There was nothing else to do for him at this point, we left him to rest while we fed Anna's new kid and got the rest of the herd their morning hay. Meaghan and Kristen were inside. We asked them to keep an eye on him and if he started to cry or call at all, come get us.
Another hour passed and Levi started to get a little stronger. Sean carried him outside, where he both urinated and passed perfect pellets. I messaged our friend Shea to pick her brain for what else I could be missing. Shea offered to loan us a pet thermometer and agreed to run another set of fecals for us. She also offered a flake of the greenest hay she had in her barn. I can't say how grateful I am for Shea's friendship and her willingness to help- however it is needed. Levi seemed willing to eat, just not hay, so we gave him a couple celery stalks and a few small pieces of brocolli- just trying to get anything into his system resembling food. I know browse/hay is the best food for him, but I felt that we were at a point that anything was better than nothing.
As it turns out, we were way off base with this one. Based on the symptoms, Dr. Arena believes that Levi contracted Parelaphostrongylus Tenuis or Meningeal worm. We checked all the right things to start with, but missed this one completely having never come across it before. Our experience told us to check eyelids, gums, fecal count for worm/parasite load. The problem is, this type of worm does not show up on fecal exams because they do not live in the gastrointestinal tract. They live in the muscles of an infected host and move towards the spine. This is what causes the tell-tale signs of weakness, usually presented in the hind end first and progressing towards the front. For those interested in more information about this, you can check out this link to read about the identification and lifestyle, clinical disease, prevention and treatment: www.vet.utk.edu (Meningeal Worm). The article is not long and it was very helpful to my understanding of how my goat contracted this worm and what treatment ahead would look like for us. The sooner it is identified and treatment is started, the better the chance of recovery. Our treatment course is .5 CCs banamine injected IM once per day. .8 CCs Ivomectin injected sub-q once per day for five consecutive days. Dr. Arena may also prescribe a steroid to help Levi in regaining his strength.
It looks like it will be a long road ahead for this guy, but he is able to stand and that is a good sign that permanent damage has not set in. Dr. Arena warned us that he may look worse before he gets better. We'll let you know how it goes.
In better news, we got to have some goat kid play time in the barn today and I have some great video of the nine goat kids playing together. I'll try to get that posted for you all tomorrow. I'll also post some pictures of the new chickens, too. That is, if everything goes according to plan. Laugh away, Universe.
Thanks for popping in for a visit today, friends. We are glad you are here. ♥
~Sean and Sonja