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  • Constance Wilmoth

Pneumonia in kids..........

Last week ended with significant stress. I awoke Friday morning to check on MJ because she really worried me on Thursday night, her breathing had worsened and her temperature had shot back up to 104.5. I had alerted the vet, who suggested to check her in the morning, and when I did my worst suspicions were confirmed. Her temperature had dropped to 98.9 which is dangerously low. I ran inside to get my blow dryer and call the vet. As soon as I was able to get a hold of the vet we decided MJ needed to be hospitalized. We discussed our options, OSU, Kittaning and Rainbow. Our go to is always OSU, for their expertise and knowledge when it comes to goats, but our vet was afraid MJ might not make it the three hour drive.


The drop in her temperature indicated that her lungs were filling up with fluid and her body was loosing the fight against the terrible pneumonia she had and she was loosing the ability to thermo-regulate. We decided to take her to Rainbow since it was right down the road. Thankfully, they were able to see her almost immediately and get her stabilized. They started MJ on an IV of Lactated Ringers and gave her banamine and Draxxin. The vets debated between Draxxin and Baytril as the antibiotics of choice. At this time she had received three different antibiotics and had been fighting this illness for two weeks. She started on Penicillin, moved to ceftiflex and then to nuflor, When none of those were able to help her, the situation was dire. The nuflor seemed to help her for one day, but after the initial dose it wore off in efficacy. I have done significant research and spoke to multiple vets and there does not seem to be a good consensus as to what the dosage rate should be for goats. Almost no antibiotic is approved for use in goats with the exception of Ceftiflex, so all vets can do is go off of historical experience and recommendations from the drug manufacturers on sheep. As most goat producers know, the metabolism of a goat and a sheep is not the same. I think this is where the conflicting information comes from. Many large goat producers suggest giving Nuflor once a day for 5 consecutive days. What makes goats particularly resistant to poisoning, by their fast metabolism and large liver also makes them difficult to treat. Where as, all vets I have spoke to suggest the two doses 48 hrs apart.


We committed to MJ's care by providing hay, goat milk and her fed to the animal hospital along with bringing her mother up to visit twice a day every day for her to nurse. After three days of hospitalization, we got the call that MJ could come home. MJ came home Sunday and the reunion of her and her mother was joyous. Her mother had taken to running around screaming for her kid morning and night, but when we brought MJ out of the car the yells and look on both of their faces was priceless. We joked that Moots was not a very good mother as she would leave her babies alone places, but this proved to us that she very much loved and cared for her baby. Their reunion was precious and Moots and MJ have been tied at the hip since. MJ seems to be on the mend, her temperature has been stable and normal since we brought her home Sunday. We have been monitoring her and keeping her and her mother confined to allow her to rest during her recovery. We have also been administering probiotics, because of all the antibiotics she received. Our vet is coming this evening to listen to her lungs to ensure she is improving, as she is still not back to her spunky self. I think it will take time and TLC to allow her to heal, and if that is all it takes then we are more than happy to provide her with that. We will keep you updated on this saga of events, and I hope none of you ever have to go through this with one of your goats. it got me thinking about when I vaccinate against pneumonia, I usually wait until the fall, because the winter is usually when I deal with it, maybe it is something that I should add to my regimen when I do CDT shots. I hope all is well with you and your goats! Happy Goating!


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