Today marks the 4th day Miley has been been down with Listeriosis and unable to rise. I have been feeding her with a syringe, and offering her warm water at each feeding which she tries soooo hard to lap up. I can occasionally hear her swallow while she is lapping, but it’s slow going and exhausting for me to hold the water pan for her because I also have to prop her body up with my legs and pillows. Once propped up, feeding her with the syringe is a little easier because I can do it from the front of her and not have to hold her upright at the same time. I have not weighed her in a few years, but she is probably around 140 pounds. She’s a smaller Alpine, thankfully.
This picture was taken this morning. The paralysis affects her mostly on her right side. (left side in the picture). Her ear droops on that side, as does her eye and she cannot chew food or swallow on that side. Her eye looks opaque because when she first went down in the straw, she went down on her paralyzed side with her head thrown back stiffly and she ground that poor eyeball into the straw with a lot of pressure. It actually looks a lot better today. I am treating it with penicillin and it doesn’t look like she damaged the eyeball itself. The swelling seems to be just in the covering of her eye, which has started to recede with treatment and getting it out of the straw and dirt.
Here she is propped up a bit after a feeding. You can see her affected eye a little better in this picture. It’s winter here, and cold near the floor so I keep her covered to help reduce any stress she might have trying to stay warm. There is a woodstove in the room too, so it’s pretty warm higher up, just a little drafty down where she is.
This is how i am trying to reduce pressure on her limbs. They are stiff and tend to stick out. I wish I could get her up and laying on her other side because there is a lot of pressure on that hind leg that is underneath her. She is on a mattress, which helps, but over the long term, I am not sure if that leg will suffer damage from being under constant pressure. I do turn her over now and then but it is very stressful to both of us as I have no help and she is so heavy, and I cannot leave her on the affected side because she twitches and breaths heavier than normal so I know she does not tolerate it well.
This afternoon, after I gave her coconut water with baby cereal and a bottle of high-protein boost, with 350 calories, plus water, after I got finished she acted like she wanted to eat my fingers. She seemed to have had enough of the syringing, so I went and got her a pan of chaffhay which is a very soft and moist alfalfa hay product. She went after it with GUSTO, and I was so amazed I took this video! I didn’t let her eat too much because I am not sure if she is swallowing it well or not. I will offer her more a little later and see how she does.
For this video Miley asked to wear my Rosary that a lady from church gave me years ago. I think she likes it and it looks great on her. I told her she could wear it anytime she wanted too.
I am expecting a shipment of Usnea this afternoon by fedex express. I read online where it helped another goat with Listeriosis, and am hoping it will help Miley. I have contacted a few people/herbalists about this herbal extract and how to use it, but have not heard back from anyone yet. If anyone out there knows the best way to use Usnea for this condition in a goat, please contact me or leave a comment, and I will get it on my phone.