Mystery-Virus/Rickettsial Infection/Deficiencies?
Holy crap! 
Friday morning we left to do our first overnight with Huck, Yukon, and Pluto but life had a different idea. In hindsight I look back and see Yukon having more attitude than normal as maybe not feeling good, but at the time it was so slight and pretty unrecognizable. So we set off to hike up Johnson Creek to Medra pass until Yukon had a respiratory event 3 miles in and collapsed. We still aren't sure what or why but we hiked back down and everything with everyone appeared to be normal besides the fact no one wanted to drink any water from the creek or collapsible bucket. I put them on a low line the grazed on the grass and were quiet through the night. First thing in the morning Yukon had his back to us, wasn't responsive, and had a temp of 105.8. We packed up and headed to the nearest vet (Ellensburg Veterinary Hospital) where he was given a liter of IV fluids, banamine, antibiotics. I was also told that he potentially has an underlying respiratory disease similar to COPD and may not make a pack goat. Shattering news. 

We decided the responsible thing to do was head home but when we got home and unloaded everyone, Yukon and Huck had declined and we had to pick them up to get them moving. Once again we loaded them back up and headed to Pilchuck ER for some diagnostics and treatments. They were tubed with a couple liters of water with electrolytes and otherwise told to go home since their blood was relatively normal. 

So we went home, and their temps spiked to the 106-107 range, and at this point one of my does started to show similar symptoms with a temp of 105.8. 

After contacting a vet after hours she told me that temps this high and consistent are usually viral and that I should treat my entire herd with antibiotics to prevent a secondary infection but that I will have to let it run its course. We took one hour shifts all night and temped everyone, any one who was over 104 got cold hosed until they were below 103.4F. I was instructed by the vet that based on the information and symptoms they have, desperate times call for desperate measures and to give banamine IV every 6 hours as fever persists. And the last instruction was to pray. 

The vet will be coming by today, and hopefully get a culture so we can see what we are dealing with but after a full 2 days, finishing up our 72 hours those infected aren't any better. 

If you would send some love to my herd they need it. Or if you have any experience with sudden viral outbreaks I wouldn't mind hearing about how you treated it.

[img][Image: 35988584561_a5d4872f4c_b.jpg]IMG_20170701_110934 by Kataya Uren, on Flickr[/img]
[img][Image: 35988585441_58a21cd32f_b.jpg]IMG_20170701_123236 by Kataya Uren, on Flickr[/img]
[img][Image: 35988587721_95b98cc348_b.jpg]IMG_20170702_224527 by Kataya Uren, on Flickr[/img]
Today we stroll the neighborhood, someday we'll climb mountains together..  Heart
Oh my goodness! This is scary and I really hope and pray your goats will all be ok. Are there any other symptoms besides lethargy and high temps? Snotty noses? Coughing? I sure hope they can bounce back. I'm sorry to hear that Yukon has a respiratory problem. I hope the vet is wrong and it's something he can recover from.

Read up on silent pneumonia. I had a goat come down with it once. He was lethargic, wouldn't eat, and had a temperature of 107.8 but didn't show any major respiratory issues (slight snotty nose was all). I didn't have banamine, so I gave aspirin to help lower his temperature and then I gave Nuflor antibiotic for a few days. He recovered very quickly and it hasn't happened again. Silent pneumonia kills very quickly if you don't catch it during the fever stage, but you obviously caught this illness early and started treatment right away. Once again, I hope all your goats make a complete recovery. It's scary when something like this happens!
Yes they seem to have an infrequent, unproductive cough. Huck has clear nasal discharge, Yukon is the only one with diarrhea, and Kivuli doesn't have the excessively high fever my wethers do, but is down, violently quivering, and grunting.
I have done a little bit of reading on silent pneumonia but plan to dig through my vet med books and see what I can find while I sit in my camp chair monitoring them. The vet I'm working with took a culture and serum for a full viral panel to a lab in CA. Odds are slim that it will bring answers but if it does it'll be worth it.
Today we stroll the neighborhood, someday we'll climb mountains together..  Heart
Oh wow. Something very contagious is at work. I've never had something like that get any of my animals. You'd think it would get the vets attention since its possible this could be a big deal if its spreading like that. Like horse herpes, when it shows up, causes a panic around here. Just a horse touching a saddle worn by an infected horse can spread it.

Somehow I think the goats will be ok though. But the sleepless nights and worry take their tole on pet owners at times like these. It does sound viral. Checked with the people on Goatspot?
This is the first time I've ever had an outbreak of any kind with any species, and with a closed herd and no direct contact with other goats, or farms its spooky as to where it came from. I haven't checked on goat spot yet but plan to, I've been pretty busy hosing them down, and trying to keep their temperature below 104, crazy how even with the maximum dose of banamine they are still spiking to 106F. We are now at half my herd being sick, fingers crossed it stays away from my 2 little guys at 4 months old, especially Rafiki, he already rough start and survived aspiration pneumonia.

I have to say I am really disappointed in the second vet we saw on Friday. Overpriced, and rather than tell the truth, that she had no idea what was wrong with my goat, she kept reaching for a mystery low grade infection that has been going on for months. I got more out of a 7 minute phone conversation when I called a mobile ER vet, who was kind enough to reschedule her other goat appointments so that she could see my herd instead. She was surprised that all of my herd was still alive when she arrived and has called me daily to check in. Even sat and shared crazy stories of working on reindeers and mystery cases.

The virus will most likely have run it's course through my herd when we get the results, but I opted to send out a culture for a viral panel. I'm one of those really curious people and couldn't resist. I live on a private road with two distant neighbors that have goat herds equalling around 30 goats total and I would hate for them to lose any of theirs, or have this spread to them.

Time has passed so quickly when I collect my thoughts and place events on a timeline it's hard to believe that Yukon, Huck, and Kivu have been in critical condition for 4 full days requiring full time care, and still doing poor today but a little better. I am exhausted, and can't wait until its over. Hope everyone makes it out alive.
Today we stroll the neighborhood, someday we'll climb mountains together..  Heart
What a stressful few days you've had. Hang in there! I hope all your goats pull through and none of the others get sick. Please keep us posted about what you find out from test results and such. Who knows... the information could save someone else's goat down the road. This is one 4th of July weekend you're never going to forget. I truly hope it has a happy ending.
Any news?
No one else has any symptoms, so far its stayed with Huck, Yukon, Kivu, and Echo. We are very concerned about Yukon and Huck though, they were first to get sick but the ladies have made nearly a full recovery and they have not. Huck is a bit more bright today so I think he will pull through. Both the boys have some decreased lung sounds and we are going to switch antibiotics incase its a secondary infection not covered by Nuflor, but the first ER vet we saw mentioned he thought there was an underlying sort of lung disease such as COPD or similar, in which case Yukon in particular would not make a future pack goat, and Huck potentially as well.

Yukon had the highest fever for the longest duration of time and at this point brain damage is suspected. Even though his fever has been gone for 36 hours he isn't fully "there" so to speak. He is just laying around with droopy ears, and increased respiratory rate with increased effort as well. After discussing his condition with the vet today our plan at this point is to keep him hydrated with SQ or IV fluids, continue banamine every 8-12 hours, thiamine, and offer access to blackberry brambles. So far when I bring him to browse, he's uncoordinated and has fallen forward over branches 3" tall, and to the side once. The way he is mouthing or lipping at the brush is very sluggish like its taking more time to think it through.

He isn't and I'm not ready to give up yet. I reached out to a lady that worked in small animal ER for years and saw many overheated animals from fever or from being left in hot cars. She confirmed the symptoms of brain damage but said there is always to option of trying rehab which can be successful depending on how far they've declined. Since he's not having seizures, can get up on his own, and walk on flat ground I will try once he's recovered a little more, but at some point I will have to consider his overall quality of life. He used to be number 2 in the herd pecking order, but the others are starting to realize how weak both him and Huck are. I might have to separate them, due to Pluto wanting to drive everyone into the ground.

In the big picture this event has been devastating on top of Rafiki's episode with aspiration pneumonia a while back and stunted growth. My young and growing pack string consisted of Yukon, Huck, Pluto, Rafiki, and Kingsley. At this point I'm down to Pluto and Kingsley, Rafiki's growth got stunted dramatically but the 21 days of medications, inability to nurse, unwillingness to drink from a pan, rumen issues due to the penicillin and at 4 almost 5 months old hes at 34 pounds. I'm not going to end my goal of completing the PCT with goats but this is a bigger set back than I ever could have imagined. I hope that this never happens to anyone else, and I will be sure to let you know if we find out what it is and where it came from. Thank you all for the support and sending loving thoughts to my herd. I will post updates as they happen.
Today we stroll the neighborhood, someday we'll climb mountains together..  Heart
I feel so sad for you. This really is a major setback--physically (for the goats), financially, and emotionally. It sounds like you drew the unlucky straw this year, and I'm sure anyone who has raised goats (or any other kind of livestock for that matter) can attest that sometimes everything seems to go wrong all at once. Hang in there and look for that light at the end of the tunnel. Goats can seem fragile but they can also amaze us with their fighting spirit and their ability to recover from what looks like permanent damage. We're pulling for you and for your herd!
It just struck me that Yukon and Huck are brothers but Pluto is unrelated, right? Pluto was on that same pack trip in the same truck with the other two but didn't get sick. Are the two girls also sisters to each other? Are they possibly related to Huck and Yukon through the sire? I just wonder if this is somehow genetically linked.

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