You are here:

Goats/Little Bits legs


QUESTION: Merry Christmas!  We had 2 wonderful presents born this morning.  They are huge and healthy boys.  Now on to the problem.  Little Bit was born 3 days ago.  I guess by her name you can guess she is little.  She is about 1/3 the size of the boys born today.  She was about 3 hours old before she attempted to stand.  We had to lay her mother on her side in order for the baby to eat.  She started refusing to eat until I figured out she hadn't passed the meconium stool.  I gave her an enema and she became hungry but she couldn't stand on her own to eat. I ended up buying a colostrum replacement and fed her just to boost up her energy.  It helped, she is now hungry and wants to nurse just like a normal baby goat.  The problems is the tendons on the backs of both front legs are tight and draw her hoofs back.  I have massaged them and am able to straighten the legs out but she can't keep them straight for long.  As soon as she tries to walk the hoofs bend again and she falls face first to the ground.  I have even tried wrapping the legs with coban to no avail.  What can I do to get the tendons to loosen up so that she can walk like a normal goat?  She has 7 other baby goats that have been born within the last week to play with and I don't want her growing up without being able to play with them.

ANSWER: Hi there - First off I would advise taking her from the other kid goats - would keep her inside with you.  I would also start bottle raising her as you are doing.  I would not wrap the legs at all.  The issue could be from the cramped position in the uterus and her tendons and muscles just cannot stretch out.  The other issue could be a selenium deficiency.  But it could also be both.  Would massage the legs throughout the day to help stretch out the tendons/muscles.  Would also give her one 200 mcg selenium tablet crushed and dissolved in a little hot water and to that add half the oil from a 1000 IU vitamin E capsule and half the oil from an 800 IU vitamin D capsule, mix, cool and give orally now, and repeat the following day.  If this is selenium deficiency you should see improvement in 2 to 5 days.  Hope this helps - let me know - Donna

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

QUESTION: Hi Donna,  I just thought that I would update you on Little Bit's condition.  I really didn't want to totally remove her from her mother's milk so I was taking her outside several times during the day and supplementing with the bottle.  The day before yesterday I took her out first thing in the morning for some breakfast.  To my amazement when I put her on the ground she was able to walk like a normal little goat.  There were no signs or symptoms that she had displayed when I first contacted you.  She has now been with her mother for 2 whole days, eating when she wants and following her mother around.  Last night she even gave one of the little happy jumps that baby goats do.  I am hoping that within the next few days she will be out playing with the other baby goats.  A friend of ours said that the mom might have been butted in the side by one of the other goats and it made her go into labor early.  Whatever it was she is over it now.  I never did get the selenium, vitamin C or D.

Thanks for the update.  Sometimes just having her in a different place where she has more time to recuperate is a good thing.  So glad she is doing better.  Re getting butted in the side, it is possible.  Because Little Bit is smaller and had difficulties she would be one to watch for any change in behavior - if she stops jumping or just seems lethargic, that could indicate she has a pneumonia.  Also making sure she does drink well from her mom.  Thanks again for the update - Donna


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

©2017 All rights reserved.