Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

I have an 8 year doe, Clover, she is one of my first two goats and has a special spot in my heart.

3.5 years ago she contracted meningeal worm, the parasite attacked her spinal cord.  At her worst her back legs were paralyzed, but with an outstanding vet, closely following a protocol of drenches and shots etc , a huge dose of luck and months of physical therapy she rehabilitated to the point that she was able to get around OK with just a bit of a limp.  We knew she would never be a milker again, but were happy to have her take the designated special pet spot on the farm if she was able to have a happy goat life, enjoy grazing in the pasture and hanging with the herd and love from us.

So since then the decline has been very slow - winters are harder, her limp worsens and she drags her back leg but she always picked up in the spring.  Until now...  This spring she didn't pick up and has been slowly but steadily declining.  At this point walking is hard, sometimes standing with her weight on the one good leg (which seems to be getting weaker) is too tough and she collapses in a heap.  But we pick her up and she keeps going.  However, she is still eating great, and responding to love like a normal goat.  But she looks old and tired now.

So here we are heading into another cold MA winter and I am wrestling with what to do.  How do i asses weather or not she is in pain, goats are so stoic and for predator protection they try to hide pain.  I can't tell if it is just walking that is taxing her system, or if she has some baseline pain that is chronic.  Medically does anyone know of anything that can be done to help her reagin strength of her legs?  Or has anyone had experience using doggy wheelchairs with goats?  Any thoughts or suggestions would be very much appreciated.  I may simply have to face the fact that it is her time to leave us, but need to uncover any and all option before I am at that point.

Judy

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Congratulations on pulling her through as far as you have. That's incredible! 

When goats are in pain, they grind their teeth. That's how we knew when it was time to put down my doe that had skin cancer on her rectum. When we realized she was grinding her teeth every time she pooped, we knew she was suffering. It's a horrible sound -- like nails on a chalkboard -- and it's easy to hear from several feet away, so you can't miss it. 

Thanks Deborah.  I have not heard that sound, and she does not appear to be grinding.  I guess I will just watch her closely as the weather turns.

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