Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What to do for a snotty nose

Notice the green discharge from his nose and eyes. 
Early this morning I noticed one of my yearling bucks standing off by himself in the pasture. Anytime I see a goat off by itself, I get nervous and wonder what's wrong. I walked out and as soon as I got close I could see the discharge running out of his nose. I don't worry about a clear discharge; its usually an allergy. (Every spring when the pine pollen starts filling the air, I and my goats all start sneezing and blowing our noses.)

On this morning the goat's discharge was a dark color, which can mean pneumonia. It also means you do not want to waste any time or take any chances. These situations always remind me of Greg Christiansen's Rule #355. Greg raises goats and manages Grandview Livestock in eastern Kansas. A few years ago he kept a diary during his kidding season and a condensed version of the diary was reprinted in Farm and Ranch Living Magazine. In the diary, he talks about Rule #355:

"We have rule #355 because number 355 kid didn’t look quite right one night but I thought I would check him the next day.  He didn’t make it through the night.  After you do this a while you get to know the look that says, you better do something for me if you want me to be here tomorrow."

I think we've all had that experience. So when a goat doesn't look or act just right, the producer can usually tell when action is needed. If a goat has scours, I usually give it 12-24 hours to get over it on his own. But if dark snot and runny eyes means there is a possibility of pneumonia, I'm going to treat it quickly because the goat can be dead within a day.

His nose and eyes were dry by lunchtime.
I brought the buck to the barn and gave him 4 cc's of Nuflor. I gave him some fresh water, a little feed and a flake of hay. I came back and checked on him at lunchtime and he was much better — a little weak eyed, but his nose wasn't running and his eyes had dried up. He had been in the hay feeder enough to clean all the buggers off his nose! 

I'll give him another dose of Nuflor tomorrow morning and go ahead and give him his pneumonia vaccination booster. If he's still doing OK tomorrow afternoon, he'll go back into the yearling billy pen.

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