Goats/sick kid


I have a lamancha doe that had twins sometime last night. One of them was dead when I found them and the other seemed fine. Since it is muddy and cold here I put them in a n enclosed barn by them self’s. I checked on them before I went to town and the baby seemed fine, was up under the mom attempting to nurse (I believe she did successfully nurse but how much milk she drank I am not sure). When I got back from town the baby was laid out and when I picked her up she just flopped around and seemed as though she has no control. She is in the house now to warm back up and she just lays on her side and will sometimes paddle her legs. She can’t stand or hold her head up, her stomach/abdomen doesn’t feel or look swollen, she is crying out plenty but doesn’t nurse/suck when I have attempted to see if she was hungry.
Breed:  lamanch cross
Age:  less than 24 hours old
Gender:  doeling

HI Julie
:( I'm so sorry to say with the symptoms you are explaining I do not think this baby will make it either-  you can try to save her by stomach tubing her..  First you need to take her rectal temp- my guess is this will be low, I suspect under 95 degrees - her mouth is more than likely cool or cold.. a baby whose body temp is below 100 cannot digest milk- the paddling  her legs and crying out are symptoms of death..  she may not even make it by the time you get this  response - BUT if she does..  and you have the equipment to stomach tube here is a detailed article on how to do so.. http://goat-link.com/content/view/26/78/    and this article is how to deal with birth chill -http://goat-link.com/content/view/27/77/  
My guess is that mom's teats were plugged with the natural waxy plug that is there and  you may have not known to unplug them so the babies could actually get  milk- I suspect this is why baby#1 died last night.. I have a very detailed article on kidding, what to look for , what to do.. and what equipment you need to have on hand.. http://goat-link.com/content/view/36/33/ - here is the part of this article that pertains directly to this issue :
Once babies are out and you have cleared the nose and mouth and they are breathing, set them up to mom so she can clean them and stimulate them.. She wants them on their feet before they suckle, and she will clean and stimulate them to get up and going. (She may not pay much attention to baby #1 if she is going to have a second, until baby #2 is born) Also, baby's cries stimulate mama's attention.

Make sure her teats are unplugged(the teats get a waxy plug in the opening that needs to come out before the babies can suckle, it sometimes is too much for baby to remove) Do this by milking a few squirts on each side and then getting baby/babies up to suckle.. there is an enzyme in the baby's saliva that helps to close the teat opening, therefore reducing chance of Mastitis after it suckles - the teat will not have this stimuli after hand milking, making it most important to use a teat-dip after milking.

Babies may need help finding the teats. I always make sure they are up to suckle within 15 minutes of birth. They may need help getting the teat in the mouth- and they may baulk at you helping - the boys are the worst- tickle their butt and they will take the teat.. This is what mom does when she is cleaning them..and it does work..
Colostrum is the first milk they will get and it is readily absorbed and utilized by baby for the first 12 hours, the next 12 hours they are able to get some of the antibodies from it but after that, colostrum really does not absorb into their system as an antibody. Baby goats do not get antibodies from the umbilical system- it comes strictly from the colostrum. So this is vital they get colostrum right away.

I am so very sorry..   you will need to keep mom milked out  and save the  colostrum  in the freezer for any kids down the road whose mom may not make enough or for a neighbor who needs it..  if you do not keep mom milked she will get very uncomfortable.. http://goat-link.com/content/view/112/110



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Specializing in New Goat Owner understanding of goat physiology, goat anatomy, goat care and herd management. *I am not a veterinarian, any advice and information should be verified by your veterinarian before administering to your goats. (! During times of severe weather in the Midwest, I may experience a delay in internet service due to the interference of the satellite reception - but will answer your questions as soon as service is restored. !) Note: Keep in mind, the goat expert is volunteering her time to help other goat owners, she also runs her farm with her own herd of 100 goats and may not be at her computer at all hours. Questions are answered as soon as she can possibly read and answer them, usually within 24 hours.


23 years experience of raising goats and herd management. Active hands on experience with goat herd and research with various Caprine University Research and Extension Centers nationwide. 15 years dedicated to helping other goat breeders/owners with goat anatomy, goat disease and goat health care issues via phone, published goat care articles and internet interaction. The information I have to offer is not only from personal experience and years of research updated often as new information is made available to me, but supported by many Veterinary Research colleges and all medications and information I have to offer on how the medications work and what dosages "I" use, is information I have acquired by discussing directly with the company's veterinarians and staff research experts.

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