Sunday, December 30, 2012

Meningeal worm

As a farmer there are so many moments that fill you with happiness; seeing the birth of an animal, watching it stand and nurse for the first time, collecting eggs, receiving milk, watching as your pastured animals taste the first grass of the seasons, and so many more. Along with the joy though comes pain. Every farmer no matter how you farm, how many animals you have we all share in this pain. The feeling of losing an animal. At the moment we are fighting to keep one of our animals not only alive but fighting to make her better. As much as I love being a farmer I hate when something goes wrong. And in most cases as it is with the one we are in, I could have done something earlier, I could have been more aware.

Almond our oldest doe has Menigeal worm, also called brain worm. This worm comes into the animals body through eating hay or grass where deer have been. Deer are carriers.  This is a nasty worm as it attacks the nerves of the animal paralyzing them.

A month or more back Almond had a limp I was concerned, brought her in checked her out and could find nothing wrong. I did give her some immune boost and some essential oils but thought I would just watch it. And then there was no more limping, she had a kind of way about her walk but it was not serious it just looked like she was tense. She started loosing hair on her neck, but on more then one occasion I caught her with her head through the fence stealing hay from the neighboring pen. Then one day Chuck came in and told me to go check on Almond there was something not quite right. I again brought her in and although she walked slow there seemed to be nothing wrong, except that now she had hair loss that went up to her ear on one side. So I came in and went to the internet in search of why our goat would be loosing hair. I found nothing.

A week or so later I went out to do morning chores and Almond was having difficulty getting up, I went into the pen to help her and when she got up she was wobbly in her back half. I had heard of Menigeal worm before but never really knew to much about it. With a little research I found she had almost all the signs.

So now we are treating her. I have chemically dewormed her and am chemically treating her along with some essential oils and I am looking into herbs. She is in good spirits and eating and drinking. She mostly lays in the pen that I have moved her and her daughter to. We go out several times a day to get her up. I am hopeful that we will get rid of the worms in her body and she will heal.

I know that the happiness we get from farming far out-way the bad, I just wish the bad wasn't so bad....


Clayton said...

Is there danger of the worm going to her baby or will the treatment kill them. I am thinking about the manure remaining in the pen. Good luck.

Duskwind Farm said...

Thanks for the comment Clayton. The treatment I am using is two dewormers Safeguard for goats and Equimax which is a horse dewormer.

Both are supposed to be okay to use on pregnant animals. I assume that the chemical that I am using will get to the baby. However I have no choice if I want to save the doe and potentially her baby. Now there is a chance that she has already aborted the baby. When the body is under stress the body does what will be best for it. So at this time I am not sure if she is still pregnant.

I do deep bed my animals, which means that I do not clean stalls out in the winter but just add more straw. Goats are super picky if something falls on the ground they don't eat it. All the hay that we feed is fed in feeders so they don't eat off the bedding. Now I do have to say at this moment I am very thankful that this is the system that we use. Almond is laying around a lot which means that she could potentially be cold if she was laying directly on the cement flooring. With the deep bedding her body heat is heating up the bedding and the manure break-down is also heating up the bedding. She has had days where I see that she is shivering (although never when she was laying down only when she was standing) so I drenched her with a 1/4 teaspoon cayenne mixed in warm water and that seemed to do the trick.

Duskwind Farm said...

Clayton, I read you comment wrong, sorry I did not answer a part of your question. The worm should not be able to pass to the baby.