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Goats/Baby goat troubles.


We recently acquired a mostly unfriendly Doe who we were told was due in January. She gave birth yesterday to a little girl. The mother did some work licking her but the baby had a very hard time finding the nipple and nursing. I wasn't able to do most newborn baby care because the mother acted as though she was going to attack me. So all I could do was tie up the mother dry off the baby and put a sweater on it. I helped it to nurse a few times and then checked on it regularly. She has a heat lamp and the mother stayed with her and got up to let her nurse etc. Today at around 12:30 the baby was laying on it's side with little movement. I tied up the mother to get in there and grabbed the baby who was cold. Got her inside and have been warming her up. She can no longer stand and keeps throwing her head all the way back. I've tried to get some milk into her, nutridrench, baking soda...but everything keeps running out her mouth as she is not sucking at all. Any help would be appreciated.

Warming up is excellent - will take some time to get her going - rubbing/warming/massaging - wrap her up in a warmed blanket, etc.  Have you ever stomach tubed a kid goat or any animal? No baking soda.  If you have available a stomach tube I can walk you through.  If not, use of a small size 4 to 5 inch aquarium tubing slipped onto a 12 cc syringe can help - you place the tubing towards the back of the tongue and slowly, gently squeeze liquid/warmed liquid into the kid and allow her to swallow - you would need to have her body and head straight ahead, and the head tilted up just a small amount so the liquid will drain down the esophagus and not into the lungs.  Until she is warmed up well (body temp to at least 98 to 100) it may be difficult to get her to swallow.  A little at a time is advised.  I would start her on oral antibiotics and colostrum - the colostrum can be either from the mom or powdered bovine from the feed store will work well - oral antibiotics such as sulmet or duramycin powder can be added to keep her from getting a pneumonia or, most likely she has a pneumonia now and it could help keep her from getting worse.  I would also give one 200 mcg tablet human selenium crushed and dissolved in a little hot water and then add half the oil from a 1000 IU capsule of vitamin E and half the oil from an 800 IU capsule of vitamin D - mix, keeping the mixture fairly warm - helps warm up from the inside out.  This will help in muscle strength and will need to be given again tomorrow and perhaps a third day.  If you could even starting injectable antibiotics would help - penicillin is best - 1/2 cc twice a day for 3 days - can be given subcutaneously but best is intramuscularly in the rear thigh muscles - yes, the kids have very small muscles but it works well there - 22 gauge needle 1 inch in length at most - feed store has these.  

Hoping that once the kid is a bit more awake she will drink better for you.  Would advise getting Pritchard teat for further bottle raising.  These have the red nipples and yellow bands - many feed stores have them - if unavailable best second choice would be use of a premie human baby nipple/bottle.  

Hang in there - I have seen them come back after warming - it can be a long haul - please also feel free to call me anytime at 360-742-8310 if you need to get urgent information over waiting for e-mail.  Donna


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Donna Ruelas-Semasko/Edelweiss Acres


All goat health care, nutrition, judging questions about all goats - packgoats, dairy goats, pygmy goats, meat goats, fleece goats.


27 years health care/nutrition of all types of goats, 17 years experience in packgoats, 20 years experience in 4H goat projects as leader, superintendent and judge. 20 years experience in putting on goat care/nutrition seminars.

NAPgA, The Evergreen Packgoat Club, 4H, ADGA.

Hobby Farm, many newspapers, 4H newsletters, Packgoat Manuals (youth and general), judging information pamphlets, seminar handouts about health care and nutrition.

4 years of college, ongoing education in goats.

Awards and Honors
Small Farm Award of Thurston County

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