A family farm

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Meningeal Deerworms

This has been a rough year for us raising goats. We battled a hearty battle of coccidosys earlier this summer and lost 2 does. Brian was affected, and it weakened him. My goats have been well wormed. I put our two very pregnant does (Lily and Ginger) in a pen with Brian and Lucy. As I said, Brian seemed quite weak, yet. Lucy appeared to be injured. It seemed as if she had a pulled muscle or a back injury and was favoring her rear back leg. She hasn't been in any pain. Last Thursday evening Brian laid down and would not get up Friday morning. I ran across an article that said sometimes the dewormer can cause a severe drop in a goat's iron, causing anemia. I tried to find some iron supplement for Brian on Saturday and had him stand propped up on a bale of straw. He could not stand on his own. Sunday, he died.

Lucy's condition has been getting worse. I was all set to bring her to the vet on Thursday, but I'm not going to now. I know what is wrong with her, and it isn't an injury. This is the same thing that happened to Brian. She has contracted meningeal deerworms. The wormer I used doesn't protect against deerworms. Deerworms are transmitted by whitetail deer through slugs. We have whitetail, and we have slugs, and I know the goats have eaten slugs. Unfortunately, Lucy and Brian ate slugs that were carrying the deerworm. The deerworm do not affect whitetail deer. They just pass through, but if a goat eats an affected slug, the deerworms start eating their spinal tissue causing paralysis and death. The paralysis is irreversible. Lucy can't get up on all four legs anymore. She should be dead in the next couple of days. This really sucks. Next Saturday, I'm picking up some Ivomec Plus, which will kill the deerworm and prevent against them contracting it again for the next month. By then it will be too cold out for slugs, and I won't have to worm the goats again until April.

Moral of the story is that if you live in Michigan where there are deer and slugs, use a better wormer. I'm losing two great goats. Lucy is the best mamma ever, and Brian was amazing. He was our clown.

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