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Differentiatingbetween types and treatments...
By Sue Reith.
A goat owner recently asked, "But, how do you know she has pneumonia? What's her temperature?"
The fact is, pneumonia is simply the name of the process wherein the lungs fill up with fluid. It'stheir way to clear or flushout what they perceive as foreign invaders in their space. The foreign invaders causing pneumonia symptoms can be fromany one of three general categories, Viral, Bacterial, and Mechanical.
Viral pneumonia (caused by a viral infectionin thelung tissue) will havean elevated temperature as a symptom,and can only be dealt with by reducing the inflammation and the production of fluid in the lungs, as antibiotics don't have any effect on viruses. Banamine is needed to reduce the lung inflammation, and antihistamines (Benadryl, several tablets every couple of hours) are needed to reduce the fluid production, thus preventing drowning. And very importantly, BoSe should be administered (at the regular dose of 1cc/40lbs, subcutaneously) to stimulate the immune system to its highest level, enabling itto fight off that virus which is causing the pneumonia.A very important point should be made here... Use of dexamethasoneto treat this viral infection will end up killing the goat, because while in the bodyit shuts down the immune system, removing the only thing that CAN wipe out the virus!
Bacterial pneumonia(caused by a bacterial infection in the lung tissue) willhavean elevated temperature as a symptom, and is treated essentially the same way as is the Viral pneumonia (Banamine to reduce lung tissue inflammation, and antihistamines such as Benadryl to reduce the fluid production, BoSe to stimulate the immune system)...But in addition, a good, broad spectrum antibiotic (Penicillin, Oxytet 200, Naxcel, et al) is necessary to wipe out the bacteria that caused it.Again, it's very unwise to use dexamethasone at a time like this, because a goat whose lung fluid could cause it to drown needs every bit of ammunition, including its own immune system, to help fight the battle!
Mechanical pneumonia (caused by inhalation or aspiration of a foreign substance into the lungs) will NOT have an elevated temperature as a symptom, at least when it's first noticed.Quite often it'scaused in a neonate by accidental aspiration of birthing fluids or milk. In older animals it can be caused by a long-untreated case of lungworm that finally irritates the lungs too severely, or aspiration of oral meds being administered in toogreat a quantityat one time and/or too rapidly. The foreign substance that causedthe pneumoniashould be investigated and removed or avoided, avoidance(if possible) being the best approach, of course. Again, it's treated essentially the same way as Viral pneumonia (Banamine to reduce lung tissue inflammation, antihistamines such as Benadryl to reduce the fluid production, and BoSe to stimulate the immune system).And, since lurking bacteria and/or viruses are opportunists and will jump in while the victim's stress-level is compromising the immune system, it'sunwise to use dexamethasone, which would leave theseverely compromised body wide open to opportunistic infections.
(While I urge you to share this information with other individual small livestock owners, please do not reproduce the article for publication without my specific permission. Thank you. Sue Reith.)
Latest page update: made by goatguru
, Jan 27 2007, 8:41 PM EST
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