Goats/pygmy goat


QUESTION: I have a pygmy goat who is not acting normal.  His tail is droopy, he is hunched over, he is foaming at the mouth, drinking a bunch of water, sounds nasely, and has lost weight.  I recently stuck some of my big ewes in the same pasture and I know they have rammed him a couple of times.  Do you know if this could be an injury or an illness.

ANSWER: Foaming at the mouth generally indicates he has eaten something poisonous, along with drinking a lot of water.  Re his losing weight and sounds "nasely" that could be that he is not getting enough to eat being at the bottom of the herd and he also could have a pneumonia from the stress.  The foaming is the urgent item - anything poisonous in your field, any mold on grain or hays?, any new feed you have given him?  What color are his inner lower eyelids?  If whitish or very light pink this would be anemia that could be caused from liver flukes or barber pole worm, both of which can cause loss of weight too.  

Would start him on milk of magnesia at 1/2 cup per 50 pounds every 2 hours for two doses.  This will coat his rumen to help with possible poison ingestion.  Would also start him on probiotics - twice a day - yogurt or livestock gel or powdered probiotics are fine.  Would also start him on human vitamin B complex with thiamin - four tablets crushed and dissolved in a little hot water, cool, and give orally twice a day for 5 days.  I might also advise starting on at least an oral antibiotic - Sulmet or Duramycin both would work well - tell me what you get and I can give you the dosing.  Have you seen him pee and poop?  Let me know the answers to my questions and I will get back to you - Donna

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QUESTION: I have not seen him pee or poop. I put him in a small pen last night so I could watch him better. I have injectable penecilian and LA 200. Would either of those help? He probally weighs 25~30 lbs now. Should I feed him normal? I have nothing in field that I'm aware of thats poisen. Hay and grain are mold free. I'm baffled.

If you do get a temp on him and it is low - in the lower to mid 90s - then constipation can certainly be one of the causes of his issues - mineral oil (human type) works the best for this - 1/2 cup per 50 pounds body weight every 2 hours for two doses.  Milk of magnesia does also help constipation but sometimes not as quickly.  Keep me posted - 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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