If your area has white tail deer, your herd is at risk for Meningeal worm.
“The meningeal worm is an internal parasite (Paralaphostrongylus tenius) of the white-tailed deer that usually completes its life cycle in the deer without causing significant problems. However, when unnatural hosts, such as sheep, goats, and camelids become infested with meningeal worm, the parasite moves into the brain and/or spinal cord and causes neurological problems that can be fatal.” https://www.sheepandgoat.com/deerwo...
The sooner you start treatment the better the recovery!!!
“Clinical disease begins 45-53 days later”. http://goatconnection.com/articles/...
You do not have to see deer in the field or near your barn...the worm is carried around by snails, slugs, and in your hay...if your state had White tail deer, it has Meningeal worm.
What to look for:
First signs of infection, maybe a slight weakness in the rear legs, or a criss cross walk pattern. Sores along the tail and sides, where the goat has chewed and scratched due to the irritation of the migrating worm. Sores can be small at first, then grow as the goat bites and scratches. These can often look like hot spots..
s the worm migrates toward the brain, neurological symptoms worsen. The goat will continue to eat and drink. Temp will be normal. All the while he grows weaker and weaker until he can no longer walk..once the worm reaches the brain, neurological symptoms increase with polio/listeriosis like patterns and the animal will die.
It can be hard to diagnose in late gestation as it does appear to look like Polio, listeriosis, rabies...
Even if you only think its MW...treat!! It won’t hurt if it turns out to be something else...DO NOT WAIT..the sooner you start treatment the better the outcome.
Safeguard, panacure or valbazen 1 cc per 7 pounds for 5 days
A single shot of Ivomec Plus 1 cc per 40# sub Q ( some new research no longer finds this needed, but I would still give it if it were my goat)
Dexamethasone or Banamine. I would prefer Dex for this, but if the goat is bred, use Banamine in hopes to save the pregnancy.
Dexamethasone dosage is 6 cc per 100 pounds bodyweight given IM in decreasing amounts daily. Example: Goat is 100 pounds, Dosage is 6 cc into the muscle on Day One, 5 cc IM on Day Two, 4 cc IM on Day Three, 3 cc IM on Day Four, 2 cc IM on Day Five, one cc IM on Day Six, nothing on Day Seven.
Banamine dose is 1 cc per 100# once a day for 3 days, then assess if 2 more days is needed
Continued supportive care. Making sure the goat stays fed and hydrated. If the goat is down, you need to do PT for the legs, Massages, moving, putting pressure weight, build a sling if needed to get him up...making sure the muscle stay usable while he recovers.
Please read this testimony on this farms battle with Meningeal worm... more pictures as well.
Catching MW at the earliest time of infection is key for successful recovery. Once the Goat is down, recovery becomes less and less likely, even with proper treatment and supportive care.
We are often asked, when is enough, enough. That is a question we each need to ask ourselves when dealing with a sick goat. My motto is, if the goat is fighting, I’m fighting.
Farmers with Heavy population of White Tail deer, stay proactive in the fight against MW by giving Ivomec plus shot during peak months. Take time to educate yourself on the signs and indication of MW and have on hand what you need to fight it!