If you care for an elderly, injured or special needs pet, you've come to the right place!
Lenore is a 4 ½ week old baby goat. She was born with SEVERE scoliosis; her spine is “V” shaped. She is paralyzed from the waist down and her hind legs are atrophied. Surgery is not an option with her particular birth defect. She has now been evaluated by 3 veterinarians and has an appointment to see if she may be a candidate for acupuncture with a 4th vet this Friday. Though they are weak and splayed, she has a strong desire to use her front limbs. They can bear her weight for very brief periods. Her rear legs lay to the side and can not be positioned directly under her body. Her vets and I agree, with physical therapy to strengthen her front legs she may be able to use a wheelchair at some point. I am located in North Florida so I'm looking for a physical therapist in North or Central Fla. or even South Ga. Any recommendations?
That second pic is something else.
I have no experience with PT in Florida, but here is a link to help locate a facility.
http://www.utc.edu/Faculty/David-Levine ... TM#Clinics
You may also be interested in this thread
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMGIALvcq58 (correction, right goat wrong link)
http://web.archive.org/web/200904031919 ... _kind.html (note Ketra's legs appear to go to the side)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xf2ped16bwA (4-leg support)
http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMTQ5MjAxMDYw.html (homemade 4-leg support, video quality improves toward end)
P.S. This has nothing to do with your question, but can you tell if she is eliminating normally? I don't know anything about baby goats but she looks a little constipated, or maybe that's normal for a growing baby goat. Some animals with rear paraylsis can tend to be constipated, things just move more slowly. There are ways to improve it, with diet (plain canned pumpkin) or medications (lactulose syrup), but check with the vet, I don't know what is safe for goats. There is a technique where you stimulate the elimination reflex that works with some paralyzed pets http://www.handicappedpets.com/mediawik ... inent_pets.
Thank you for the links. She does have normal bowel and bladder function though her bowels were in terrible condition. She was being fed a horrible formula only when she cried in hunger (they fed her 2 to 3 ounces of cows milk twice a day- yes, you read that right) before she came to me. It's a miracle the garbage she was being fed (or starvation) didn't kill her. She came to me about a week ago and I am just now getting her bowels sorted out. I've been involved in rescue for 20+ years and was a vet tech for 15 prior to moving over to human medicine. This is by far the worst birth defect I've worked with.
Thank God she's in the right hands. I hope you'll be able to post how she progresses. The only other thing I can think of, and you may already have thought of it, is to monitor her heart, sometimes you'll see cardiac defects when you have these orthopedic signs. Two of the moderators here are animal physical therapists, and one has had a lot of handicapped farm animals. I'm sure they'd love to see pictures of her when you have time (I know I would!).
Sorry for double posting. I was thinking of the Evans Mobility Carts, which are a simple to use 4-wheel cart that could help her practice standing. The website is not opening for me right now so I called the Vet Clinic where the vet who makes them is practicing. They confirmed they still sell the carts. If you want to call and ask about them, the number is
They are open Mon, Tues, Wed and Fri 8:30-5:00
and Thurs and Sat 8:30-12:00
I think the vet, Dr. Evans, also raises goats!
Here is an archived copy of their website, since it isn't opening right now.
http://web.archive.org/web/200902251851 ... vanse.com/
Thank you for the Evan's link, those look perfect! Finances are a bit of an issue given all of the vet visits but my dad was an engineer so I'll bet he could put something like that together. The vets have been very kind in allowing me to make payments. I've explained that though she is the most disabled animal I am currently working with, she's not the only disabled animal I am caring for. A few friends have also mentioned trying to do a fund raiser to help defer all of the vet bills as well as a wheelchair/cart. She's going to tomorrow to see if acupuncture would be beneficial so I have high hopes. I'm also looking into two of the physical therapy centers in the link you posted. Someone had mentioned UF in Gainesville (about an hour from me) has a physical therapy program for animals so I may try to get her evaluated there as well.
She's QUITE bent, isn't she? I bet your dad could whip up wheels for her, and, in fact, you'd probably be better off since they'd be custom made, and repairs, when necessary, would be easy since he built them. I'm NO engineer, and I've done it (and redone it!). Redoing seems to be a fact of life due to the experience gained each time.
So glad you are here! You are definitely one of us and will be sharing some new and helpful information. You might want to set up a Chip In to help with the expenses. If you do, you can add it to this thread, on Facebook, etc. www.chipin.com
Christine... and Bailey, playing at the Bridge
?/1999 - 10/25/08
I'm trying to get a couple of decent pics of her and the wheelchair we made for her. She's still too weak to try to put in the wheelchair but between the acupuncture and physical therapy she's getting stronger. We're able to use a harness for her front limbs combined with a sling for her rear limbs and are trying to teach her to become coordinated with her front legs.
It is very acceptable to feed whole cow's milk to a kid. In fact, replacer often causes the kid to scour. The amount of milk they were feeding her was dead wrong though and the feeding times ridiculous. Also, she should be on a small amount of goat starter at this point to help her rumen function and she should have access to hay. If she is down, I would try to place her on her right side, if you can, as the rumen is on the left.
Do you have other goats? She will need a companion of some kind. Goats are herd animals and really do not do well alone. Of course, you may become her "buddy" in her eyes! I have always said that goats are some of the best dogs I have ever had.
I can't believe you made a wheelchair already, that is so cool!
I was thinking, and this may be a totally riduculous thought, but...if this was a dog or possibly a cat...hydrotherapy would be in the discussion. I really do not have a clear idea of what you are dealing with, never having cared for such a disabled baby animal myself. If she is too weak to put in a wheelchair, then you probably do not want to stress/scare her by putting her in the water? But with a dog, the water is great therapy. They do not need strength or balance to stand up, the water provides it. Swimming is something they use to rehab horses...one of our members here rehabbed his dog in an equine swimming pool. I don't know if this will be an option if you find a PT facility. An underwater treadmill is like a big glass sided aquarium with a door that opens and a treadmill on the bottom. A dog and a human can be in it, it fills with water of a comfortable temperature, and the dog either walks or the human therapist holds the hind legs and helps the dog take steps as the treadmill runs. If the dog swims or walks on an underwater treadmill, it builds up the muscles and gives the animal a chance to fire the nerves that go with walking. People with smaller animals have done hydrotherapy at home. If you are someplace where the weather is warming up and you can get one of those pools where you set up a wall, then lay in a vinyl liner and fill it, it would probably be more than deep enough for practice swimming, standing, or walking in water. Please feel free to file this in the "that's ridiculous" department, because again, it sounds like she needs plain basic health before anything like that can be tried. Your little sling and harness sounds great. That is the combination I used with my big dog, a nylon harness on the chest and a belly harness for the hindquarters.
I asked the vets about hydro therapy, they said given the extreme nature of her birth defect the acupuncture and physical therapy would be her best bet. I've linked a pic of her in the cart tonight that my dad made. Her progress is shocking. Through her right leg is severely splayed she is already trying to pull herself with her left front leg and pull the right one in. We only did this for 5 minutes as to not “over do it” since she's also going through massage, stretching and joint flexing 3 to 4 times a day. She actually seemed excited when she understood if she pulls with her front legs she actually moves forward with ease. Such a cool thing to see.
Ohmygosh that is so PRECIOUS!!!! And your dad did such a stunning job on the cart, geez, maybe he could go into business. Do you know how many people on this board need a cart like that? He's a genius! It is so sweet and I understand what you mean about her "getting it". The excitement of things like this is what keeps you going through the therapy and nursing care. That is just wonderful.
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