Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

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I have 6 week old triplets. I gave them a preventative dose of toltrazuril at 3 weeks and intended another at 6 weeks but the day I was going to give it, they came down with diarrhea that morning. I dosed them with the toltrazuril and it seemed to stop the diarrhea but that evening 12 hours later it was back! In a panic I gave them another dose. In the morning they all had the runs. I switched to Corid yesterday morning. By yesterday afternoon no improvement, I gave them a dose of toltrazuril also. They were better last night but by morning they have the runs again. Fecal confirms coccidiosis. I gave them their second dose of Corid this morning. I'm giving them the liquid Corid at 1ml per 10lbs. PLEASE HELP! What should I do now???? 

Btw, I haven't had luck with Di-methox (Albon) in the past so I didn't even try it. But I have some. Should I throw that at them TOO???

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If the toltrazuril has not worked, it's not going to work. Your coccidia are resistant to it. This is why you should never use a coccidia treatment drug as a preventative. There are feed additives and medicated feeds, such as Noble Goat, that can be used if your animals are truly living in a high-risk environment. But as with worms, the best defense is prevention through good management.

Corid takes 1-2 days to work, so I wouldn't panic yet. When you say 1 ml per 10 pounds, is that diluted according to the instructions on the label? Or is it undiluted?

With only three types of drugs available to treat coccidiosis, it is not hard to find yourself with a resistance problem similar to dewormers or antibiotics. Like other health issues, including worms, you will never be able to get control of it using drugs. You need a coccidia prevention plan based upon management.

Was there a reason you gave the kids the toltrazuril at 3 weeks? Were they born in an area with a lot of feces, so you knew they were infected at birth? It takes three weeks for coccidia to mature, so unless that was the case, they would not have coccidiosis at 3 weeks.

If the environment does not have a lot of exposed feces, getting coccidiosis at 6 weeks sounds like under-nourishment, which is not unusual with multiples. It's one reason I don't leave triplets on a first freshener (I bottlefeed one) and why a doe has to have an excellent milking history for me to leave quadruplets on her, and even then I'm weighing kids regularly for the first two weeks and constantly re-evaluating body condition for the first two months.

Through the years and through a lot of experimentation, I've learned that kids do best if they're getting 32-36 ounces a day of raw milk either with mom or in a bottle. If bottle-feeding you need to split this into 3-4 bottles to avoid diarrhea. At 24 ounces a day, kids will grow well, but you might have a problem with coccidiosis. At 16 ounces, the kid's growth will be slow, and they will have big problems with coccidiosis and worms. People who bottle-feed at that level or use milk replacer also start kids on coccidiostats at 3 weeks of age. So, for a doe to adequately nourish triplets, she needs to be producing at least 4 pounds a day (1/2 gallon), although for good growth, and the more she produces beyond that, the healthier the kids will be.

I also wanted to mention that if you are doing the fecals yourself, the fact that you see coccidia does not rule out anything else. There are a couple dozen reasons why kids could have diarrhea, and if they are not responding to any coccidia drugs, then it could be caused by a virus or bacteria. That's the good thing about the sulfa drugs -- they are also anti-bacterial, so if it's a bacteria-caused diarrhea, they would cover that. If sulfa drugs never worked on coccidia in your goats, then you bought goats that carried sulfa-resistant coccidia. In time, it might start to work on your goats if you don't use it for a number of years.

This is an 8th freshener and she has a ton of milk but yes they fight for it all the time. They have been weighed regularly and gain at least 2 lbs per week. They are 6 weeks old and 15 lbs now. 

I have the drug brochure information that specifically says Toltrazuril can be used as preventative with no risk of resistance. It works differently than other drugs. I keep the place as spotless as humanly possible but they go outside all day and it's wet and rainy and of course there is poop on the ground. These are my first kids this year to get it. The others never got it and are big enough to have built resistance to it. They are dam raised and only started being separated at 4 weeks and I give them each a bottle in the morning as well. 

I'm hoping the Corid just hasn't kicked in yet. Two of them have completely stopped scouring but the doeling still has a messy butt. 

I still have some Di-Methox from a couple of years ago (kept in cool storage). Should I give them it also for good measure? Is this going to be too much for them? 

Although 15 pounds is a decent weight at 6 weeks, it's interesting that they got diarrhea two weeks after you started separating them overnight. I think you probably know that I don't routinely separate kids overnight until they're two months old. Are you giving them as much or more milk than what they were getting from their dam? Based on her production, and what you're giving them, do you think they're getting 32 to 36 ounces per day? Is it fresh raw goat milk or milk replacer?

I personally would not panic if I had a kid that was well-muscled with diarrhea, so I wouldn't throw the whole medicine cabinet at them. If the kids were weak and smaller than normal, then I would take them to the vet and/or get a fecal immediately to rule out viral or bacterial infection.

You didn't say whether you had diluted the Corid, but if it's not diluted, I use 1 cc per 25 pounds, so you might be over-medicating, which with Corid is dangerous because of the risk of thiamine deficiency. Corid has a different mode of action than any other drug. It basically makes the coccidia thiamine deficient, which is how it kills them, but if you OD the goat on Corid, it can do the same to them. When you read this, it seems like it should be impossible for coccidia to become resistant to Corid, but it happens. I don't know if anyone knows whether they actually learn to live with low thiamine or the Corid stops depleting their thiamine, but somehow they're adapting.

They used to think there was no risk of resistance to dewormers. That's why they were telling people to use them monthly to prevent parasite problems. I could go on, but the bottom line is that drug companies have been wrong many times about what their drugs could and could not do. If you truly believe that coccidia can't become resistant, then I'd be at the vet trying to figure out what is wrong with them because it normally only takes a single dose to work.

Assuming the kids don't appear to be deathly ill, I'd give the Corid a good 48 hours before deciding it's not working.

Thank you that seems like a good plan. I did not dilute the Corid and it is the liquid so I may have overdosed them YIKES! I had written on the bottle 1cc per 10lbs. Wonder where I got that from? I will give them a lower dose tomorrow. 

I give them fresh goat milk in their bottles in the morning. They are very well muscled and filled out so it doesn't seem like they are not getting enough. Poor mama though is thinner than I've ever seen her although she has had many sets of triplets. I feed her well and she gets alfalfa free choice all day. The kids eat LOTS of solid food but they love grain. I remember you said if they are having rumen issues not to give them grain so I'm not giving them any now. They do eat lots of hay, alfalfa, and chaffhaye and we also have lots of weed browse right now that they are all enjoying. 

I have a friend who had wormwood powder she got from Molly's Herbal and information on treating for coccidia. They said to give it WITH regular coccidiostats. I gave them each about 10 mls of it tonight-- nastiest stuff I've ever tasted, but they seemed to LOVE it (gross). Hoping the problem resolves in another day. Thanks for your help!

You really scared me, so I searched for Corid dosage on here, and I found you and me both quoting 1 cc per 25# in 2014, so you must have seen the other dosage somewhere else. Whew! Good to know I didn't have a brain fart and write the wrong thing.

It's not unusual for does to lose more body condition after kidding as they get older, and they also don't produce as much milk. It's why I retire does after age 10. 

If the kids are not better by tomorrow, I'd switch to DiMethox or take them to the vet. There are actually several different strains of coccidia, so even though the DiMethox didn't work a couple of years ago, it might work this time if it's a different strain. Plus, it might help if it's something bacterial.

Thank you. The doeling still has loose stool but it's a little better today. I left the kids overnight with mom and this morning they were chasing her mercilessly for more milk. I wonder if she is failing to produce enough for them like you said, and they are stressed because of it. I gave them each 3 ounces of milk to supplement. I think I'll continue to separate, it seems like mom needs a break, and feed them each a full 8 ounces in the mornings from now on. Does that sound like a plan? 

As far as continuing to breed her, I planned to breed her 2 more times and then retire her. If she has triplets again maybe I should pull one at birth and bottle feed it exclusively. If I do that I could still leave it with her right? I usually give a bottle to all of them at birth so they know how to take one and that has worked well for me (colostrum straight from their mother). Or maybe I should just retire her. She is such a great doe and produces exceptionally great progeny, I hate to retire her early!

If I give the doeling dimethox today (I gave a third dose of Corid to all), should I continue the Corid for her for 2 more days as well?

I'd leave the kids with her 24/7. Does are very good about laying down if they don't want the kids to nurse. Her body will put energy into making milk regardless of whether the kids are nursing or you are milking her, so I don't think it's less stressful for her if you remove the kids. Research has shown that the does actually produce more oxytocin when the kids nurse, which is a happy hormone. Plus the kids get stressed when you remove them from their mom, which makes the coccidiosis worse.

You didn't say how much milk you're getting from the doe when you milk her in the morning, so not having any idea how much she's producing, I can't really say what the kids might need for supplementation, but supplementing the kids while leaving them with mom would probably be the easiest and most successful. It should add up to 32 to 36 ounces per kid per day for best results. So assuming she is producing 6 pounds (3 quarts a day) and you separate them overnight for 12 hours, you'd still need to give them around 16 ounces in the morning to make up for not nursing for 12 hours, and that would give most kids scours. If she's only producing 4 pounds (1/2 gallon a day), which would be great for a doe her age, they'd need even more. So, separating the kids overnight and giving a bottle would really just complicate things and probably make the situation worse.

I wouldn't retire her. This is totally normal. I don't separate moms from their triplets until the kids are at least 2 months old, even with does in their prime. I understand wanting the milk ASAP, but I always remind myself that the does are making the milk for their kids, so they're the first priority. I get whatever is left over for those first two months when the kids are growing crazy fast, increasing their birth weight 7 to 10 times! 

I've had mixed results when leaving a kid with its mother and bottle-feeding it. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't. It totally depends on the kid. If all the kids are fairly equal in size, you could just go with supplementing the one that is most willing to take the bottle. Usually there is one that is happy to get a bottle rather than fighting over the two teats. I've had kids on the verge of death and refusing to take a bottle, even though they were not getting enough from the mother, so you just never know what's going through their little heads. The first time that happened I foolishly thought that the kid would eventually start taking more from the bottle, but I was wrong. If I see that happening now, I will take the kid away from its mother. 

I don't like the idea of giving too many drugs to a kid unless I really think they are on the verge of death and I have nothing to lose. If the doeling still had diarrhea this morning, I would not have given her the Corid and just switched her to the DiMethox. If the Corid hasn't caused any improvement in 48 hours, it's probably not working. It's always possible that she has a little extra something going on that the other two don't have. 

It's hard to know how much she's producing because I only separate for 9 hours-- just from dark to dawn. They have happily gone into their pen at night and don't seem stressed about it at all. I don't milk her out all the way either. I wait until she holds back and then stop. Then I watch the kids go at her and see which one doesn't get fed in the mayhem and he gets more from the bottle than the others. Both boys eagerly take the bottle since for some reason the girl ALWAYS gets one side and the two boys fight over the other. I'm only getting about 2 cups from her milking because it's only 9 hours and I don't milk her out so I'm assuming she is probably milking only 6 cups per day. 

The girl is better this morning and not scouring but the smaller boy dropped a big puddle of poo this morning :(  I gave them the Corid dose early. After I saw the littlest scouring I went and got the Dimethox and gave them each 5 mls. This afternoon I see no more scouring so fingers crossed we've passed the threshold. I'll keep them on only the Dimethox for 4 more days.

I will take your advice and let them stay with mom from now on until the boys leave (they are sold). I'm keeping the doeling. I have kids due in a week and this has been very stressful for that reason too. I don't want the new babies exposed to coccidia!

All kid's butts are dry and clean this morning for the first time in 5 days! Thanks so much for the help!

Yay! I've been following this discussion and am so glad to hear the babies are on the mend.

Yay for healthy babies!! 

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