Wednesday, September 5, 2012

And the Verdict Is...


We were right about the problem, wrong about the solution. The routine wormer I use does not treat the kind of worms, Miss Ellie has. The fecal exam showed a heavy load of Strongyle worms, which accounts for the anemia in Miss Ellie and the scours. The treatment is easy. We will administer a dose of Ivomec and Miss Ellie should enjoy a complete recovery. Very welcomed news!

Side note: when something happens to our animals, the first thing we do is hit the books with research. We try to figure out what is wrong and how to treat it. If our efforts are not successful, we call in our very helpful and knowledgable Vet. We rarely run to our Vet first thing, though. For one thing, it can get to be very expensive. We would never decline medical treatment for our animals because of cost, but I do not choose to spend money when it is not necessary. ($700 for Sean's cat who drank anti-freeze and needed IV infusions for his kidneys to be flushed and functional falls under the category of necessary. $600 for x-rays for Angus and infusions of saline fluid when he was hit by a car and broke his pelvis in 3 places- necessary. Spending over $3,000 for surgery with the same success rate as treating his pain, wrapping and imobilizing his hips, and restricting movement for 2 months was not. Angus recovered without the surgery, is mobile and healthy for the old man he is.) All pet owners have to find that line for themselves. For another, most of the time, ailments and minor injuries can be treated at home safely and effectively. For us, every injury and illness is documented with our treatment and the reaction so that we can learn how to care best for the animals in our care.

Research Mode:
I am aware that most animals get parasites and need to be wormed. Anyone with only a household dog or cat is aware of this. But, what are Strongyle worms? How do they work? What is the treatment and dosage to combat them? I want to educate myself because this will likely come up again.

What are Strongyle worms?

Trichostrongylus tenuis, also known as the strongyle worm, is a gut Nematode. (Click for more information on Nematodes.) They are parasitic and often live in the digestive tract of grazing mammals such as sheep, goats, and cows.

I spent about 20 minutes looking up images to post. I saw many disturbing pictures, but none labelled definitively as the worm I was looking for. The most relevant image I found is the life cycle posted here. These worms can infect humans and my research indicated that the treatment in 3rd world countries is for the same drug as Ridge Runner Vets prescribed. For my purposes, picture a goat instead of a human host.

What is the treatment?

Every site I could find regarding treatment, agreed on the same course of action, namely, Ivomec (known as Ivermectin, too.) given orally at a dose of 1 milliliter per 50 pounds of animal. The product is labeled for injection, but it seems to work better in goats and sheep when given by mouth. I have no personal first hand knowledge of this, but I guess I will once I begin Ellie's treatment. Update: giving Ivomec orally to a goat heavily infested with parasites and showing signs of anemia can be lethal. Talk to your vet and READ THIS post before you decide on any course of action.
I found the most useful information at:
We will need to repeat the worming in 2 weeks, but the prognosis looks very promising. And, as a precautionary measure, everyone else is getting dewormed, too.
Now, I must go shower and erase the mental creepy-crawly feeling I now have.
Thanks for visiting!
Sonja ♥


  1. I am so happy it is not anything too serious!

  2. Glad you figured it out and can now begin treating her. I agree with you on going to the vet. With my chickens I research online a lot and if I can't figure it out, I'll take them to see the vet. But most of the time it's something I can take care of myself unless they need medicine.

    Good luck with Ellie!