Chemotherapy for Lymphoma Treatment

Chemotherapy Plan for Lymphoma Treatment in Canines & Felines

Dogs treated with chemotherapy live significantly longer than untreated dogs, and chemotherapy is generally well tolerated in most dogs. Multi-agent protocols, such as the protocol listed below are the most successful, with a complete remission rate of > 80% and remission durations of 6-11 months. Mean survival time with this protocol is 1 year (CHOP), with 20-25% living up to two years. Mean survival time with steroids only is 4 to 6 weeks.

University of Wisconsin-Madison CHOP-19 Protocol

This chemotherapy protocol is considered the first-choice treatment of most oncologists for most types of lymphoma. Drugs included in this protocol include vincristine, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, prednisone, and L-asparaginase. Modifications are made to the published protocols for individual patients, depending on preexisting conditions, response to treatment, and other factors.

To begin treatment: Blood samples will be run and will serve as a baseline to compare treatment response and monitor adverse side effects in the coming weeks. In addition, we may recommend MDR1 testing for certain breeds of dogs. MDR1 is a genetic mutation well known in border collies and several other breeds that makes them much more sensitive to the chemotherapy drugs used in this protocol.

Procedure: This protocol includes a cocktail of chemotherapy medications including intravenous and oral treatments. Each treatment will commence with a check of blood counts. This will help determine whether the chemotherapy is showing adverse side effects of bone marrow suppression, anemia and suppression of the immune system. Generally, if the white cell count falls below 4,000, treatment will be postponed for one week and rechecked.

Schedule: Generally, this program begins with weekly treatments that continue for 9 weeks. Some weeks may be postponed due to unacceptable bloodwork. This allows the body more time to recover from the chemotherapy treatment before starting another treatment. The chemotherapy appointments may be scheduled early in the morning to expedite treatment. Doxorubicin treatments will require admission for several hours to complete treatment.

Chemotherapy Program Schedule

Week 1 Vincristine given intravenously*
Prednisone by mouth every 24 hours
Week 2 Cyclophosphamide given by mouth.
Furosemide given by mouth.
Reduce dose of Prednisone given by mouth every 24 hours
Week 3 Vincristine given intravenously*
Reduce dose of Prednisone given by mouth every 24 hours
Week 4 Doxorubicin given intravenously as a slow infusion**
Reduce dose of Prednisone given by mouth every 24 hours for 7 days.
Week 5 Discontinue Prednisone
Week 6 Vincristine given intravenously*
Week 7 Cyclophosphamide given by mouth.
Furosemide given by mouth.
Week 8 Vincristine given intravenously*
Week 9 Doxorubicin given intravenously as a slow infusion**
Week 11 Vincristine given intravenously*
Week 12 Cyclophosphamide given by mouth.
Furosemide given by mouth.
Week 13 Vincristine given intravenously*
Week 14 Doxorubicin given intravenously as a slow infusion**
Week 16 Vincristine given intravenously*
Week 17 Cyclophosphamide given by mouth.
Furosemide given by mouth.
Week 18 Vincristine given intravenously*
Week 19 Doxorubicin given intravenously as a slow infusion**

*VinCRIStine treatment will require an intravenous catheter and is given quickly as a bolus.
**Doxorubicin treatment will require an intravenous catheter and a slow infusion over approximately 60 minutes.

Adverse Effects:
Vomiting & Nausea are the primary side effects noted with all three treatment types.
Bloody Urine (Hemorrhagic cystitis) is common after treatment with doxorubicin.
Injection site reactions can occur and be severe at the catheter site. Please monitor catheter sites for pain, inflammation and development of wounds.
Dark or tarry stool

Please notify us if any of these side effects occur at any time during the treatment. Increased thirst and increased urination can be expected during the first few weeks of therapy.

Management at Home

1. Wear gloves when handling animal waste (vomit, urine or feces) particularly for the first 5 days after treatment. Most chemotherapy drugs are broken down into inactive metabolites that are then excreted in urine and feces, but there likely will still be a small amount of intact drug in both urine and feces. The area should be cleaned with soap and water. Dilute bleach solution may be used if it is suitable to the surface. Many of the drug residues break down quickly in sunlight, so waste outside is less of a risk.

2. Any soiled bedding should be washed separately with regular detergent. A second wash cycle with regular bedding can then be performed to more thoroughly remove contaminants. Any urine/feces/vomit on the floor should be cleaned with soap and water. Dilute bleach is OK if it can be used on the affected surface.

3. Avoid being licked after oral dosing. If the pet takes pills easily, there should be minimal chemo in the oral cavity. If the pill does not go down easily and begins to dissolve in the mouth, there likely will be small amounts of drug in the saliva. If there are children in the house, it is prudent to recommend that the pill be given at night after they go to bed, or in the morning after they leave for school. Exceptions to these rules exist (e.g., after-bedtime administration might be inappropriate with cyclophosphamide, as it would be better to provide the dog with free access to water and plenty of opportunity to urinate after administration of this drug to reduce the risk of sterile hemorrhagic cystitis).

4. If there are multiple pets in the household, it is not routinely recommended that they be isolated. The other pets likely will be exposed to minimal amounts of drug residue when using shared litter boxes and other areas. The risk of complications from this is minimal (after all, we are giving the full dose to the affected pet. In reality, the risk to owners is very low as well. But with the above guidelines we essentially can make that risk almost zero). Looking to balance quality of life, most owners agree that the decreased quality of life from separating the pets is not acceptable. However, if non-treated pets in a household are coprophagic, they should be prevented from ingesting feces, as this might lead to inadvertent exposure to chemotherapeutic agents or metabolites.

Diet & Supplements

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oils) have been shown to have significant anti-inflammatory effects and may have some effect to slow growth and slow spread of certain cancers. A 2019 study (New England Journal of Medicine) did not find any benefit in human cancer patients. For dog and cats, the best source of omega 3 fatty acids is cold water fish oils. We recommend Welactin or Nordic Naturals brand. Supplementation in cancer patients is generally 1 extra-strength capsule (500-600 mg of DHA and EPA) per 10-20 lbs of body weight.

Medications

Several anti-nausea medications will be prescribed and may be given as a preventative prior to treatment and as needed after treatment. In addition, we may prescribe anti-anxiety medications.

Canine Assisted Breeding

Thank you for your interest in assisted breeding at Allegheny Veterinary Services. We offer complete canine reproductive services at our animal hospital, ranging from pre-breeding exams through high-risk or planned cesarean sections. Our veterinarians support responsible breeding and therefore will promote genetic testing, and other health screenings such as OFA and PennHip to aid in breeding decisions and help reduce the incidence of unwanted heritable conditions.

What You Need to Know

The availability of frozen and chilled semen makes it possible for breeders to choose a stud dog from anywhere in the world. Our recommendation on the method of insemination will depend on several factors, including but not limited to: the type and quality of semen used, the age and reproductive history of the bitch, and risk factors for the bitch.

Breeding Options

Natural Breeding

Artificial Insemination (AI): with fresh, chilled, or frozen semen. AI techniques include vaginal insemination, transcervical insemination, and surgical implant.

Vaginal insemination: Performed when the veterinarian places the sperm in the vaginal vault, right at the rim of the cervix. This is most similar to natural breeding. This is performed as an outpatient procedure and does not require sedation.

Surgical AI: Patient is placed under general anesthesia, a small incision is made in the abdominal wall, the uterine horns are elevated, and the semen is injected into the horns. Patients recover quickly and seldom experience complications following this procedure, but do need to be kept quiet for 10-14 days.

Allegheny Veterinary Services will make all efforts for a successful breeding and favorable outcome of pregnancy. However, pregnancy cannot be guaranteed.

How to Prepare:

Schedule a Pre-Breeding/Wellness Exam: Our veterinarians will conduct a thorough exam on the bitch to determine her health status prior to breeding and discuss ongoing or potential health problems. Good preventative care is essential to a healthy pregnancy. Vaccinations, deworming and other preventative care may be conducted at this exam or recommended prior to moving forward with breeding plans.

Genetic Testing: The following website references offer information for breed-specific genetic testing. Results of genetic testing may affect the sire choice.

AKC Dog Breeds

OFA CHIC (Canine Health Information Center)

UCDavis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory

Multidrug Sensitivity (MDR1)

OFA & PennHIP: More information can be found at the OFA Website and PennHIP website.

Choose a Sire: It is your responsibility to choose a sire and complete all contract, stud fee, and shipping arrangements with the sire owner/manager. A copy of the contract must be provided for our records so that we may be familiar with any special requests or requirements of the contract (i.e.: shipping limitations, breeding technique requirements, diagnostic requirements).

Monitor your bitch for estrus (swelling of the vulva, vaginal bleeding).

What to Expect

Present the bitch in estrus.: The bitch should be presented within 5-7 days from the start of her cycle (or 5-7 days from the first day that you note vaginal bleeding) to examine her and acquire baseline information. If there is any doubt or your bitch has a history of cycling quickly, she should be presented sooner.
Progesterone Testing: Repeated progesterone testing will help determine when to order semen and subsequently breed. This will require short visits to draw blood samples. Retesting is determined by the results acquired from each sample. The following values are used as a guide.
Ordering Collection and Semen Shipment: This should be arranged by you and the stud owner/manager. Semen should be shipped directly to our office via FedEx or UPS to 1605 Parsons Road, Elkins, WV 26241. The tracking number should be emailed to our office at [email protected]
Breeding: Our veterinarian will receive the semen, check the sample, and breed the bitch by a previously determined method. Vaginal insemination is performed as an outpatient procedure. Surgical insemination will require day admission and may require an overnight stay. An estimated whelping date will be calculated based on 63 days post ovulation.
Ultrasound: A pregnancy ultrasound will be scheduled for 21-28 days post-breeding. This will allow us to confirm pregnancy, estimate the number of pups, assess fetal health, and rule-out pyometra or other complications.
Xray: An abdominal x-ray will be scheduled for approximately 50-55 days of gestation. This will provide a final count of puppies and a final exam prior to whelping. The potential for a planned C-section will be discussed at this appointment.
Planned C-section: In some instances, such as a high-risk pregnancy, a planned C-section may be recommended. These are planned at approximately 63 days from the date of ovulation during regular office hours with a full staff.
Post Whelping Exam: A post whelping exam will be scheduled at 2-3 days of the age of the pups. Tail docks and dewclaw removal will be done at this time.

Costs

• Payment is due at the time services are performed by AVS.
• Stud fees, semen collection and shipping fees are the responsibility of the client or bitch owner and should be paid prior to planned breeding to avoid delays.

General Estimates

Please note that all of the estimates provided below are general and exact charges will differ with each patient.

Pre-Breeding Exam & Preventative Care: $175-300
Breeding consultation with physical exam, vaccinations, fecal exam, 4Dx testing, one dose of monthly preventative

Assisted Breeding

Assisted Natural Service

Vaginal Artificial Insemination: $ 250 – 700
Price will vary depending on number of progesterone tests and vaginal cytologies performed. Saturday breedings will be assessed additional after-hours fees.

Surgical Artificial Insemination: $ 700 – 1200
Price will vary depending on number of progesterone tests and vaginal cytologies performed. Saturday breedings will be assessed additional after-hours fees.

Pregnancy Exam:
Ultrasound for pregnancy confirmation: $100
Xray for puppy count: $200

C-section: $800 minimum for planned up to $2500 for emergency.
Please note that additional fees will apply if performed outside of regular business hours on an emergency basis. A complete detailed estimate can be provided at each appointment.

Canine Breeding Contract

Please complete the following form to finalize planning: Canine Breeding Contract

Contact Allegheny Veterinary Service

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us at [email protected] Our hospital is located at 1605 Parsons Road, Old US 219 North of Elkins in Gilman, WV. For directions, click here. Ample parking and a pull-through driveway are available for large trailers. We look forward to seeing you soon. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call us at (304) 636-8363.

Once we receive this completed form, a technician will contact you to finalize scheduling.

Bovine Artificial Insemination

Thank you for your interest in artificial insemination at Allegheny Veterinary Services. Below is some information to help you plan for breeding your cow or your herd.

What to Expect

• Artificial insemination is an excellent opportunity to improve herd genetics. However, it will not overcome poor management, poor nutrition, poor preventative care, and poor health. We recommend a pre-breeding vaccination protocol in any animals that we artificially inseminate.
• Conception rates with Artificial insemination: 50%-70% of a herd will conceive with single timed insemination, similar to conception rates with a bull over a single cycle. In many herds, a “clean-up” bull is still used to breed any remaining open cows within the following 2-3 cycles resulting in an overall conception goal of 95%.
• Synchronization Process – Successful artificial insemination requires the preparation of the herd. Both heifers and cows will require 3 trips through the chute over a 9-10 day period. The first two trips through the chute are for preparatory treatments and may be performed by AVS or the owner, depending on preference. The final trip through the chute is for artificial insemination which will be performed by our veterinarian. We are happy to perform all of the required preparatory treatments. If you prefer, we may also set you up with clear and specific directions for medication administration to help reduce fees associated with multiple farm calls. Please note, if we have not visited your farm within the prior year, a farm call is required by law prior to prescribing any medications.

Breeding with Frozen Semen

AVS offers a breeding package with frozen-thawed semen for $85 per heifer/cow per cycle (current 1/2021). This includes synchronization medications and artificial insemination. This DOES NOT INCLUDE other herd professional fees, farm calls, preventative healthcare (vaccinations/dewormers), or other medications and supplies. This does not include the cost of semen. The total cost per cow will differ depending on the semen cost and the amount of travel required. The breeding package fee ($85) must be paid at the time of scheduling. Additional fees (farm calls, herd professional services, etc) will be paid at the time of service.

How to prepare:

Schedule a Pre-Breeding/Herd Management Exam: If this all seems overwhelming, we recommend a site visit to your herd so that we can discuss your specific needs, production goals, and herd management.
Choose a Sire: It is your responsibility to choose a sire and complete all contracts and payment of stud fees prior to breeding.
Special Order Semen: Our hospital receives regular deliveries from Premier Select Sires. Semen may be ordered via this service and temporarily stored (at your own risk) at our hospital prior to breeding. Although our semen tank is checked regularly, we cannot guarantee the quality and viability of semen stored at our facility. Payment for semen orders should be made directly to Premier Select Sires. It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure that a sire has been selected and semen will be available for the timed breeding. For semen ordering, please contact Jake Detterline at [email protected] or by calling (814) 386-0451. The beef semen catalog can be viewed HERE. Mr. Detterline is a great resource to help you choose an appropriate and economical sire.

In-Stock Semen

A limited number of straws (doses) of calving ease heifer selected Angus semen is stored at our hospital for purchase. This semen offers a high likelihood of heifer in the resulting pregnancy. However, this cannot be guaranteed. Please call for the current price.

Working Facilities

At this time, we are unable to offer haul-in to our hospital for this service. It is our plan to offer this in the near future. Please ensure that your working facility is in good order to reduce time during treatment and avoid extra herd hourly fees.

A rectal ultrasound is recommended at 25-30 days post artificial insemination to confirm pregnancy. This ultrasound is not included in the breeding package and additional fees will apply.

Schedule Bovine Artificial Insemination

To begin scheduling for bovine artificial insemination, please fill out the following form: Bovine Breeding Information

Once we receive this completed form, a technician will contact you to finalize scheduling.

Our hospital is located at 1605 Parsons Road, Old US 219 North of Elkins in Gilman, WV. For directions, click here. Ample parking and a pull-through driveway are available for large trailers. We look forward to seeing you soon. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call us at (304) 636-8363.

Welcome to Allegheny Equine Veterinary Service

Thank you for entrusting us with the healthcare of your equine companion or livestock. We are honored that you have chosen us! Our staff is dedicated to our patients and our profession. Whether a personal companion or way of living, we know that animals are an integral part of your life. We recognize the human-animal bond, as well as the importance of superior patient care and comfort, and wish to nurture all of these for the best outcome.

It is our mission to provide excellent veterinary care to every patient with compassion, dedication, and personalized service. We are committed to practicing evidence-based medicine. We embrace client education regarding the latest advancements in our field and we strive to utilize these concepts in our daily practice. We strive to help our patients achieve the best possible outcome and live long, happy lives.

Online Patient Portal

Please take a moment to log in to your client portal and make sure that your contact information and pet information is correct. The portal can be used to book an appointment, request prescription refills, access records and bill payment.

Medical History

Please email prior veterinary and vaccination records to [email protected] or upload them to the patient portal prior to your appointment.

Home Delivery

Medications can be drop-shipped directly to you! Requests for prescription refills can be made via the Online Patient Portal or by contacting our office.

Carside Service

Call ahead to request your prescription refill. We are happy to deliver medications right to your car! You can even prepay via telephone to expedite your stop.

Meet Our Staff

We would like to take a moment to introduce you to our special services and our veterinary staff.

Tracy Walker, DVM
DABVP Equine Practice

From: Elkins, WV

Education:
BS, West Virginia University
DVM, University of Georgia
Internship, University of Georgia
Diplomate, American Board of Veterinary Practitioners

Dr. Walker is very active in many organizations that give back to the community and the veterinary profession. Locally, she serves on the Randolph County Park and Recreation Board, Randolph County 4-H Leaders, and the Randolph County Regional Riding Club. At the state level, Dr. Walker has served as a board member for the West Virginia Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Walker was also honored to become a member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners Professional Conduct and Ethics Committee in 2012. Dr. Walker is also a member of AQHA, NCHA and a certified veterinary judge for the American Endurance Ride Conference. In her spare time, Dr. Walker enjoys spending time riding any of her eight quarter horses and showing her cutting horse.

Jessica Harvey, DVM

From: Buckhannon, WV

Education:
BS, West Virginia Wesleyan College
DVM, St. George’s University
Internship, Iowa State University

Dr. Harvey grew up raising beef cattle. Through 4-H and FFA, she showed and sold market hogs, market lambs, market goats, market rabbits, market steers, and feeder calves. Dr. Harvey continues to stay very active in 4-H and FFA events as a mentor. In her spare time, Dr. Harvey loves to spend time with her animals whether it be dogs, cats, or cows. Dr. Harvey’s interests include oncology, orthopedic surgery, assisted reproduction techniques in multiple species, and ruminant herd health.

View Our Complete List of Patient Services

Contact Allegheny Equine Veterinary Service

Our hospital is located at 1605 Parsons Road, Old US 219 North of Elkins in Gilman, WV. For directions, click here. We look forward to seeing you soon. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call us at (304)636-7886.

Sincerely,
Dr. Walker, Dr. Harvey and the Team at Allegheny Equine!

Sheep Health

As the owner, it is ultimately your responsibility to provide a healthy environment so that your lamb may flourish and grow. A keen understanding of good husbandry practices, basic infectious disease prevention, diseases and conditions specific to your lamb and your farm are critical to the success of your project. This document is only meant to be a starting point for your farm health plan. You should also establish a relationship with a veterinarian to assist with a protocol specific to your farm.

FDA Restrictions

Off-Label use of antibiotics, dewormers and other treatments is strictly prohibited in food animals. These rules are set in place to protect the consumer and our food supply. Be sure to check all medication labels and comply with labeled use, dose and withdrawal times. Very few treatments are FDA-approved for sheep. You are directly liable for inappropriate or illegal use of non-approved medications in these animals. Off-label use of some medications may be permitted under direct supervision of a veterinarian. Your veterinarian can help you with proper use of medications in your sheep.

Vaccinations

Limited vaccines are available for sheep. Ideally animals should be vaccinated by the breeder and prior to purchase or moving. It is critical that you discuss specific risks and needs with your veterinarian to customize a vaccination protocol for your farm.

At a minimum, all goats should be vaccinated with:

CD&T Vaccine: This vaccine includes protection for overeating disease (Clostridium perfringens Type C & D) and tetanus (Clostridium tetani). Lambs should receive an initial dose at 1-2 months of age. Booster one month later. Booster adults annually.

Rabies Vaccine – Vaccination against rabies virus is recommended in project animals due to the potential zoonotic risk of becoming exposed or infected. Rabies vaccine must be administered by a licensed veterinarian.

Grazing & Pasture Management for Parasite Control

Identify the culprits

• Keep simple records that include identification, body condition score and FAMACHA score.
• Approximately 10% of the animals carry 90% of the parasites in any given herd.
• These animals become a “typhoid Mary” that will continue to incubate and spread large numbers of worms to the remainder of the herd.
• Animals that are repeatedly sick from parasites should be removed from the herd.

Grazing With Other Species
Sheep do not share parasites with horses or cows. Cross grazing or rotating pastures with cows and horses is beneficial and will help dilute the parasite load on the pasture.

Sheep will share parasites with sheep, llamas and alpacas. Therefore, cross-grazing or rotating pastures with these species should be avoided.

Grazing Time
Delay grazing until the afternoon. Haemonchus contortus (barber’s pole worm) larvae hatch during warm summer nights and follow the dew drops to the tips of the grass. Sheep that graze early in the morning on the damp grass will ingest more parasite larvae. By midday, when the grass dries, the parasite larvae will recede to the ground. Therefore, delay grazing until later in the day when the grass has dried.

Stocking Rate
Pastures that are overgrazed will harbor more parasites. Avoid overgrazing. Reducing the overall herd size or increasing the available pasture may be necessary.

Rotate Pasture
Pastures should be rested for at least 6 months. Shorter intervals will result in worsening parasites.

Deworming

Determine if Sheep Should Be Dewormed
-Use the FAMACHA score card to determine whether sheep should be dewormed.
-Deworm all that score 4 or 5.
-Scores should be checked every 2 weeks during hot, humid summer weather.

Fecal Exams
Fecal exams are recommended to identify whether treatment for coccidia is needed.

Fecal Egg Reduction Counts
-Help determine whether parasite resistance is a problem on your farm.
-Requires a fecal exam prior to deworming and a repeat fecal exam at a specified day after deworming.

Deworming
Weigh animals if possible to ensure correct dosing. Use the updated dosages provided. Animals should be held off of feed for at least 12 hours prior to dosing with an oral deworming product.

Other Common Problems in Sheep

Our veterinarians frequently diagnose the following diseases in sheep:

Contagious Ecthyma (Sore Mouth, Orf)
This disease is caused by a virus. It is spread by contact with infected sheep or other infected surfaces. Humans may also become infected with this disease. Sheep with this disease will have large crusting scabs and sores on their lips and nose. Some ewes may also have them on their teats. Sheep showing signs of this disease should not be brought on to your farm or taken to a show or sale.

Coccidiosis
This disease is caused by an intestinal parasite that is not treated with typical dewormers. Affected animals will have poor growth and diarrhea. Severe cases result in death. Young animals from 2-6 months of age are most susceptible to this disease. We recommend feeding a medicated ration containing a coccidiostat to susceptible animals. In some cases, a stronger prescription treatment may be required to treat coccidia.

Urinary Calculi
Urinary calculi are extremely common in pet lambs and project lambs due to feeding concentrate diets. Concentrate diets will cause changes in urine pH which promotes formation of urinary stones. Many lambs will pass tones through the urethra without further trouble. However, males are extremely prone to urinary blockage due to urinary calculi or stones. This can result in kidney failure and death. We discourage feeding any concentrate feeds for this reason. However, if you are feeding a concentrate, ensure that it contains ammonium chloride. Monitor your males lambs for normal urine passage. If you note straining to urinate you should contact your veterinarian immediately. Our veterinarians have treated sheep with several techniques including amputation of the urethral process, perineal urethrostomy and tube cystotomy. The best treatment for urinary stones is prevention!

Multidrug Sensitivity in Herding Breeds: MDR1 Gene Mutation

MDR1 Gene Mutation: The MDR1 gene encodes P-glycoprotein, a drug transport pump that plays an important role in limiting drug absorption and distribution (particularly to the brain), as well as enhancing the excretion of many drugs used in dogs. Some dogs, particularly herding breeds, have a mutation in the MDR1 gene, leaving them defective in their ability to limit drug absorption and distribution. These dogs also have delayed excretion of drugs that are normally transported by P-glycoprotein, making them susceptible to severe drug toxicity.

Drugs Affected by the MDR1 Gene Mutation: Acepromazine, Apomorphine, Butorphanol, Doramectin, Doxorubicin, Erythromycin, Ivermectin, Loperamide, Milbemycin, Moxidectin, Paclitaxel, Selamectin, Vinblastine, Vincristine, Vinorelbine

Breeds Affected by the MDR1 Mutation

Breed Approximate Frequency
Australian Shepherd 50%
Australian Shepherd, Mini 50%
Border Collie < 5%
Collie 70%
English Shepherd 15%
German Shepherd 10%
Herding Breed Cross 10%
Long-haired Whippet 65%
McNab 30%
Mixed Breed 5%
Old English Sheepdog 5%
Shetland Sheepdog 15%
Silken Windhound 30%

Goat Health

As the owner, it is ultimately your responsibility to provide a healthy environment so that your goat may flourish and grow. A keen understanding of good husbandry practices, basic infectious disease prevention, diseases and conditions specific to your goat and your farm are critical to the success of your project. This document is only meant to be a starting point for your farm health plan. You should also establish a relationship with a veterinarian to assist with a protocol specific to your farm.

FDA Restrictions

Off-Label use of antibiotics, dewormers and other treatments is strictly prohibited in food animals. These rules are set in place to protect the consumer and our food supply. Be sure to check all medication labels and comply with labeled use, dose and withdrawal times. Very few treatments are FDA approved for goats. You are directly liable for inappropriate or illegal use of non-approved medications in these animals. Off-label use of some medications may be permitted under direct supervision of a veterinarian. Your veterinarian can help you with proper use of medications in your goat.

Vaccinations

Limited vaccines are available for sheep and goats. Ideally, animals should be vaccinated by the breeder and prior to purchase or moving. It is critical that you discuss specific risks and needs with your veterinarian to customize a vaccination protocol for your farm.

At a minimum, all goats should be vaccinated with:

CD&T Vaccine: This vaccine includes protection for overeating disease (Clostridium perfringens Type C & D) and tetanus (Clostridium tetani). Kids should receive an initial dose at 1-2 months of age. Booster one month later. Booster adults annually.

Rabies Vaccine: Vaccination against rabies virus is recommended in project animals due to the potential zoonotic risk of becoming exposed or infected. Rabies vaccine must be administered by a licensed veterinarian.

Parasite Management

Parasitism is the number one herd health problem in goats. Resistance of parasites to dewormers is also extremely common.

Identify the culprits

• Keep simple records that include identification, body condition score and FAMACHA score.
• Approximately 10% of the animals carry 90% of the parasites in any given herd.
• These animals become a “typhoid Mary” that will continue to incubate and spread large numbers of worms to the remainder of the herd.
• Animals that are repeatedly sick from parasites should be removed from the herd.

Grazing & Pasture Management for Parasite Control

Grazing With Other Species
Goats do not share parasites with horses or cows. Cross grazing or rotating pastures with cows and horses is beneficial and will help dilute the parasite load on the pasture.

Goats will share parasites with sheep, llamas and alpacas. Therefore, cross-grazing or rotating pastures with these species should be avoided.

Grazing Time
Delay grazing until the afternoon. Haemonchus contortus (barber’s pole worm) larvae hatch during warm summer nights and follow the dew drops to the tips of the grass. Goats that graze early in the morning on the damp grass will ingest more parasite larvae. By midday, when the grass dries, the parasite larvae will recede to the ground. Therefore, delay grazing until later in the day when the grass has dried.

Where to Graze
Graze brush, avoid lush pasture. Haemonchus larvae thrive in the lush green pasture. Therefore, in the hot summer months, goats should graze brushy areas.

Stocking Rate
Pastures that are overgrazed will harbor more parasites. Avoid overgrazing. Reducing the overall herd size or increasing the available pasture may be necessary.

Rotate Pasture
Pastures should be rested for at least 6 months. Shorter intervals will result in worsening parasites.

Deworming

Determine if Goat Should Be Dewormed
-Use the FAMACHA score card to determine whether goats should be dewormed.
-Deworm all that score 4 or 5.
-Scores should be checked every 2 weeks during hot, humid summer weather.

Fecal Exams
Fecal exams are recommended to identify whether treatment for coccidia is needed.

Fecal Egg Reduction Counts
-Help determine whether parasite resistance is a problem on your farm.
-Requires a fecal exam prior to deworming and a repeat fecal exam at a specified day after deworming.

Deworming
Weigh animals if possible to ensure correct dosing. Use the updated dosages provided. Animals should be held off of feed for at least 12 hours prior to dosing with an oral deworming product.

Copper Boluses
Copper has been shown to reduce parasite levels in the animal. Boluses should be given once a year. Copper levels should be monitored as toxic levels may occur with long term and repeated usage.

Other Common Problems in Goats

Our veterinarians frequently diagnose the following diseases in goats:

Pediculosis (Lice)
There are two types of lice commonly found on goats: chewing lice and blood sucking lice. Both will cause poor growth. However, each type of lice requires a different treatment. Chewing lice may be treated with topical delousing dusts. Sucking lice require a systemic medication.

Coccidiosis
This disease is caused by an intestinal parasite that is not treated with typical dewormers. Affected animals will have poor growth and diarrhea. Severe cases result in death. Young animals from 2-6 months of age are most susceptible to this disease. We recommend feeding a medicated ration containing a coccidiostat to susceptible animals. In some cases, a stronger prescription treatment may be required to treat coccidia.

Urinary Calculi
Urinary calculi are extremely common in pet goats and project goats due to feeding concentrate diets. Concentrate diets will cause changes in urine pH which promotes formation of urinary stones. Many goats will pass stones through the urethra without further trouble. However, males are extremely prone to urinary blockage due to urinary calculi or stones. This can result in kidney failure and death. We discourage feeding any concentrate feeds for this reason. However, if you are feeding a concentrate, ensure that it contains ammonium chloride. Monitor your males goats for normal urine passage. If you note straining to urinate you should contact your veterinarian immediately. Our veterinarians have treated goats with several techniques including amputation of the urethral process, perineal urethrostomy and tube cystotomy. The best treatment for urinary stones is prevention!

Food Allergies in Cats

Do you suspect that your cat has food allergy? Pets, like people, can be allergic to certain types of foods. We commonly diagnose this during annual wellness examinations. Food allergy can be tricky to diagnose. It often requires several months to manage symptoms and get a final diagnosis.

What Are the Signs of Food Allergies in Cats?

Food allergy in cats presents mostly commonly as miliary dermatitis or small crusting scabs on the neck and body. Many cats will also have a history of frequent hairballs.

Common Signs:

    Red, hot, or irritated skin
    Chronic or recurrent skin infections
    Chronic or recurrent ear infections
    “Stinky” skin
    Hair loss

Less Common Signs:

    Sensitive stomach
    Vomiting
    Soft stool or diarrhea (intermittent)
    Infection between the toes

What Foods Commonly Cause Allergy in Cats?

Beef and chicken are the most common sources of food allergy in cats. Beef, chicken, beef by-products, and chicken by-products are high-quality sources of protein commonly used in cat foods. By-products may include bone meal and fats from both beef and chickens.

Many commercial pet food companies advertise corn and grains as causes of food allergy. However, research overwhelmingly does not support this claim.

How is Food Allergy Diagnosed?

There is no single test that is specific to diagnose food allergy. A thorough history, including diet and treats, and physical examination are vital to this diagnosis. Often, food allergy is suspected or diagnosed with this alone. Other skin tests such as cytology and culture may be conducted to rule out other causes. Fleas, mange, and bacterial or fungal infections may be present as well. Blood work may be performed to rule out other causes, particularly when symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting are present. However, none of these tests specifically identify food allergy. To definitively diagnose food allergy, we must complete a dietary elimination trial.

How Do We Complete a Dietary Elimination Trial?

Eliminate ALL beef and chicken in the diet.
Choose a new diet that does not contain beef or chicken. This includes treats, table scraps, flavored toys, rawhides, supplements and vitamins. Some heartworm preventative prescription medications are flavored and may need changed as well. We are happy to discuss alternative medication sources and brands for food allergy patients.

Eliminating beef and chicken can be tricky.
This requires close inspection of each food label. Many labels advertise “turkey” or “fish” but still contain beef by-product or chicken meal. Ingredients that do not indicate source, such as “animal fats” or “bone meal” are usually from beef and chicken sources and must be avoided, too.

“Grain free” diets are not recommended – and not necessary.
Since food allergy is most commonly caused by beef and chicken, these are the target proteins eliminate.

Choose a diet that the pet has never had before.
Choose a diet that is affordable and easy to find. This does not necessarily need to be a prescription diet. These ingredient-specific diets are generally more expensive as they guarantee exclusive protein sources such as fish or lamb.

Complete a trial period with the new diet.
Feed the new diet for minimum of 12-16 weeks. During this time, you should note decreased itchiness and improvement in the clinical signs. Note that if your pet is inadvertently fed something with beef or chicken during this trial period, the trial must start over. At the end of the trial period, your pet should be re-evaluated for response to treatment. Occasionally, several food trials are required to identify the allergy culprit and manage the allergy.

How Is Food Allergy Treated?

Most importantly, food allergy is treated by identifying the allergen and eliminating it from the diet. Some pets can suffer relapses of clinical signs when the smallest amount is consumed. This is similar to a person with peanut allergy. Only a small amount is needed to trigger the allergy. Once an appropriate diet has been determined, the patient should remain exclusively on that diet. It is possible the patient may do well on the new diet for several years and later develop an additional allergy. In these cases, we recommend repeating the elimination food trial with a new protein or a prescription hydrolyzed diet.

What if We Can’t Find a Diet That Improves Signs?

Occasionally, pets do not improve, or do not adequately improve, with ingredient-specific diets. These pets may require a prescription diet or additional therapy to control allergy symptoms.

Prescription Hydrolyzed Protein Diets: These diets are relatively new. Hill’s Science Diet Z/D Ultra, Purina HA, and Royal Canin Duck and Pea or Royal Canin HP are all acceptable diets. Your pet may have a preference for palatability. An elimination diet should be repeated with a hydrolyzed protein diet. If the diet helps resolve allergy signs, it should be fed indefinitely.

Investigate Other Allergies: It is very common for pets that suffer from food allergy to also have concurrent seasonal, flea or environmental allergy. In these patients, we recommend additional blood or skin testing. Dust mite and pollen allergies are common. Desensitization therapy is recommended in these patients.

Flea & Tick Treatments: We recommend year-round flea and tick preventative in all of our patients. This is especially important in patients with allergy.

Symptomatic Treatment: Additional therapies are available for treatment of symptoms such as itch that are not completely controlled by diet and desensitization. This includes:
Zyrtec (Cetirizine): This is an over-the-counter allergy medication that is safe for administration to your cat. Do NOT use Zyrtec-D. Please ask about specific dosing for your cat.

Can I Feed My Pet Treats?

As part of the elimination trial, pets cannot be fed treats. Once the trial is over, and an appropriate diet has been determined, the veterinarian may recommend specific foods that comply with the special diet. One food that can be utilized for administering medications is marshmallows.

Food Allergies in Dogs

Do you suspect that your dog has food allergy? Pets, like people, can be allergic to certain types of foods. We commonly diagnose this during annual wellness examinations. Food allergy can be tricky to diagnose. It often requires several months to manage symptoms and get a final diagnosis.

What Are the Signs of Food Allergies in Dogs?

Food allergy in dogs presents mostly commonly as itchy skin. Affected dogs will chronically lick their feet. Many dogs with white feet will have pink to red staining on the hair around the feet from excessive licking.

    Common Signs:
    Red, hot, or irritated skin
    Chronic or recurrent skin infections
    Chronic or recurrent ear infections
    “Stinky” skin
    Hair loss
    Rubbing lips or face (especially after eating)

    Less Common Signs:
    Sensitive stomach
    Vomiting
    Soft stool or diarrhea (intermittent)
    Infection between the toes

Which Dogs Are Most Commonly Affected?

Food allergy is commonly diagnosed in both male and female dogs of all ages, including young dogs and puppies. Although this has been diagnosed in many breeds, our doctors commonly diagnose this in Labrador retrievers, cocker spaniels, Yorkshire terriers and Maltese patients.

What Foods Commonly Cause Allergy in Dogs?

Beef and chicken are the most common sources of food allergy in dogs. Beef, chicken, beef by-products, and chicken by-products are high-quality sources of protein commonly used in dog foods. By-products may include bone meal and fats from both beef and chickens.

Many commercial pet food companies advertise corn and grains as causes of food allergy. However, research overwhelmingly does not support this claim.

How is Food Allergy Diagnosed?

There is no single test that is specific to diagnose food allergy. A thorough history, including diet and treats, and physical examination are vital to this diagnosis. Often, food allergy is suspected or diagnosed with this alone. Other skin tests such as cytology and culture may be conducted to rule out other causes. Fleas, mange, and bacterial or fungal infections may be present as well. Blood work may be performed to rule out other causes, particularly when symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting are present. However, none of these tests specifically identify food allergy. To definitively diagnose food allergy, we must complete a dietary elimination trial.

How Do We Complete a Dietary Elimination Trial?

Eliminate ALL beef and chicken in the diet.
Choose a new diet that does not contain beef or chicken. This includes treats, table scraps, flavored toys, rawhides, supplements and vitamins. Some heartworm preventative prescription medications are flavored and may need changed as well. We are happy to discuss alternative medication sources and brands for food allergy patients.

Eliminating beef and chicken can be tricky.
This requires close inspection of each food label. Many labels advertise “turkey” or “fish” but still contain beef by-product or chicken meal. Ingredients that do not indicate source, such as “animal fats” or “bone meal” are usually from beef and chicken sources and must be avoided, too.

“Grain free” diets are not recommended – and not necessary.
Since food allergy is most commonly caused by beef and chicken, these are the target proteins eliminate.

Choose a diet that the pet has never had before.
Choose a diet that is affordable and easy to find. This does not necessarily need to be a prescription diet. These ingredient-specific diets are generally more expensive as they guarantee exclusive protein sources such as fish or lamb.

Complete a trial period with the new diet.
Feed the new diet for minimum of 12-16 weeks. During this time, you should note decreased itchiness and improvement in the clinical signs. Note that if your pet is inadvertently fed something with beef or chicken during this trial period, the trial must start over. At the end of the trial period, your pet should be re-evaluated for response to treatment. Occasionally, several food trials are required to identify the allergy culprit and manage the allergy.

How Is Food Allergy Treated?

Most importantly, food allergy is treated by identifying the allergen and eliminating it from the diet. Some pets can suffer relapses of clinical signs when the smallest amount is consumed. This is similar to a person with peanut allergy. Only a small amount is needed to trigger the allergy. Once an appropriate diet has been determined, the patient should remain exclusively on that diet. It is possible the patient may do well on the new diet for several years and later develop an additional allergy. In these cases, we recommend repeating the elimination food trial with a new protein or a prescription hydrolyzed diet.

What if We Can’t Find a Diet That Improves Signs?

Occasionally, pets do not improve, or do not adequately improve, with ingredient-specific diets. These pets may require a prescription diet or additional therapy to control allergy symptoms.

  • Prescription Hydrolyzed Protein Diets: These diets are relatively new. Hill’s Science Diet Z/D Ultra, Purina HA, and Royal Canin HP are all acceptable diets. Your pet may have a preference for palatability. An elimination diet should be repeated with a hydrolyzed protein diet. If the diet helps resolve allergy signs, it should be fed indefinitely.
  • Investigate Other Allergies: It is very common for pets that suffer from food allergy to also have concurrent seasonal, flea or environmental allergy. In these patients, we recommend additional blood or skin testing. Dust mite and pollen allergies are common. Desensitization therapy is recommended in these patients.
  • Flea & Tick Treatments: We recommend year-round flea and tick preventative in all of our patients. This is especially important in patients with allergy.
  • Symptomatic Treatment: Additional therapies are available for treatment of symptoms such as itch that are not completely controlled by diet and desensitization. These include:
    • Cytopoint: An injection that can be given every eight to twelve weeks that treats the inflammation from allergies. This is very effective and provides relief from symptoms within 24 hours of administration. This may cause some suppression of the immune system.
      Apoquel: This is a prescription pill that is given daily to treat itchiness.
      Zyrtec (Cetirizine): This is an over-the-counter allergy medication that is safe for administration to your dog. Do NOT use Zyrtec-D. Please ask about specific dosing for your dog.

    Can I Feed My Pet Treats?

    As part of the elimination trial, pets cannot be fed treats. Once the trial is over, and an appropriate diet has been determined, the veterinarian may recommend specific foods that comply with the special diet. One food that can be utilized for administering medications is marshmallows.

    Equine Metabolic Syndrome / Insulin Resistance / Insulin Dysregulation

    Clinical Signs

    Patients with equine metabolic syndrome/insulin resistance/insulin dysregulation will often be overweight or have a tendency to be overweight. Often, the patient does not have any trouble until they have a sudden episode of laminitis.

    Diagnosis

    Diagnosis if often made based on a clinical syndrome or clinical “picture” based on the horse being an “easy keeper” or always having a tendency to be overweight. In some cases, we will run blood work including a resting glucose and resting insulin. This will help distinguish whether the horse is affected by insulin dysregulation.

    Treatment

    Treatment is primarily through dietary management and exercise. However, is some cases where elevated insulin has been confirmed, medication may be recommended to target insulin levels.

    Management of Equine Metabolic Syndrome

    There are several steps in dietary and daily management that are crucial in overall management of equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) and obesity. Horses that have a history of laminitis or develop laminitis will require more intense podiatry management.

    Pasture Management

    Horses with EMS are extremely sensitive to sugar (simple carbohydrates) and more specifically fructans. Fructans are the horse equivalent of high fructose corn syrup. Fructan content in pasture grasses varies by type of grass, length of grass, weather conditions and time of day.

    Type of Grass: Cool season grasses have periods of particularly high sugar content. These include orchard grass, fescue and Kentucky bluegrass – all of which are very common in West Virginia. Sugar content in these grasses rises seasonally when we have cool nights and warm days (Think, 35-45 degree nights and 65-70 degree days of spring and fall). This is the main reason we see more episodes of laminitis during the spring and fall. In our practice, the exact timing of this critical risk period ranges from March to May and August to November, but depends on county of residence and elevation. For your own location, consider when you see frost while still having nice weather through the day.

    Length of Grass: New grass has soft tender structure and more sugar compared to older, taller grass. As the grass grows it develops more lignin (fiber) which provides strength and structure. Therefore, as the grass gets taller it has proportionately less sugar in each bite (Think, tender sweet baby vegetables compared to large older vegetables that are tough and chewy). Access to pasture should be avoided in the spring when you see the young bright green grass starting to emerge. Pasture access should be restricted until the grass has reached at least 8 to 10 inches in height and the fiber content is higher.

    Time of Day: Research conducted at Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine found that fructan content in the grass changes within the same day. Fructan content is highest in the grass during the afternoon after a cool night. Based on this, we recommend avoiding grazing times in the afternoons, or turn out at night and restrict daytime grazing during the grazing season.

    Fertilizer: Generally, good pasture management is great for increasing yield. Unfortunately, this is exactly what you don’t need for EMS horses. Reconsider your pasture management, you may find that you actually need to decrease treatments to reduce grazing quality.

    Muzzles vs Drylot vs Timed Turnout

    We encourage as much turnout as possible for mental well-being, socialization and exercise. Ultimately you will need to choose a method that works with your property and lifestyle.

    Muzzles: Must be left on anytime the horse is grazing. Monitor the face for rubs and the bottom of the muzzle for being worn out and grazing hole enlargement. Muzzles often hard to keep on if there are multiple horses in the pasture as they will play and rip them off.

    Drylot (or reduced pasture size): This is a more expensive but more permanent option. In some cases, just increasing the number of horses on the property to “overgraze” the pasture will be helpful. In other cases, you will need to cross fence and reduce access to a smaller area. This is convenient because it does not require a muzzle or daily maintenance but may be difficult if you have “hard keepers” and “easy keepers” in the same pasture. In our area, this seems to be the most successful long term management plan. Reducing the pasture requires an investment of fencing but requires less day to day management in the long term.

    Timed Turnout: This works well in boarding stables where turnout is often limited anyway. However, it is important to note horses can eat an entire day’s worth of calories in short period of time. Therefore, if using this method, you must use a drylot or still use a muzzle to restrict intake during the turnout.

    Dietary Management

    Hay: Ideally, hay should be tested prior to feeding to ensure a low starch count (NSC). Hay testing can be done through Equi-Analytical. Information can be found at https://equi-analytical.com/.

    However, keep in mind that hay quality may vary within the same farm and even the same field. If tested hay is not available, generally first-cutting hay will be a more appropriate choice than second-cutting hay. Just as the pasture length described above, second-cutting hay is more sugar-dense. First-cutting hay must grow longer and go to seed before it is cut, which lowers the sugar content in the stem.

    Overweight Horses: Feed first-cutting hay at a rate of 2-3 % of bodyweight or 20-30 lbs per day. Use a scale to weigh the flakes of hay. Hay should be fed in a slow feeder. Slow feeders will mimic more natural feeding and help keep the horse occupied as you reduce their overall calorie intake. When introducing the slow feeder, offer the full ration as normal and then extra ration in the slow feeder. Slowly increase the portion offered in the slow feeder and decrease the portion that is free fed until eventually the entire ration is offered in the slow feeder. Gradual transition to the slow feeder will prevent stress and hunger panic from the horse as it becomes accustomed the new feeding method. There are many slow feeders available on the market and several versions that can be hand made. We recommend NibbleNets. As an alternative, you may place the hay in several piles around the lot instead of one large pile. However, this generally produces more waste than a NibbleNet or other homemade slow feeder. Caution: some horses will cause abnormal wear on their incisor teeth from chewing at nylon or metal grates on the slow feeders. This should be monitored.

    Concentrate Feed (grain): Avoid feeding any grain with excessive starch such as sweet feeds or corn. Feed only a ration balancer pellet. Ration balancers offer all the benefits of much needed protein and minerals without any excess sugar. Search for a product with a minimum 28% protein content. Ration balancer pellets are readily available from many brands at many feed stores. However, many brands will refer to them by different names such as “grazing pellet, hay stretcher pellet or protein supplement” which certainly makes it difficult to choose. Locally available balancer pellets include: Enrich (PurinaMills), Empower Topline Balance (Nutrena), Essential K (Tribute), and 30% Ration Balancer (Triple Crown). Note that with any of these protein supplements, you will feed much less than with a senior feed or sweet feed. Generally, these protein supplements are designed to feed at a rate of 1-2 lbs per 1,000 lbs of bodyweight.

    Supplements: There are tons of supplements marketed for both PPID and IR (or ID) horses. Most of these supplements contain chromium and/or magnesium. Research has not proven any benefit from these supplements. Therefore, we do NOT recommend any particular supplements.

    Persistent Resistance to Weight Loss

    If management changes have not been sufficient to induce weight loss, the overweight patient should have further testing for insulin dysregulation. Testing for a related endocrine disorder, Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction (Equine Cushing’s Disease or PPID) should be conducted. These can occur as concurrent problems or independently. If insulin abnormalities are present, additional medications, such as metformin and levothyroxine, can be prescribed for continuous or seasonal therapy to help manage the patient.

    Farriery/Hoof Care

    Horses with EMS (particularly obese horses) are at great risk of developing laminitis and chronic founder. Hooves should be regularly trimmed to maintain appropriate angles and a shortened toe. Special care or special shoes may be recommended for patients with discomfort from chronic laminitis. Monitor patients closely for foot abscesses. Recurring foot abscesses are a sign of micro-episodes of laminitis.

    Monitoring

    Horses with EMS should be continually monitored for signs of laminitis and obesity. Signs that they are not appropriately regulated include recurrent foot abscesses, laminitis, obesity, difficulty losing weight, and being an “easy keeper.”

    Long-Term Management

    Most horses with EMS will continue to live comfortably and have long successful careers with proper management. Many owners comment that their horses seem to be more active, more energetic and generally “feel” better once they are managed appropriately.