Kid Goat Survives Rare Bone Infection After Treatment at University Animal Hospital » School of Veterinary Medicine » University of Florida

By Sarah Carey

Nearly three months after a baby goat named Daisy May came to the University of Florida Large Animal Hospital after being unable to walk due to a rare disease, she is now wearing dresses and diapers at her Villages® home. I work as a worn “house goat”. As she continues her recovery, she is in the spotlight wherever she goes, and in her downtime, she sits alongside her owner watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy.

“That’s normal for her,” said owner Amanda Cohen. “It may not be normal goat normal, but Daisy is always different and she loves her life.”

DVM’s Daniela Lucy, an assistant clinical professor and expert in large animal medicine, said she was one of the clinicians who cared for Daisy May, who cannot stand on all fours, when she first arrived at the university on March 3. I’m a person. Cohen noticed the abnormality in her goat on her fourth day of life, but Daisy May did not respond to initial treatment and she needed to be taken to Gainesville for a more thorough examination. Cohen decided.

“We suspected vertebral osteomyelitis, or a neck bone infection, because we had seen several similar cases before,” Lucy said. “A CT scan was performed and we were able to obtain images that confirmed that Daisy had the disease.”

After Daisy May's re-examination appointment on May 5, Dr. Daniela Lucy, Amanda Cohen with Daisy May, and Dr. Dana Giosio are shown outside the university's large animal hospital.
After Daisy May’s re-examination appointment on May 5, Dr. Daniela Lucy, Amanda Cohen with Daisy May, and Dr. Dana Giosio are shown outside the university’s large animal hospital.

The medical care provided by veterinarians at the University of Florida included a combination of antibiotics and extensive physical therapy given over six and a half weeks, and Cohen’s dedication to treatment, Daisy May made significant progress. We’ve made progress.

“She can now stand and walk on her own,” Lucy said.

Daisy May’s physical therapy was provided through the hospital’s Integrative Mobile Health Service, which treats a wide range of animals from dogs and cats to turtles and “everything in between,” the group said. DVM intern Melissa Nalm said.

“We also love working with other services within the hospital with the common goal of helping each animal feel better and grow stronger,” she said. “But Daisy May was special. She was a very young goat, she was willing to work hard, and she had a very supportive owner.”

Daisy May underwent several types of physical therapy while in college, including acupuncture, stretching, and neuromuscular electrical nerve stimulation. She has also benefited from aquatic treadmill therapy and has gained confidence in using her legs to stand and walk.

“Our whole team was focused on her progress and cheered her on every step, from small movements to crossing the room by herself,” said Narm.

Cohen drove over 60 miles daily from his home in The Villages® to meet his beloved Daisy May. When Ms. Cohen was first diagnosed with Daisy May, she was relieved to know what the exact problem was, but she was devastated to learn that her treatment might or might not work.

“After speaking with all the doctors, we all agreed that given her wonderful personality and will to live, it was worth trying treatment,” Cohen said. “She was amazing. I swear every day I saw a change in you for the better. Maybe the change was small, but I was sure we were on the right track.”

Cohen, a former hairdresser, and her husband, a former judge, moved from New York to Florida after retiring three years ago. In addition to their home at The Villages®, they purchased a nearby farm to provide space for their animals, including goats. They found a Tennessee Miniature Faint Goat breeder in Vero Beach and booked five kids to add to the farm.

“Unfortunately, one didn’t make it,” Cohen said. “The other female had to be bottle-fed because her mother wasn’t producing enough milk.”

Daisy May is pictured doing physiotherapy as she undergoes a re-examination at the university on May 5.
Daisy May is pictured doing physiotherapy as she undergoes a re-examination at the university on May 5.

That goat was Daisy May.

“I drove to pick her up and she was a very small child,” Cohen said. “I fell in love instantly. I didn’t know if I was going.”

But she made it through. Daisy May was discharged from the hospital on April 15, the day of the university’s traditional open house event.

“She was in a cart at the time and was being pushed through the crowd,” Cohen said. “Everyone said it was ‘true Daisy style.’ She loves to be the center of attention all the time, so many people pet her, take pictures and videos, and walk away.” It just seemed like the right thing for her to pose with.”

Back home, Daisy May is playing with Cohen’s Labrador, Bentley, Shih Tzu Bugs, and the family’s cats. Other goats her family picked up in Tennessee are raised on her family farm. Cohen says they’re still getting used to Daisies.

“They’re all just pets for us to pamper and love,” she said, adding that Daisy May loves to headbutt everyone and plays with them.

“She still gets antibiotic shots every other day and we do physical therapy together every day,” Cohen said.

Daisy May continues to return to college every few weeks for re-examination. Each time she is greeted by clinicians and students who make the time to visit her.

“The staff are great,” Cohen said. “Students are extremely dedicated and the passion of doctors and students for every animal that comes through the door is always outstanding.”

Lucy said no successful treatment of vertebral osteomyelitis has ever been reported in goats.

“It’s a rare disease, one that many people probably give up on and never treat,” Lucy said. “Many people might have seen her lesions and given the severity of it, recommended euthanasia. Daisy May’s recovery has been remarkable and we are all thrilled to be a part of it.”

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