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T O P I C    R E V I E W
maryjane Posted - Dec 24 2019 : 05:26:01 AM
May your day be jolly and bright and full of delight.

15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
NellieBelle Posted - Jan 01 2020 : 4:59:50 PM
The "Burrometer" was made by a friend when in country school. He is no longer living, but I think of him when I see it. Clever little things were made in country school. Yes, I'm usually a wreck when one of the cows have a problem. I ordered all that you suggested and I'll probably drive up to Vet tomorrow and pick up the Thiamine HCL. I will feel better knowing it's here if I need it. Things can go from bad to worse in just a little bit of time. Our snow mostly melted away today too. Mild for the next week. I'll take it. I've kept journals for nearly 30 years, and they are fun to look back on. I started a new one today!
maryjane Posted - Jan 01 2020 : 4:06:59 PM
Burrometer, clever! Did someone in your family make yours?

Our snow has all but disappeared with the wind and warmth. I've been sorting again and found an old diary I used to keep when my children were teens. Mostly it was weather, but I enjoyed coming across gems like: our boy wrecked the Jeep today. Anyway, reading through my weather reports was interesting. One August, it was 82 one day and the next day it dropped to 45. My daffodils bloomed a different time every year, sometimes by weeks.

I'm sure hoping you can get a new routine going for Nellie that keeps her rumen and calcium, etc. on track. It's so worrisome when they aren't doing well. Hard to troubleshoot and know what to do/try.
NellieBelle Posted - Jan 01 2020 : 2:28:32 PM
Okay, I will check into those as well, as I have an order started at Yes, Vet said he would let me get the injectable to have on hand. Pretty tails on those cow gals. You wouldn't want to see Nellie's right now. No point when she had the loose stools. Hopefully that will be done with and she can have her pretty tail back. Yes, beautiful day here except for the wind. Stood outside for some time this afternoon, temperatures in mid-40's. I think I've shared this before but my weather indicator is such:
maryjane Posted - Jan 01 2020 : 1:59:04 PM
I've had good luck managing polio (as well as other issues) by using ProBios. I'm remembering that once Sweet William got that polio shaky head/distant look and all I did was give him a good dose of ProBios without having to give him a shot.

I keep a small bottle of ProBios in powder form in my parlor and sprinkle it on their food (I keep the bigger size I buy in my fridge). Sweet William got it daily on his grain.

They'll produce Thiamine on their own if their rumen flora stays in balance. But I like having an injectable Thiamine on hand just in case.

Did your vet say he'd prescribe you a bottle of injectable Thiamine to have on hand?

Their tummies can be just as finicky are ours sometimes when it comes to keeping the balance of flora just right.

It's the bugs in our guts that digest the food that enables nutrients like Thiamine to go to the brain, so I'm a fan of having the correct army of bugs on hand. I wonder if there's a natural way to give our girls probiotics? We eat lots of sauerkraut for our daily dose. My grandgirls gobble it up.

This morning when I milked I snapped a few photos. I sure do love combing out tails every day. I like the way they fall into natural ringlets.

First I brush Miss Daisy's beautiful black tail as part of getting her all gussied up (washed) for going into the parlor.

Then I bring her inside and get her ready for milking by wrapping her tail so it's not in my way.

Then I leave her be for a bit and bring Buttercup into my outside head-lock and give her some spa/training time. She has a beautiful red tail.

It's a blustery day here, lots of wind. I had a window blow open a little bit ago.

Ha, I was just remembering a sign my father made for his wood shop. He painted a donkey on a board and drilled a hole where its tail should be and threaded some manila rope through that he frayed. Below the donkey he painted something silly like:

If tail is at 4 o'clock, pay it no mind.
If tail is straight out, head for cover.
If tail is gone, kiss your ass goodbye.
NellieBelle Posted - Jan 01 2020 : 09:03:17 AM
Visited with Dr. Vet and said it was good idea. I will order some of the oral tubes also. Thanks again MaryJane!
NellieBelle Posted - Jan 01 2020 : 04:27:46 AM
I wonder MaryJane if a person could add Thiamine in powder form to their diet regularly. I know you can buy it in bulk but I wouldn't know for sure how much to put in the feed, like we do for Vitamin C when they need a boost for infections and such. I may ask the vet when I talk to him. Nellie may benefit from Thiamine supplement on a regular basis to keep her from having this issue. ?
NellieBelle Posted - Jan 01 2020 : 03:52:08 AM
Thank you MaryJane. I will be getting a bottle of Thiamine after visiting with my vet. Like you say it may just be what's needed and it won't hurt giving it to her regardless and it will give me peace of mine as well. I hate seeing her go through this. And if a shot of Thiamine will bring her around then I will have it on hand. Thanks so much!
maryjane Posted - Dec 31 2019 : 7:21:51 PM
We're plenty socked in tonight. Not even a sliver of a moon could get through.

Here's my bottle of Thiamine. It says to administer intramuscular, but I swear I've been doing it in the neck by holding out a pinch of skin per WSU's instructions (Dr. Parish was the doc that diagnosed it for me). The dose I've used is 4 ml, but online says 1 ml/45 kg body weight which would be 8 ml for Daisy at 800 pounds. But I've usually given her another dose of 4 ml 12 hours later. It's water soluble so I think it would be hard to over-dose.

I put a little bit of cut-off finger glove on the tops of my injectables once I've used them, in case you're wondering what the blue bottle cap is.

And in a pinch, I gave Sweet William some multi-B vitamin gel once (an entire tube), because it was available in our local feed store. It worked somewhat but not as good as the shot does. The bottle of thiamine I have now expires next month so I'll have to get a fresh bottle from my vet to have on hand.

NellieBelle Posted - Dec 31 2019 : 5:03:57 PM
Thank you MaryJane! I will run this off and get it to my vet. They gave Nellie Vitamin B complex both times as well as this one, along with a bucket full (liquid) of other vitamins pumped in. Dextrose also and calcium. She is acting okay yet this evening and I will talk to the vet Thurs. and give him an update along with the information you shared. Gotta keep these girls healthy. Oh sorry about the full moon. My 2019 calendar ( The Cornell Lab of Ornithology ) got it wrong, I know because when we got done milking the moon is not full. I don't think I've ever had that happen before.
maryjane Posted - Dec 31 2019 : 3:28:28 PM
When Miss Daisy gets a B1 (Thiamine deficiency), she gazes upward (also called stargazing polio but has nothing do with "polio") and sometimes her head shakes a little bit. She backs up weirdly and when she walks forward she lifts her back legs up real high and has a total vacant/blank look. I keep a bottle of Thiamine on hand and give her a subcutaneous shot maybe once or twice in a 24 hour period. It totally cures her. You might suggest it to your vet. I haven't had to dose Daisy in a couple of years. It seems to follow antibiotic treatment or calving stress or who knows what. Her boy, Sweet William had it happen to him a couple of times.

Here's a bit more about it:

Polioencephalomalacia (Polio, PEM) in Goats: Dr. Curt Vlietstra
Pipestone Veterinary Clinic

As winter approaches and producers start to increase grain and forage quality decreases, I typically see more cases of polioencephalomalacia in developing ruminants. Whether as a refresher on knowledge you already have or adding to your growing level of wisdom, hopefully you find this information useful.

Polioencephalomalacia, which I’ll simply refer to as “polio” for the rest of this article, is the scientific term for damage caused to the brain due to a metabolic disorder. You may be familiar with the term “thiamine deficiency” as well. This is essentially what causes the signs associated with polio because thiamine is responsible for carbohydrate metabolism, which ultimately provides glucose for the brain and other parts of the body. Goats are particularly reliant on one of the thiamine-dependent methods of glucose metabolism. The brain is usually the first noticeable organ to suffer from a shortage of glucose.

Signs of polio vary. Animals can show a slow progression that starts with being off-feed or a mild diarrhea. Because of the brain’s reliance on thiamine, the central nervous system is affected and symptoms such as staggering, muscle tremors, apparent blindness and/or other eye abnormalities, and odd-posturing can be seen. In severe cases, animals will be lying on their sides with their heads pulled back and rigid limbs. Seizures, coma and eventually death in 1-2 days follow if treatment is not given. Because these signs can be seen with other diseases such as rabies, listeriosis, over- eating, tetanus, pregnancy toxemia, a host of toxicities, and others, it is difficult to observe an animal and say definitively that it does or does not have polio. Lab diagnosis is possible (speak with your veterinarian), but since treatment should be initiated immediately, response to treatment often is the best means of diagnosing polio.

Healthy ruminants do not typically need any thiamine added to their diet. This is because the rumen microbes make enough thiamine (also known as Vitamin B1) for the body to function properly. Problems most typically arise when something the animal eats causes the rumen pH to drop. Sudden ration changes, over-feeding concentrates, underfeeding forages or using poor quality forages, moldy feed, stress such as weaning, feed high in molasses (often horse feeds), and certain plants can do this. As the rumen pH drops, the population of microbes in the rumen is altered, essentially leading to a loss in the “good bugs” and an overgrowth of the “bad bugs.” The helpful microbes are those that make thiamine. The harmful microbes produce byproducts that degrade thiamine before it can be used by the body. The lack of thiamine leads to a glucose shortage in the brain, eventually causing death of certain brain cells. The speed and severity of the signs depends on how quickly brain cell metabolism stops and cells begin to die.

It has been well-documented that amprolium (Corid®) used to treat coccidiosis can lead to an increase in polio cases if it is not dosed properly. Amprolium does not necessarily drop the rumen pH, but it can prevent thiamine from being used by the body. Also, oral antibiotics are believed to increase the likelihood of an animal getting polio. It is thought that the mechanism is a direct alteration in the population of bugs in the rumen (the antibiotics don’t discriminate between killing good bugs or bad bugs) leading to decreased thiamine production. Finally, high levels of sulfate in the diet cause polio-like symptoms and polio lesions in the brain. Mis-feeding, high-sulfur water sources, and some urinary acidifiers (NOT ammonium chloride) can be the culprits of high-sulfate diets. Testing the feed or water is always a good idea when polio is seen in many animals in a short period of time.

Thiamine is the only treatment, and it must be prompt.

The recommended dose for thiamine is 10 mg/kg of body weight. The 200 mg/ml thiamine that I carry in my truck is quite common, and this dose would equate to 1⁄2 cc per 20 pounds of body weight, or 2.5cc per 100 pounds. If possible, the first dose should be given IV. Follow-up doses can be given every 6 to 12 hours for a day or two, and may be given IM or SQ. If you can’t get thiamine, you can substitute a higher dose of Vitamin B complex (make sure it’s not Vitamin B12). The high level Vitamin B complex has 100 mg/ml, so the dose would be 1cc per 20 pounds or 5cc per 100 pounds of body weight.

Dexamethasone may help improve signs by reducing inflammation in the brain, and can be given in the same syringe with thiamine (and the same volume of thiamine if using the 2 mg/ml dexamethasone). If the thiamine is given IV, response can be seen in a few hours. Most of the symptoms can be completely reversed, although blindness can be permanent.

Prevention should be focused on management, not dietary supplements. There is some literature that mentions thiamine before stressful events or in herds where polio is a problem. Dietary supplements are available, but if management does not change, the causes of the pH drop are not addressed, and there will simply be more thiamine for the bad bugs to degrade. Supplements may slow the progression or help some of the sub- clinical animals that have poor appetites and diarrhea, but they aren’t meant to cure sick animals or completely prevent this disorder.

The bottom line is that polio is not an infectious disease. Due to the array of causes, it is almost impossible to completely prevent all polio cases. Good management will limit the number of times you have to deal with it, and prompt treatment will greatly increase your odds of success.

This information provided to you via University of Minnesota Extension.
Copyright 2007 © Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, this material is available in alternative formats upon request. Please contact the Extension Store at (800) 876-8636. University of Minnesota Extension is an equal opportunity educator and employer .

NellieBelle Posted - Dec 31 2019 : 1:39:22 PM
Thank You MaryJane! It's actually 28 years yesterday but who's counting. :) I spent much of the day working as Nellie took another dive. I started milking as always, but noticed Nellie wasn't acting right. Staring, lifting her back feet, backing up, and she wouldn't eat when in the stanchion. I immediately gave her a tube of calcium and put her in the stall. After a few hours she perked up but she still wasn't herself, so I called the vet who came mid-afternoon and we did pretty much the same as last time, and added a magnet that I had on hand, just in case. Then after that it was time to do the neighbors chores, come back home and milk, our chores and then get some sort of supper. Needless to say, I was a bit tuckered out come evening and went to bed early. Still not feeling too great today but I'm sure I'll come around. Nellie is doing fine today. Wouldn't know it was the same cow. If things don't continue going well for her we will do up some blood work and send it off. So here's hoping. I'm going to have to do the same with Nellie's next calf, graft her to Darla, if all goes well. Time to go do neighbor's chores and start this routine again. Have a pleasant evening, may your skies be clear to enjoy the full moon on this New Years Eve.
maryjane Posted - Dec 31 2019 : 1:13:44 PM
Next year you can decorate a tiny Christmas tree for your little guy, his home looks so ... lived in, sign and all.

Hmmm, oyster soup fiasco? We made clam chowder--delish.

Happy 29th??? anniversary Janet and Joe, yesterday that is. I think I'm a day late and a memory short.

Snowing here. I put Miss Daisy in with Ian on Sunday. I'll know by the 23rd of January if he filled the bill. I'm so smitten with his offspring Buttercup, I thought I better try it one more time. Lots of pampering for Miss Daisy though. Plus, she's so low to the ground, I'll have to try to graft her calf onto Buttercup who calves April 29. If not, I'm happy to bottle feed her/him.
NellieBelle Posted - Dec 25 2019 : 10:46:52 AM
Looks like a grand, enjoyable day had by all. And Oreo provided quite a feast! Wonderful pictures. We had a quiet day on the farm, plenty of sunshine. Plenty of walks. Today will be pretty much the same. Someday I will tell you about the oyster soup fiasco. I've been having some fun with a new arrival. He/she is quite the character. Yesterday I watched him/her fill it's cheeks with oak leaves and take them inside his new found home.
maryjane Posted - Dec 25 2019 : 06:08:24 AM
It's warm here also. It's nice not to be struggling with snow right now. On the other hand, a white Christmas would be beautiful.

Cute arrangement Janet. Love your sign.

Yesterday was a lovely day with luscious food. We started out mid-day with Stella treating us to an array of snacks she prepared and set out (she opened the last jar of pickles she helped can.) But wait! First she had to take a photo.

Later we went to Brian and Ashley's for a turkey dinner. "Oreo" was the guest of honor (the gobbler they raised).

The meat was divine. Very moist and lots of it.

With plenty of drippings for gravy.

And of course some of Ashley's rolls.

The Raes were adorable in their matching x-Moose t-shirts (we've had three moose roaming around outside eating trees, etc. and we'd like to be able to call them our exes sooner rather than later).

Stella and Meg made a pumpkin pie (Ashley and I prepped the filling from our own pumpkins), and Ashley and Adria made a peach pie.

Here's Adria and Alina admiring their mother's creation that'll go in the oven this morning, a super-fancy cinnamon roll. Yum.

Soon, we'll open presents and enjoy another feast: waffles, scalloped potatoes (recipe from Milk Cow Kitchen), shirred eggs (ingredients all from our farm--eggs, cream, parmesan, spinach).

I'll try to snap a few more photos.
NellieBelle Posted - Dec 24 2019 : 08:41:48 AM
This year's Winter Solstice is coming in mild. So quite cheery and "bright." We are to hit 56 today and 58 tomorrow. So good days for walks with my two four-legged companions. Always a delight! I added a bit of greenery greetings myself. Love walking through the pines when it's crisp and cool.