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Goats/update: pygmy doe that hasn't delivered the 2nd twin or expelled the after birth



I have a 4 yr old doe who has kidded successfully 4 times in the past, the most recent was last June.  She had not had any problems that I am aware of, we purchased her pregnant last spring.  I have to say that I am new to this, very inexperience.  I have read a lot but do not have a close by local goat expert to help.

Yesterday she went into labor, we felt that she was having twins due to her size, much larger than when she had the single kid last summer.  She delivered the first kid after about 1.5 hours of pushing and she started washing him appropriately.  We kept waiting for the second kid or afterbirth to be delivered and she kept having contractions and looking like she was trying to push, but nothing else was delivered.  I did slide two fingers up inside her, on the advice of a friend with goats (she lives an hour away) to try and see if there was another baby, but I am too inexperienced at this to know what I was really feeling.  It did feel like there was another baby there that needed to be delivered, what I felt was round and hard, and it was directly center to the opening.  I didn't feel comfortable sliding my whole hand inside as she is small.  It is the next morning now and she still hasn't delivered anything else, baby or placenta.  She is still breathing heavily and trying to push but she has been up on her feet and drinking water and eating a little feed.  I am unsure what to do.  I called the local large animal emergency vet last night and he was not help.  He wanted me to drag her to his office so he could x-ray her and then do a c-section if necessary.  I love my goat but I cannot afford that kind of expense.  I was reading in one of your other posts about using Black Cohosh.  My husband is an herbalist and we already treat the goats naturally for worms, etc. using herbs.  Can you please point me in the right direction as to what to do to help her?  I am taking it as a good sign that she has been up on her feet this morning and eating and drinking.  I am just not sure what do from this point.  We have Black Cohosh and Pennyroyal available and we have an antibiotic herbal liquid that we can give her.  I am just concerned about what she is retaining in the wound.   

She has not nursed the first born baby boy and we had to bring him in the house last night due to the cold, she was having nothing to do with him.  We have been feeding him colostrum by bottle, he struggled at first but now seems okay and is sucking well.  We took him to the barn this morning and she will still not have anything to do with him.  She has been a good mother in the past.  Is it likely that she will totally reject him at this point?  

I appreciate any help you can give.  Thank you for your time.

ANSWER: Hello - it sounds like she has either not pssed her placenta and that is what is causing the symptoms or she has another kid inside her - I really advise washing up and going inside - past your wrist at least - to see if you can feel a head and/or feet - if you do then you must bring them out and down - she will most likely start pushing when you do this.  I would take her temperature.  If over 102.5 then she has an infection and that may be the cause of either not dropping her placenta or second kid issues, if she does have a second kid.  Can you feel her pelvic ligaments?  As an aside, a doe should be allowed to push hard for only 20 minutes before you help, not 1.5 hours.  Glad you took the new little one in and out of harms way.   You never saw another "bubble" after the first kid was born?  You never saw the placenta or any parts of it either? She should drop the placenta within 10 hours of birth.  You can use the Black Cohosh to help induce her dropping the placenta and/or possible second kid, which would be dead by now.  Use a human dosage for this.  Hope this helps - do let me know - and please feel free to call me at 360-742-8310 if you'd like to talk - Donna

[an error occurred while processing this directive]---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Just an update on our doe, Lilly.  We lost her this afternoon.  We just couldn't get her to eat and her temperature kept dropping despite everything we did.  We were able to get some fluids in her but I think she was just too far stressed from the past two days and the delivery of the two stillborns.  We have learned a lot from this experience and I cannot thank you enough for all of your help and advice, rest assured your phone number has star beside it in my book!!  I just wish we had been able to do more for Lilly, she is at peace now.  

On a much brighter note, little Sam, our kid survivor appears to be doing very well.  He is eating well and walking about and very curious about things.  He has bonded with my son Rian very well.  I had a question about the feeding, however.  When I was talking to my friend who raises Alpines she asked me what I would be feeding him after the colostrum and I told her the Mannapro Nurseall for multispecies, like we spoke about last night.  She said oh not feed a milk replacer, if you can't get goats milk then go the grocery and get whole cows milk from off the shelf.  I have to say I wondered about that because I don't even like for my boys to drink that stuff, it is a dead food.  I will likely be able to get more goats milk for him but I just wanted to know about the cow's milk in case.  The other question was about the D3.  I went to Tractor supply and they had a something called Durvet's Lamb and Kid Omega 3-6-9

I wondered if this would be okay to give him?  It wasn't expensive so got it and brought it home but wanted to ask your opinion first.  

Again, thank you so much for all of your help and for talking to me last night.  It meant a lot.  


ANSWER: Hi there - sorry about the doe.  Re milk replacer, your friend is incorrect - straight cow's milk is the worst you can feed kid goats - cow milk has fat molecules that are huge (5 times larger than goat's milk) and the kid will have difficulty digesting these - the multispecies milk replacer is an excellent choice.  Also, anything made for lambs is not acceptable for kid goats.  Durvet is an antibiotic so you are giving him antibiotics along with lamb milk products - I would stay away from these.  You are more than welcome to make a mix of milk replacer and goat's milk.  The reason people have difficulty with milk replacer is that they are not careful in how much they mix - they don't measure and so the kid gets too much or not enough. 27 years of use of milk replacer (we do put kid goats who are going to homes at 6 weeks of age on straight milk replacer so the new owners do not have to deal with any digestive upset when they are feeding their new kids) and no issues.   Do hope this helps - let me know - Donna

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Okay...I read the label on the Durvets and it looked like just vitamins to me, so thank you for that info. I will be going to the store tomorrow and I will pick up the D3 capsules like you suggested on the phone last night.  And thanks for confirming that I can mix the milk replacer in the goats milk, I had wondered if that would be too much.  As for the dosing, I followed the directions on the back of the bag for pygmy kids and it said 1.5 scoops per 1 cup of water.  

Is there anything else I need to be doing for him that I am not and what should I be thinking about for the next few weeks with him?  Is there a particular feeding schedule he should be on?  


Thanks for the update.  Must be a different Durvet than we have here.  Glad you checked the label though.  If the doe did not have her CDT toxoid booster 4 weeks prior to kidding I would get him started on his first 1/2 cc dose at 4 weeks, then starting at 2 months 1 cc, again at 3 months, 6 months and 9 months and then starting at a year of age and every year afterwards 2 cc.  This is generally available over the counter at most feed stores or online - 22 gauge 3/4 inch needle works well - I give intramuscularly in the thigh muscle although it says you can give subcutaneously, I find that subcutaneous injections many times turn up with cysts or abscesses.  I would also start him on his selenium/vitamin E and D supplement now - one 200 mcg tablet crushed and dissolved in a little hot water and half the oil from a vitamin E 1000 IU capsule and half the oil from an 800 IU vitamin D capsule added to the mix, cooled and given orally.  May need a second dosing of this at 2 months of age.   For pygmy goats 2 to 3 ounces every 2 to 4 hours for the first 3 days or so and then increase to 3 to 4 ounces 3 or 4 hours over the next 7 days of life, then increase again to perhaps 5 to 6 ounces - this depends on how big he is and how hungry he seems - never over feed them even if they seem hungry, if their tummy is expanded from the milk, time to stop.  You increase the milk a little at a time as you increase the time interval of feedings.  By 2 weeks of age they can be on every 4 hour feedings, by 4 weeks every 6 hours.  It is an individual time table for each kid goat.  Hope this helps - let me know - Donna

Added item - I would give the CDT 1/2 cc vaccination at 10 days to 2 weeks instead of waiting for 4 weeks.  This is the enterotoxemia vaccination and so if they overeat the immune system should have help counteracting the bacteria by having the CDT vaccination on board.  


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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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