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All information provided in these articles is based either on personal experience or information provided by others whose treatments and practices have been discussed fully with a vet for accuracy and effectiveness before passing them on to readers.
In all cases, it is your responsibility to obtain veterinary services and advice before using any of the information provided in these articles. We are not veterinarians. Neither nor any of the contributors to this website will be held responsible for the use of any information contained herein.
PLEASE keep in mind, just because there is a DVM after the name does not mean they have the proper answers for goat owners 'Caveat emptor'- You need to find a responsible GOAT Vet


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Scours- E Coli Print E-mail
Written by Administrator-GL   
Monday, 30 March 2009

Title: Scours- E Coli

E Coli
This is probably The most common reason for scours in young kids, 5 days old and under usually. (Not to say it cannot happen in older kids and adults, but this is the age group most commonly affected.) The scours in this case may be bright yellow or whitish and watery, because of the excess fluids the intestines are producing (which is what causes dehydration).
There may or may not be a fever, and often times you will find a sub normal temperature. The baby will more than likely stand with a "hunched" appearance, holding tail and head in a lower than normal position. The kid may act hungry but will not eat aggressively. Blindness in advanced cases is often times noted.

Other symptoms can include; abdominal pain and severe cramps, depression, weakness, and dehydration.

Confirmation of disease can be verified by culture of the bacteria. This is another problem of unclean surroundings, bacteria entering the neonate via the umbilical cord, mouth or teats of the dam. Overcrowding and unkempt pens are more than likely the culprit. Treatment must be aggressive to be successful.

This disease can be particularly difficult to diagnose as it comes in different forms:

1. Colisepticemia (Septicemic colibacillosis, Septicemic disease)
Colisepticemia is most often seen during the first week of life, most commonly at 2-5 days of age (Acute).

Acute:This is a rapid onset and endotoxemic shock is usually the result, which leads to a quick death. Transmission of this typically is nasal contact, oral contact or umbilical contact. Mortality can be up to 100% of affected kids.The actual course of clinical symptoms is a very short period- (3-8 hrs), so many times goes unnoticed. Subnormal temperature, listlessness, an early loss of interest in sucking followed by depression, poor response to external stimuli (talking to or handling, in advanced cases. the eye flick test), collapse, recumbency, coma and death.

Chronic: This form may be seen in neonates up to 2 weeks of age. This becomes a localized disease, including but not limited to Nephritis; (an inflammation of the kidney) , Uveitis; (an inflammation inside the eye),Meningitis; (an inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord) and Polyarthritis; (any type of arthritis which involves five or more joints) to name a few diseases directly related to a deficient immune system usually due to early colostrum deprivation.
2. Endotoxemia a poisoning of the naturally existing gram negative bacteria in the intestine that has broken into the bloodstream. The bacteria that are above the capacity the liver can detoxify become the toxic and dangerous bacteria. The immune system simply goes into overload and shuts down. Symptoms include but are not limited to: High fever, depression, and lack of appetite. Edotoxic shock then becomes a major concern: Increased heart rate, weak pulse, dehydration, darkening of the gums, cold extremities (tail, limbs, hooves and ears), sub-normal temperature, increased respiratory rate, besides the typical scouring. Endotoxic shock (also known to many as:Bacteremic Shock, Endotoxic Shock, Septicemic Shock, Warm Shock)  is most of the time fatal unless a veterinarian is able to administer fluids IV and treat the bacteria aggressively.

Replace fluids and electrolyte loss, kill the organism with antibiotics (antibiotics that are aggressive against gram-negative organisms) place patient into a clean environment. Replace milk with electrolyte formula for 24 hours. Neomycin, tetracycline and sulfa drugs are common medications for treatment.
The oral use of Biosol Liquid antibacterial (Neomycin Sulfate) is very helpful. I also use CD Anti-Toxin in cases of e-coli.©2006 All Rights Reserved
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