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Goats/Lethargic Nigerian Dwarf Goat


QUESTION: I have a 5 month old male who recently lost his twin. Since then he has not been eating well and in the last two days has become very lethargic. I gave him thiamine and penicillin yesterday and today we have also been hand feeding him milk or karo syrup with water or bounce back every few hours. Last night he started to perk back up and I thought he was doing better but tonight he is worse and can't even stand on his own. I don't know what else to do. Do you have any advice? I am a first time goat owner and having a difficult time finding any answers. Thanks

ANSWER: Is he pooping and peeing okay? If pooping, is it pelleted.  Why did his twin pass away? He could have a pneumonia as depression can cause the immune system to be stressed.  He could also be just stressed from the loss of his twin.  Have you checked his temperature yet?  If so, what is it?  Let me know - Donna

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QUESTION: He is peeing and pooping. He now has diarrhea and it is kind of white. We don't know why the twin died the vet said he thinks he may have gotten into something because it was so quick, about a 12hr time period.  I have not checked his temp he really isn't moving at all he is lying in straw and I am trying to keep it changed because he was completely wet on his underside from not being able to stand.

ANSWER: What were the symptoms of the twin that died? Diarrhea in kid goats has several colors:  White usually indicates E. coli; cream color to yellow indicates enterotoxemia; green in coccidiosis; brown can be either bacterial or digetive upset.  Would definitely keep him warm - perhaps bring him inside the house in a box or kennel and cover with a towel - I even use old towels for sick ill kids as bedding and covering - easy to wash and keep clean.  But, whatever you have would work.  Is this one and was the twin up to date on their CDT toxoid vaccination (enteroxemia)? If the other twin passed away quickly with little or no symptoms it is possible he had enterotoxemia - it does not always cause diarrhea right away.  

What antibiotics do you have available currently?  Do you have pepto bismol?  Do you have yogurt or probiotics? Do you have electrolytes available? Is this one up to date with selenium/D/E minerals/vitamins?

Let me know - Donna

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QUESTION: I have him in a tote in my kitchen. I have it half covered with a towel but can cover or wrap him if that is better. The stool is actually a cream color not white. Per the lady I got him from I gave him penicillin last night and was going to give it again tonight. I gave him the CDT toxoid tonight, I was told to give him 2cc then 4hrs later give him 2 more. His twin had no symptoms he was fine when I left for work and had passed by the time I got home.  I have a mixture called bounce back that is an electrolyte replacement that I have been trying to give him. I keep minerals/vitamins out for him all the time, it's a supplement that I got from the feed store. I don't have any pepto but will go get some if it would help I have greek yogurt but it is flavored(fruit). He is crying some and does not seem like a happy little goat like he usually is.

Thanks for the info.  Sounds great where you have him.  So this sounds like enteroxemia - penicillin can help and would give him twice daily doses of 1 cc intramuscularly.  Glad you are doing the CDT as described.  Do you have any milk of magnesia? Would start him on the electrolyte replacement - use of a small syringe or turkey baster and giving it orally would help get the toxin out of his system.  The greek yogurt is fine and flavored is fine - mix in a little water to thin and again use a small syringe or turkey baster to orally give this to him - this should be given twice a day too during antibiotic therapy.  The milk of magnesia will help flush out the toxins/bacteria in his rumen - 1/2 cup per 75 pounds body weight every 4 hours for three doses.  Re the electrolytes, would use warm water to mix these to help keep him warm.  Re his twin, enterotoxemia can certainly kill a kid goat in 12 hours and many times that is how people find a kid goat - fine one hour and hours later dead.  Hope this helps - let me know - Donna

PS Also, if you need to call me anytime, feel free - 360-742-8310.  

Forgot to say that is "crying" is due most likely pain in his rumen - enterotoxemia caused.  


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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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