View Full Version : Oliver the Goat and the Dog Attack...Again

Mar. 24, 2011, 07:09 PM
So, are goat wounds really that much different than equine wounds? Have I just been lucky before, or am unlucky now? In other words, WTF?!

Ollie's wound looked great for a bit. Even the vet said it was healing remarkably well, but I had some concerns. Ollie just seemed...not himself. His wound just seemed a little warm, a little not right. Then the maggots showed up. This has all been posted about.

So, now, he's been off oral antibiotics for 5 days (vet gave us a 2 week prophylactic prescription). Maggots are gone, wound looked good for a day or two. Now, though, it's all full of pus and gross. No heat or anything but it doesn't look good to me...again.

I feel like I'm doing everything I can. I called in to the vet, he's going to stop by on his way home tonight (fortunately he lives like 1/2 mile from me and doesn't charge me a call fee), but it's so frustrating. Every time I think Ollie is doing good, things go to hell again. I love this little goat and I want him to pull through.

The wound is like two inches wide, but it's deep and he's a small goat (8 month old Nigerian Dwarf, probably 40 pounds though that's a wild guess based on how hard it is to carry him vs. a feed sack ;)). I think it's such a stupid sized wound to worry about but it doesn't seem to be healing well. Am I doing something wrong? Is this just how it goes with goats? I don't seem to have had these problems with the horses I've nursed back to health, and I've seen a heck of a lot worse wounds on them even taking relative size into account.

I'm just worried about my goat. :( I guess I just posted this for commiseration/any advice others have had. I've owned my goats for a bit now, but I'm not super experienced and while I'm doing a lot of research I worry I may be missing something.

edited to add: Ollie is eating and drinking and moving around a lot on his own, so it's not like this is a life or death thing right now. I am just really worried about how easily this wound seems to get infected and the lack of effect the previous round of antibiotics seemed to have had... Ollie is good, I'm just a paranoid owner. :) He also seems to be breathing kind of hard more often since the attack...vet says that's just from pain but it worries me. He is not running a fever, however.

Mar. 24, 2011, 07:31 PM
Can he be sedated and have it deep-scrubbed and stitched, so it's not open?

Mar. 24, 2011, 07:40 PM
I'll have to Google that and see, maybe. Originally the wound wasn't a candidate for stitching because the first vet I had out to see it wasn't good (we only have two local vet practices, and my regular vet was out of town...the other vet was the one I went with when I first moved down here and they're the "other" vet for a reason) and by the time my vet came out it was way too late for normal stitching. Is it possible to stitch this late? Keep in mind it has been about three weeks since the original injury.

I really like my current vet but I think sometimes we're at a detriment because we're in a poor area where many folks are subsistance farmers, and livestock are "just" livestock. I have already gone way beyond what Ollie will ever earn me financially (he was slated to be castrated, the date was 2 days after the attack, and he is "just" a companion to Bill, my registered Nigerian Dwarf buck for when he has to be separated from the ladies...but Ollie is my favorite I have to admit), and I think our local vets aren't really accepting of it. After this latest setback I'm prepared to go to a specialist vet I've heard good things about, though they're about 90 miles away. :no: Still, I love this little guy.

I don't mean to speak ill of my vet, he is good, I just worry he's not totally up to date about anything that isn't a typical companion animal (cats, dogs, even horses).

Mar. 24, 2011, 07:51 PM
I have had horses with gacks like that and they take a long time to heal. Keep the flies out, let it granulate... It will fill in. As long as its not infected I think you are ok. Always good to have the vet check of course!

Mar. 24, 2011, 07:58 PM
Thanks for the reassurance, EqTrainer. :) I've had horses who took a long time to heal, too, but it feels like one step forward, two steps back with Ollie. I keep trying to tell myself that I'm emotionally invested and am not a rational judge of things (I know I get like this with my animals) but that doesn't make it any less stressful!

Mar. 24, 2011, 08:00 PM
Also, anyone please let me know if these Ollie threads are getting annoying, especially given the lack of photos. I'm worknig on that, though! I'm just fretting about my goat and it helps to hear y'alls' perspectives.

Mar. 24, 2011, 08:05 PM
Not annoying at all! We do love pics tho, ya know?!! Even gross ones... In fact, we like those best of all... Some of us :lol:

Mar. 24, 2011, 08:15 PM
Ollie is never annoying. I am sorry his wound is taking so long to heal. I guess I would consider what was suggested, sedating him and seeing if it could be sutured at this point. Only a vet could tell you that. What about putting him back on some antibiotics?

I hope Ollie gets better very soon. I think we do need a picture of the boy though.

Best of luck.:)

Mar. 24, 2011, 08:21 PM
I havent seen the other threads on this but if it's a puncture wound, doesn't it need to heal from the inside out?? That would mean flush the wound gently (daily) with a diluted solution of betadine and water and keep any scabs off the top to promote drainage.

No idea on the antibiotics not knowing what you have already used.

Mar. 24, 2011, 08:30 PM
Don't worry about being annoying, especially when it comes to our animals health!
You are their advocate.
I think there are goat boards that might also be useful for you to check out...sorry, I don't know any, but people here do. Maybe someone will link a few.
I love my goat, and would be heartbroken if that had happened to him.

Keep posting and talking to your vet..squeaky wheel and all that.

Mar. 24, 2011, 08:40 PM
Do you think hot compresses will help? Maybe microwave a plastic bottle filled with water, then wrap in towels and gently press it on the area?
I'm not a medical person but maybe it will be comforting.

Mar. 24, 2011, 08:41 PM
Is there a topical antibiotic and another oral or liquid you could use? And could something like vet wrap help? Or is covering it up a bad idea? I'm sure dog saliva, shock, and dirt don't help the situation, and personally I don't like the breathing problems-it sounds more complicated than a pain this long after the attack. Maybe rinsing it out with betaline or something will help it keep cleaner and heal.

Zu Zu
Mar. 24, 2011, 08:49 PM
Healing Jingles for Ollie ~~

Mar. 24, 2011, 09:07 PM
Thanks for all the good wishes. :) Ollie's wound isn't a straight up puncture wound. Actually there are two wounds, one is a shallow puncture but the big one is about two inches wide and maybe 1/2 inch deep? Haven't measured the depth but it isn't strictly a puncture wound, more like a deep tear. Ironically the actual puncture is healing beautifully, it's the other wound that is causing problems.

He was on an oral antibiotic for two weeks after the injury. The wound has been kept clean and bandaged, and packed with raw buckwheat honey (on veterinary suggestion). It was working really well, the problems I saw were prior to packing it with honey. I think we'll be starting the oral antibiotic again, I'm still waiting for my vet to arrive. If things ran late he might stop by on his way to the clinic tomorrow AM. I'll ask about suturing when I see him.

The gist is he has been on antibiotics and the wound has been covered and kept clean. We were really worried about shock/contamination before. I suspect the contamination from the dog saliva was a big factor until the maggots showed up, I think they were a good thing. Ollie seems more active and alert since then. I worry though since the 2 weeks we had on oral antibiotics prior didn't seem to have much effect.

Ah, I'm so worried about such a little goat! I love having COTH as a resource, though, since most of my local friends are like, "It's a goat, just eat it! :confused:" Not exactly helpful for me!

edit: Just to specify about the camera, I broke my digital camera very recently and haven't replaced it, however that is in the works and in the meantime the only broken part is the viewfinder so for Ollie pictures I might be able to make it work. I'm trying, anyway!

Melissa.Van Doren
Mar. 24, 2011, 09:14 PM
I'd ask for a culture to see what bacteria is growing in there. Then you can target with specific antibiotics. And I'd keep him on them until the wound was really close to being fully healed. It's not doing it any good to bounce between healthy tissue and infected tissue. The inflammation that goes along with infection delays healing. And PLEASE don't flush it with Betadine daily (or even frequently). It's great stuff used sparingly, but it's an irritant to raw tissue and can actually delay healing. If you want to treat with something besides honey (which gets a big thumbs up from my vets AND human docs), look into Lacerum or one of the other PRP wound treatments.

Good luck to Ollie. Goats are cool!

Mar. 24, 2011, 09:45 PM
You may have to flush it out with saline solution. Ask your vet if this is something to consider. Goats as young and small as him can be frustrating to treat. Just make sure you stay on top of his temperature. Fever in goats is very dangerous. Good luck, and don't think you are ever annoying us when it comes to Ollie. Lots of goat lovers and keepers here!

Mar. 24, 2011, 09:53 PM
Not annoying at all! We do love pics tho, ya know?!! Even gross ones... In fact, we like those best of all... Some of us :lol:

Yes please!:yes:

Mar. 24, 2011, 10:17 PM
Usually I think the below recommendation is a bad idea for the same reason betadine is not suggested.

BUT.....in this case I think I might try it for a day or two to see if it helps flush the bacteria out.

I would gently insert a syringe minus the needle filled with hydrogen peroxide and let it fizz out the bacteria, then flush with saline.

Mar. 24, 2011, 10:24 PM
CosMonster - I'll send you an e-mail with a treatment we use. Never used it on a goat, but it should work the same as on a horse. Non-toxic!! Non-invasive. Crosscreek/Jackie

Mar. 24, 2011, 11:52 PM
Really... Nothing caustic in it. No betadine or peroxide. Warm water, very mild saline, dont dig at it. Personally i might spray it with alushield but thats it. Would be worried about honey attracting bugs!

Mar. 25, 2011, 12:19 AM
I breed Nigerians, and so I'm jingling like mad for your little friend. Nothing cuter than a Nigerian, and nothing more endearing.

I had a senior doe with a mysterious wound near her tail. I say mysterious, because we never could find anywhere in their pen where she could have snagged it, and we know there were no predators on her. But like yours, it just didn't seem to be healing. It would look good, then look icky, then good. We did topicals, then orals, then injectables. We tried it open, we stitched it--nothing seemed to change it much.

Eventually I let her go, because she was starting to cry when she defecated, and had fallen to the bottom of the pecking order in the herd and was isolating herself. Turned out to be the right choice, because a post mortem revealed she had a necrotic tissue all the way through the body wall in to the wall of the colon. Vet barely touched the colon wall, and the tissue disintegrated in his hands--so it was only a matter of hours or days until she perforated and went toxic. He suspected the original wound was a cancerous lesion which ruptured, but we never knew for sure.

I'm not telling you this to scare you, as you know for sure that this is a wound (the dog bite), where as I think my poor old girl was already compromised, and he's young and healthy. But, my vet did say Nigie's can be a little tough to treat, because they can hold their own a lot longer than some others. I had a another senior doe with a brain tumor, who didn't show a symptom until 10 days before she died.

So while I don't think it would have saved my girl, I would recommend, if you don't see pretty quick improvement, taking Ollie to a specialist or university hospital. Not because your vet isn't good, but because these guys can be a little weird, and they might need the extra mile, so to speak, in terms of treatment and expereince. My vet has 20 years in goats, and says Nigerians aren't quite like the rest of them.

Good luck to you and your boy!

Mar. 25, 2011, 06:48 AM
I wonder if there is more damage to the chest than the vet detected. I wonder if there's a tiny lung puncture or something, and there's maybe a pneumothorax or tiny bit of pneumonia? I hope not, and that he'll just rebound, but it could explain the chest/pain problems.

Mar. 25, 2011, 11:37 AM
I had a herd of goats, but I had to sell most of them a couple of springs ago when we had a really bad drought here. I did keep 2 of my favorites girls though.

I am in the middle of nowhere, with the same lack of vet care, and the prevalent feeling that goats are livestock, and because they are not worth a ton of money, not much is spent on them for vet care.

I found most of my goat vet care info at http://www.goatworld.com/

They also have a 911 forum for sick guys. They have awesome info and a ton of help.

Good luck.

Mar. 25, 2011, 12:01 PM
i love the ollie threads...jingling for you little guy..oh, and pics please?

Mar. 25, 2011, 01:05 PM
Thanks everyone for the tips and well-wishes. Ollie is looking really good again this morning. He was actually jumping around and head-butted Bill, his buddy. The wound looks good as well. :confused: It just seems to go back and forth. We did start him on antibiotics again last night but it seems a little soon to be working.

The vet did stop by last night but didn't really do much except bring me the antibiotics, take a quick look at the wound and tell me to keep an eye on it. PhoenixFarm, I am doing some research into finding a vet that specializes in goats. I think I've found one about an hour away and am waiting for him to call me back. My vet is pretty good but I think that certainly wouldn't hurt.

I'm pretty sure that his lungs are safe, the wound is pretty high up and though very deep, not deep enough to reach his lungs. I hope so, anyway! I think the hard breathing is because of pain actually, because when he's feeling okay or laying down he breathes normally. I did ask the vet about it and he agrees, but I'm definitely going to be monitoring his breathing more closely.

Deckchick, thanks for the link. It looks like a really good resource. :)

I'm working on the pictures, I promise! :D I'll really try to get some posted today.

Mar. 25, 2011, 02:34 PM
I know for my deep (horse) puncture wounds the healing was slow and it was important to keep them open and draining while they healed from the inside. Even though it sounds like ollie's is pretty wide, is it possible that there's a pocket in the puncture that closes and traps yuk? I had one mare that I had to insert a probe to keep her wound from closing on top of the deeper portion.
I also irrigated the puctures my horses had. A bit of pressure from the hose that brought up a bit of blood seemed to increase the circulation and speed things along on the really big one.
Finally, my vet had a topical antibiotic (otamax?) that had a long tube so I could squeeze some into the depths of the puncture.

Good luck with Ollie!!

Mar. 25, 2011, 04:40 PM
More Jingles for you and Ollie.

Just wanted to add this, I have no experience in goat wound care, but I had a young horse who had a sizable deep gash on his gaskin, that could not be stitched or bandaged.

I used Band-Aid brand wound wash on it several times a day, and then slathered on Novalsan cream, and it healed up beautifully.

I don't know if you can use that on a goat, but wanted to post it anyway.

Mar. 25, 2011, 07:21 PM
I just had to rebandage Ollie since the little stinker pulled his bandage off, and I forgot to bring a little handful of grain as a treat like I usually do when I have to doctor him. He decided to chew on my arm and my shoes since he didn't get his candy. He'd take a bite out of me and when I scolded him he looked up at me and wagged his little tail and then went back to chewing on me. He is such a stinker.

Just thought I'd share a cute story to counterbalance all the gloom and doom. :)

Mar. 25, 2011, 10:18 PM
*jingles* for Ollie.

Mar. 25, 2011, 11:10 PM
Love those little wagging tales. :cool: Prayers and jingles continue for Ollie.

Gil's Girl
Mar. 26, 2011, 12:28 AM
Just wanted to say jingling for Ollie, and hope he's okay - I have a little Toggenburg doe who is literally the love of my life - she was an orphan who I raised, and is now is a 120lb terror with horns, but the most affectionate and attached pet I've ever had. When she was a baby every time she'd see her bottle her tail would wag hysterically:)

They're funny to treat though, and sensitive, particularly respiratory wise, even though they're great healers too. I think a vet who not only knows goats but who understands the difference between livestock/pet is rare, and it's hard for them when they probably don't treat many goats, or only for basic issues.

I almost lost mine a couple of years ago, and had the incredibly good luck of getting her to the vet hospital in time, and the vet on staff was a swiss goat specialist who did an above and beyond job of saving her.

Best of luck, let us know how he does.....

Mar. 26, 2011, 09:42 PM
Jingles for Ollie! My 'go to' wound care is Schreiners Herbal Solution. I've handled nasty deep gashes on horses, dogs, cats and yes, even myself with it. Simply flush the wound with plain warm water, either with a hose or large syringe. Then pat surface dry and spray/squirt the Schreiners in. It heals from the inside out and heals clean. Good luck.

Mar. 27, 2011, 11:31 PM
Thought I'd give an Ollie update. :) Not too much different, although he seemed to be breathing better today. He was also walking extremely well, especially because I had to put him in my horse trailer for about 24 hours.

Some background: Basically, we had to shore up the fences in the goat pen and I have a big old stock trailer that was the safest spot for them in the meantime. Took longer than I would have liked due to the fact that I travel to other barns a lot on weekends, but we couldn't really put it off because I was worried something could get in.

I had also used the trailer as the Goat ICU in the first few days after the attack when Ollie wasn't moving much and I had to really monitor how much he was eating, drinking, pooping, etc. Then we started moving him into the pen during the day but the trailer at night. What we noticed during this time was that he was really stiff after spending time in the trailer. When he was strong enough to start spending all his time in the goat pen, we noticed a big improvement (we were worried about predators, we are surrounded on three sides by thousands of miles of BLM land and so have major problems with coyotes and cougars as well as feral dogs, and they seem to have a radar for weakened animals).

So today in spite of his confinement he was walking great, although he kept trying to go back to the trailer but I think he was just confused. Before he couldn't even walk from the trailer to the pen after 8 or 10 hours in the trailer, but today he probably walked the distance 2-3 times over because he kept turning back. :D Bill was also a big reason for his confusion as Bill was feeling his oats and cavorting around, always behind Ollie who was a bit worried about what was going on back there.

He's also begun chewing on his bandages, which I think is a good sign. His wound is itchy, which it wasn't before the maggots and which IME is often a sign of healing. There's no pus and just good pink flesh. We're packing with buckwheat honey again. I know some of you are probably like "WTF with the honey!" but it's a treatment that has had good results on other livestock and that both my vet and my friend who is an ER doctor agree is pretty ideal for the wound, so I'm sticking with it. We have friends who have an organic apiary and also raise sheep and live just a mile down the road and who my worker also works with, so that's where the whole honey treatment idea and previous livestock experience comes from. Apparently it is also a very good treatment on humans with diabetic sores, bed sores, or other wounds that are hard to treat and easily infected, according to my ER doc friend.

I really do appreciate the suggestions of wound cleansers and the PMs of special recipes, too. At the moment we're just flushing with saline but if I see signs of infection again it's really nice to have those as a resource. :) You COTHers are great!

I did contact a goat specialist vet who is about 2 hours away from me. He was kind enough to do a free phone consultation, and said that he believed he would follow the same course of treatment we were already on, but that if Ollie has further complications I should bring Ollie to him, which I will do. I do really like my regular vet but I have noticed a hierarchy in how he treats animals (because he treats ALL my animals...ah, the joys of living in a small town in a poor area): dogs, then cats, then horses, and at a far fourth are goats. I can't blame him, it must be very difficult to be a jack-of-all-trades vet like he has to be, and he has to prioritize his knowledge by the demand, and his highest paying clients are likely associated with the local college and have primarily dogs and cats. I also have to say that I used to use the only other vet practice in town which has multiple vets with their own specialties, and they screwed up so many times I switched (including having them out to see Ollie on the day of the attack, which was a bad experience). I've only had good experiences with my current one, if not always perfect. ;)

So basically Ollie is slowly becoming more and more himself. He had also stopped bleating at me or caring about following me for a little bit, but is now back to both. I can't tell you how happy it made me to approach the trailer this morning to feed before I left for the morning and hearing him bleat at me. :)

I think I got some pictures on my camera, too, now I just need to figure out how to get them off of there when I can't see the screen. I'll put it in the title when I get pics on here, just so those who are just waiting for that know. ;)

Worst case scenario pics-wise is that a client of mine offered to come take pictures of some of my sales horses until I decide which camera I want (I'm shopping for a good digital camera I can use for both horse sales pics and hobby artistic photography, so am doing a lot of research), so I'll get her to snap a few of Ollie while she's here. That should be Tuesday or Wednesday.

Mar. 28, 2011, 04:07 PM
Go, goat! :D