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Our Mini Nubian goat, Porter, is fighting Polio / Listeria. What signs did we see?

Updated: Dec 22, 2021

Oh my where to start. Jason herd him screaming Friday around 2 from the house. He went outside and he was laying on side and couldn’t get up. He got him up and moved him under a shelter because it was pouring rain. He ran in and called the vet, loaded him up to head to the vet. When he got there the vet diagnosed him with Polio. He was given a 40% chance of survival.

Our goat did not have any of the normal symptoms of goat polio, no fever, no circling, no noticeable sight issues, no isolating and he had been eating earlier in the day. When the vet went to do an assessment he jerked back like he didn’t see his hand coming. This was the ONLY notable sign the entire time. If you know anything about goat polio recovery it is a long road.

The vet recommend the same treatment we use for POLIO. However, the Penicillin and Thiamine doses were not as strong as we use so I upped them. We put him in a pen with a heating lamp and starter treatment every 4 hours around the clock. The vet suggested we treat every 6 hours but we went 4. He suggested we stretch it out to 8 after 24 hours. I bumped him out to 6 and he went downhill so we resumed every 4 hours. We bumped him to 5 yesterday and he maintained. He wasn’t eating yesterday so I gave him fresh pumpkin, carrots and all the leaves he would consume the entire day.

Fast forward to this morning and he can barely stand again. He took his last 2 treatments laying down. He is screaming and I am beyond sad. I know this is hard to beat. In the past 72 hours we have had so many ups and downs. I have been celebrating every up and every down is heartbreaking! We have again called the vet to make sure I am not missing anything and to get thiamine refills.

Please keep him in your thoughts as we continue to battle goat polio / listeria. I will keep documenting this so other goat farmers can learn from this and know what to expect. I am as optimistic as I can be that he will recover. I also smell like a billy goat in rut but so does my husband.

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