nutritional muscular destrophy which means they don't nurse well, and are weak. Sounds like you are in Bernice's old stomping grounds, perhaps she knows a club in your area, if not I will look them up in the directory for you. Rebekkah is correct 6 to 14 days is prime for FKS, though we only have seen it in the summer. Saanendoah.com also has an article on it. Good luck. Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (Nubians) (vickilonesomedoe@hotmail.com), April 09, 2002.

I contacted another vet near me & he thought it sounded like Listeriosis. The first kid who did this was given the Vitamin B & Nutri Drench. He was up acting normal again within a day or so which is why I really don't think it would be FKS because if it was he would have died wouldn't he? Another thing my husband has a big galvanized water tank (About 300 gallons I think). He use to have horses that used it but , got rid of them so now the goats use it. He has wire over the top to keep kids from drowning in it. Anyways I got to reading in a goat book & it was talking about nitrate posioning so I thought well maybe that was it & looked it up on http://www.tennesseemeatgoats.com/articles/toxicity.htm . Well now I doubt that is it because it said kids die within 3-4 hours & these didn't. The other vet I talked with said to bring one in & he would take a blood sample so I think I might do that because this is really confusing. I'm going to have my husband quit adding thoose minerals in the food to. Thanks for the advice!

-- Chely (chely@centralpets.com), April 09, 2002.

Chely is it possible that your kids are eating mountain laural.I've had this happen a few times with kids and even older goats.The kids sometimes vomit and make a strange noise while chewing their cud.They also will stagger like they are drunk for a day ,sometimes 2.

-- SM Steve (unreal@msn.com), April 11, 2002.

If the B in the complex and the nutradrench worked on the kid, than it would have to be polio, certainly not listerosis in that age kid. If you had moldy hay or grain that could affect a kid that age you would have dead adults. Unless perhaps listerosis/neurological type symptoms could come from moldy milk replacer.

About your necropsy if you do choose to do one, your vet would be able to tell you who to use, you could send the results of the findings to a small ruminent specialist like at UC Davis to diagnose for you.

Bernice uses a nutritionist who you can send your feeding program into Springbriar I think, I would go that route if I were you. Tweaking your management is fine if you know enough about your area, or do testing. Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (Nubians) (vickilonesomedoe@hotmail.com), April 11, 2002.

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