Goat coughing - any suggestions?

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14 years 2 months ago #21880 by klpeters
My 3yr old nanny has been coughing lately. My first reaction was "worms" and even though an FEC a couple of months ago came back completely clear, I decided an Ivomec wouldn't go amiss.
She's normally extremely interested in anything I have in my hand, but the drench gun - no way! Even when I did make a grab for a horn I couldn't hold her with only one hand. Alas - fail. Remembering her fondness for the bottle I thought hmmmmm, wonder if she'd still be interested in some milk. Found the emergency bag of powder in the depths of the pantry, mixed up 250mls, squirted in the drench and went back out to try Plan B. She saw that bottle from 100 metres away! Whalloh! Mind you, the art of sucking was obviously forgotten as the whole lot was consumed (including the rubber teat!) by chomping at it in the corner of her mouth.

Back to the point of this ..... she's still coughing.
I have read through my "Goat Health Handbook" to no avail.
Poop & pee all very normal.
No nasal discharge or watery eyes.
Gums pink, eyes bright and coat normal.
No grinding teeth or grunting.
Breathing appears normal.
No loss of appetite (I should be so lucky!)

Last nights mission was to check her heart rate. Yeah right! First, couldn't find the rib cage, let alone the "lower" of it. Second, couldn't get her to stand still for 10 seconds, let alone a minute. Third, when I thought I'd fluked a "beat", couldn't see my watch to time it. Alas - another fail.

I tried practising on the others - more failure. Even my smoochy boy who will stand still forever if it entails getting a cuddle, I couldn't find "the beat". Yes, they are all in very good condition but could excess weight hide a heart beat or am I just a completely inadequate nurse.

Any thoughts on the cause of the coughing gratefully received please. Oh and she hasn't stolen the tobacco from my pocket in a long long time, so smoking can be disregarded.

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14 years 2 months ago #316217 by goatmama
Hi, you can find the pulse for your goat on the inside of the back leg. Just put your hand up between the leg and udder (or belly for those who don't have udders) and you should find the femeral artery with out too much trouble. Its also a great thing to try on those cold frosty mornings.
One of our girls has a cough every now and then which doesn't bother her so it doesn't bother me.
Have you tried to give your goat a cup of tea as a worming agent? The tannen in tea causes the worms to let go and pass out of the animal and it can be easier than trying to drench. Having sasid that, only Magpie likes to tipple on the tea and sometimes the wormwood. Marlise wont have a bar of either of them.

10 acres in sunny Southland. Husband and 3 boys. 17 Wilties, "Clucky quarters" 2 doz + chooks, rouen clair ducks, Coffee our Irish Terrier and Kaz and Mooch our wee Kitty's. Our Big White Shepherd, Nena. Bennie and Mo the moos
Prov 27:27

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14 years 2 months ago #316218 by Pumpkingirl
I would still be suspecting lungworm - from what I have read about it, a goat can still appear perfectly healthy in other aspects. You're confident you did get the drench down her? And you drenched for the right weight? An alternative would be to get injectible Ivomec, which for one dose your vet could draw up for you if you explain the situation.

While tannins do a lot of good, there is no guarantee the tannins in tea would have the effect of clearing out a high worm burden, and even if it did, it wouldn't get into the lungs.

Is it really dusty at your place KLP? I have one goat who seems to cough more when everyone is digging up their favourite sleeping spot.

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14 years 2 months ago #316219 by Pumpkingirl
Oh, and I forgot to add, the most important thing would be to get her temperature - that will be your first clue if it's something more sinister.

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14 years 2 months ago #316220 by klpeters
Thanks goatmama. I did try the inside of the back leg - but maybe I wasn't high enough. Will give it another try tonight.

Annie (the cougher) loves teabags and gets 3-4 a week so I guess that would be the same as a "cuppa".

Good to know that I may be unnecessarily concerned. Thanks.

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14 years 2 months ago #316224 by klpeters
Also thanks PMG - now I'm concerned again - lungworm?? I'm sure I got the drench dose as right as possible. I adjusted the Dairy Goat weigh band reading for the fact that she's a tubby little feral madam. And no they don't have alot of dust exposure.
Darn - I knew someone might suggest checking temperature. Horrors! My nursey skills to date haven't been particularly successful. I shall have to commandere a sumo wrestler to assist.

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14 years 2 months ago #316232 by beedee
you go the other end to humans!!!!! I find they eat the in the mouth ones.!!! to take a temp check her ears versus her mates ears and that gives you an idea.. just hold them for a 10sec... there is also a pulse in the ear that can be felt.. for the heart on goats its down at the stern under the left armpit area.. if you were at the ribs [deeply covered] then you are way off. that would be listening for pleurisy.. and hard to hear when the fur is rubbing against the diaphragm of the stethescope until you get used to such sounds.
[and yes CV I know the heart can be heard at the ribs, but for a fatty and firsttimer the stern is easier, ]
is she keeping up with her herdmates??? eating! bossing around?.. and where is the coff coming from, the deepest africa coff or a dry in the throat.

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14 years 2 months ago #316238 by Pumpkingirl

klpeters;301404 wrote: Also thanks PMG - now I'm concerned again - lungworm??

Sorry KLP, I don't mean to concern you but I don't think you can rule it out on the symptoms you've given us. When did you drench her? I'd probably be talking to my vet and finding out if you can give her something like the injectible just to be sure.

In regards to the temperature, yeah, it's a bummer of a situation, if you'll pardon the pun :D No easy way to do it really. My Dad made me a race that I can jam them up in at one end, but even then it's difficult and I've only successfully done it once (don't forget to shake the thermometer before you do it).

I don't know about your weather but it has been prime pneumonia-inducing weather here (big flucutations in temperature, humidity, dry to wet), and that would be my big concern, having lost two goats to it in 2007.

That said, from what you've told us she's not showing other symptoms that would concern me, such as heaving when she breathes and increased breath rate (should 20-30 per minute, vs my poor Scooter who got pneumonia and got up to 70+ breaths per minute).

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14 years 2 months ago #316263 by klpeters
The stern under the left armpit - okay, will try that tonight. Yes she is still jumping up & down logs with ease, still eating to capacity and still being her bossy self.

I drenched her (in the milk) about a week ago PG, but I will talk to the vet about an injectible, as I know that too much drench can have nasty consequences.
Am heartened to learn that you have only had one successful thermometer experience! You'll have to give us the whole (no-doubt hilarious) story one day, as you did with collecting poop for FEC's.
In the meantime I will prepare mentally and physically for the ordeal.

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14 years 2 months ago #316284 by Dream Weaver
my first thought to was possible lungworm.

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14 years 2 months ago #316290 by Ghilly
I had some hay that was quite dusty and noticed my lot having a bit of a cough with it so I wet the hay before I gave it to them.

I also dampen the chaff they get or else they cough and sneeze all over the place. Not good when they are giving you a loving look and then sneeze all over you ha ha ha. Chaff coloured speckles all over the face, my face not theirs.

H.P had a cough in his herd and he went through every test available to try and find out the cause, as far as I can remember, nothing showed up in any of the tests. Apart from the cough, they were happy and healthy.

I took the temperature of one of a goat once, I straddled the back end and pinched tight with my knees. He was only a small goat (not one of mine). I managed fine but I couldn't read the bloody thermometer, neither could the owner of the goat. I bought a digital one and there are little covers you can buy that slip over the inserting end to keep them clean, I think there are about 30 covers which should last a long while. Usually, I'd wipe off a thermometer with meths after use but I'm not sure how a digital would take to being introduced to meths, plus there is the join where metal meets plastic, which could be hard to keep bugs out of. I haven't had to use the digital one on my lot yet. I also have a stethescope but I've found that you really need to know what you're listening for in regards to breathing sounds.... amidst all the noises you have the gurgling and squelching noises of the stomach going on..... entertaining but not helpful.

I had one little chap who had guzzled his bottle too fast, the next day he wasn't interested. H.P had a listen to his breathing and thought he could hear a raspy noise so I took the tot to the vet. The vet heard the same noise and gave him antibiotics. He was bright and alert but had no interest in his bottle at all.
I took him with me on a visit to the breeder who watched him walk around and said he certainly didn't look like a goat that was sick or had pneumonia. She suggested I hold off on a feed or two. I did that and when it came time to give him a feed, he latched on and went for his life. I had been getting just enough milk into him to stave off hunger pangs. The guzzling incident had made him cough and splutter and he'd been frightened off the bottle. Silly wee boy. He is now living in Canterbury with his brother at my sisters farm and they are both huge strapping boys.

If your wee lady hasn't got anything nasty making her cough, like lung worm, it may just be something she is eating that is a bit dry, like the hay and chaff.

You'd think they'd go have a wee drink of water to wash down the irritation, us humans do it.

Yakut

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14 years 2 months ago #316597 by Snuggles
I've had the same thing with my goats - they seem to cough intermidently - just enough to get me worried - they don't seem to have any other symptoms - look healthy, have been wormed. I thought lung worm - but worming them made no difference. Figure they just cough!!
Really interested in other comments

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14 years 2 months ago #316637 by Pumpkingirl
Snuggles, yes, my goats cough all the time, usually when they are either cudding and jump up quickly, or get greedy, or breathe in dust etc.

However, if a goat was coughing a lot and you can't see a reason for it, that's when I would be suspicious, especially because lungworm is so insidious and shows no other symptoms at first.

I think it also depends on the weather - rain, humidity, short grass, the parasites love it.

I think when you take all those factors into account, you need to be cautious and think lungworm first, seeing as it is a known parasite, can be deadly, and can be treated easily.

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14 years 2 months ago #316650 by cowvet
Lungworm is not picked up by a faecal egg count - lungworm have a bit of a different lifecycle in that they are passed in the faeces as larvae instead of eggs so a specific larval float test is required to diagnose lungworm.

Lungworm also come on very fast - if conditions are right then you can go from zero to danger levels within a couple of weeks.

Temperature - a rectal temp is required -I wouldn't have much faith in anything else.

Lungs - if you suspect pneumonia then he really needs to have her chest listened to with a stethescope.


I love animals...they're delicious

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12 years 9 months ago #381376 by Squeaky Hollow2
Was looking for somethng about goat coughing and found this. One of mine is coughing, a real graveyard cough. She was a pet, was rehomed but left the property and banded up with ferals with whom she has spent the last 18 months. I got her back finally, 4 wks ago, put her in isolation (to get rid of the stink of billy and for quarrantine). She's pregnant, of course. Drenched with Ivomec sheep, and again 24 hours later, deloused with pestene, disinfected her feet and have been keeping her isolated till she had the follow-up de-lousing. But now I'm concerned about the cough. At first i thought it was just from being collared and fully on the lead, and then i thought it might be from eating hay, but I realise now that it's neither, she just has this awful cough. No runny nose and she is perky and eating well. Vet suggests drenching again with a triple drench plus a long-acting antibiotic shot. When I google goat coughing, there seems to be a million and one things it could be. Anyone have any other ideas? So if I take her temp, what should it be?? If it's up, straight to the vets. Thanks.

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