Goat Polio - A
layman’s guide to goat polio
article is to introduce an updated treatment for Goat Polio (also known as
Thiamine Deficiency, Vitamin B1- Deficiency,
Goat Polioencephalomalacia) . It’s easy
to administer and the goats recover very quickly with noticeable improvements
in less than an hour.
The tradition method for treating goat polio has been to
give vitamin B1 shot, anti-inflammatory shot, and repeat the B1 shot every 6-12
hours depending on your vet’s recommendations.
It usually took about 12 hours to see any improvement, and needed to
treat the goat for several days.
Recovery was very slow and sometimes too slow to save the goat.
The new approach for quicker recover is:
- Administer Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) orally
- Drench them with Symmetry’s Future Star (see below for ‘What is Future
- Administer an anti-inflammatory shot if needed (depending on the
severity of the symptoms)
- Repeat B1 orally and Future Star drench every 6 to 12 hours until their
symptoms are gone
- Provide Future Star in their water bucket for several days after full
recovery to prevent a possible relapse.
with vitamin B1 orally and Future Star gets a burst of B1 into their system
quick and begins the recovery process. Administering
B1 as an injection will provide a slower release of B1 which will span several
hours and is a helpful combination with the oral.
What is Goat Polio?
Goat Polio is a nutritional/metabolic disease that occurs when
a goat experiences a deficiency in vitamin B1, causing neurological damage. If it
progresses without effective treatment, the goat usually dies within 24-72
hours. Early detection and effective
treatment is key to a full recovery.
What causes Goat Polio?
Vitamin B1 deficiency can be caused from many sources
including; stress, moldy hay, certain weeds that inhibit processing of B1,
extreme feed programs, common medicines used like Corid (consider using a
sulfamethazine product instead), Thiabendazole, Levamiosole, and others. There
is some thought that extreme amounts of molasses/sugar might also contribute to
What is B1?
B1 is Thiamine, one of the B vitamins. Like all B vitamins, B1 is a water soluble
vitamin. This means the goat will absorb
as much as they need and excrete any excess in their urine. Vitamin B1 is key for digestion as well as
the nervous system and muscles. B1 deficiency causes nerve weakness and partial
paralysis of the legs. It is the
equivalent of ‘dry beriberi’ in humans.
B1 is available by prescription only and can be obtained by
a veterinarian. It is not the same as
the B-Complex you can purchase over the counter. B-complex can be helpful in preventing goat
polio, but does not contain enough B1 to treat a goat with an active case of
goat polio. (I’ve heard if B1 is not available, B-Complex can be used in mass
doses to treat, but it is not the ideal treatment for your goats’ best chance
What are the symptoms of Goat Polio?
Early onset symptoms - Weakened rear legs, staggering,
circling, wobbly, elevated head, star gazing, confusion, blindness, wandering,
muscle tremors, and/or their eyes may or may not dart around. They will not run a fever with goat
polio. If they have a fever, work with
your vet, it could be something else like listerosis.
Advanced onset symptoms – blind, wobbly, down/unable to get
up, extreme weakness, unable to stand.
What is an anti-inflammatory?
An anti-inflammatory will help reduce the swelling. It is a prescription only medicine you can
get from your vet. With goat polio, the
brain swells similar to a brain injury.
Reducing the swelling of the brain until the B1 treatment has time to
reverse the condition can help prevent permanent damage and death. Work with your vet on the anti-inflammatory
they recommend. Some prescribe
dexamethosone, some use banamine.
What is Future Star?
Symmetry’s Future Star is the best children’s vitamin
available. It comes as a powder and is
usually mixed with water but can be mixed with any liquid. People have found that it is so good for the
brain it is also great for adults, students, and people that have suffered a
brain injury. Lucky for us, it is also
ideal preventative as well as treatment for goats.
Future Star contains a synergist balance of key vitamins for
optimal health. It also contains a
unique ingredient that is key to treating goat polio, called DeltaZorb. Sick goats are likely to have
digestive/absorption problems. DeltaZorb
naturally increases the permeability of the walls of the intestinal tract,
allowing more nutrients to pass into the bloodstream, significantly increasing
the amount of nutrition delivered, up to 160%.
What that means to your goat is when they get Future Star, DeltaZorb
boosts the absorption of not only the vitamins in Future Star but also the B1
you gave them orally, getting it into their system faster, which stops the
neurological damage and speeds up the recovery process.
We are all familiar with the fact that goats know what they
need. We’ve all seen the days they don’t
touch the loose minerals or baking soda available for their free access, and
days where they eat quite a bit of it.
Their bodies know when they need the minerals and/or baking soda. Goats love Future Star. When I’m treating a goat for polio…one of the
first things they do once they’ve recovered enough to interact, is search for
more Future Star. I mix a scoop with
water and use an oral syringe/drench gun to feed it to them and also in their
water bucket once they are able to drink themselves.
Things to always
keep on hand for Goat Polio, because every hour counts
Oral Syringe/Drench Gun
Symmetry’s Future Star
B1/Thiamine – Available
prescription only from your Vet
Anti-Inflammatory – Dexamethasone - Available prescription only
from your Vet