Recurring Pneumonia in my herd of pedigree Anglo-Nubian goats

2016

Since 2016 I have had an annual struggle with pneumonia in my herd. Not with the adults, just the kids, every single year. I have done a lot of research on the subject. In 2016 I had 10 kids, 9 got Pneumonia, 3 of those I treated with homeopathy and they recovered, 5 of them needed allopathic antibiotics and pain relief.

2017

I thought I escaped but a late summer pneumonia crept up on them, I had two go down with it very fast and at the time only had 6 kids; on vets’ orders I treated them all with antibiotics and pain relief to prevent any further cases.

In the meantime I discovered that Wales is low in cobalt;  a lack of cobalt (which is linked to B12) can cause both stunted growth (I had one wether who was stunted) and can affect the immune system, and thus increase risk of pneumonia. I got myself a bottle of cobalt drench and religiously drenched them all with it.

2018 kidding season

I had 4 kids born late January/early February; at the beginning of March I got my first case of pneumonia, swiftly treated with antibiotics, then I had my last goat produce a single female kid. Rosa was 4 days old when she caught pneumonia. I had never had a case so young and was pretty scared for this little person. But she was tough and she pulled through it. But this led me to do what I had been not wanting to do – vaccinate them all against pasteurella. I was left with no choice, the chances were it was pasteurella and it was on the land and there was nothing I could do except vaccinate now.

So on vets’ instructions I diligently vaccinated the whole herd, both boosters. They were now covered for pasteurella – or so I thought. The next case of pneumonia came later in the summer, well after the time that they should have been covered for it by the vaccine. So was it pneumonia and not pasteurella after all?

So back to the drawing board once again. I will admit to having a moment then that made me wonder if I should continue to breed goats. I love them, first and foremost I totally and utterly adore my herd and to find the kids sick one after the other is hard to deal with…

2019

But fast forward to 2019 and I now have the tools to deal with the pneumonia myself. I have now had 2 cases, one when Holly was a few weeks old, she was a petite kid and she only had it mildly; tested positive for pneumonia and negative for pasteurella. I treated her with pyrogen (as indicated by kinesiology testing), followed by hepar sulph. After these she was pneumonia-free but still a little under the weather. Further testing showed she would benefit from doses of her constitutional remedy – pulsatilla – for the next 2 weeks. After she finished that she hit her stride again and turned into a cheeky goat kid once more.

The second case I have had more recently, one of my billy kids who is going through a sudden growth spurt, brought low by that. He tested again as needing a single dose of pyrogen, followed by 4 days of twice daily hepar sulph. After 24 hours you would not have known anything had been wrong with him.

Whilst doing this testing I also tested and proved that the lack of cobalt is causing the problem with the immune systems, so I am now keeping on top of the required dosage for the drench for each goat, in order that we reduce the cases annually. Interestingly the dosage (indicated by kinesiology testing) on the whole has been higher than indicated on the bottle and more frequent. The homeopathic remedies indicated & used have certainly been as effective as allopathic antibiotics were and worked in the same time, but this time I know I am increasing each kid’s health with the doses.

About the remedies used

Pyrogen and hepar sulph are two excellent remedies that I would consider ‘antibiotic types’ (amongst other values). Pyrogen was created using the rotting tissue from beef carcasses, sounds completely disgusting but the idea is septic infections, hence its indication in the use on my kids. Hepar sulph is the only remedy I know of that has different uses at different potencies. At a 6c it is a suppurative remedy, helping to clear mucous off the chest (in this particular case), but using a 200c (or higher) the action is abortive. So early signs of infection before any mucous in the lungs is present responds really well to abort this stage. It also helps me when testing, as I am then aware at what stage the body is at. If I have caught it early the hepar sulph potency proves this.