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Goats/Baby Goats Dying


QUESTION: I have had 3 goats have 2 babies a piece in the last month and a half. Each mama had one baby die  about a week or so after birth. Tonight one mama lost the other baby. The two living babies are in great shape and look healthy.

I also lost another female tonight that had miscarried about two months ago.

Any ideas on why the babies are dying and then a female die tonight? I keep fresh water and a large bale of hay for them to eat.

I have 5 other grown goats and they seem to be doing fine, but with losing 4 babies and a grown goat in the last month it has got me worried.

ANSWER: Any symptoms before the kids died?  Any diarrhea?  Everyone up on their CDT toxoid vaccinations? Were they all outside - and if so, what weather are you having?  Were these kids and does in with other goats? Re the doe who miscarried - what did her fetus look like?  Necrotic or old could indicate she had an infection?  Let me know and I will get back to you - thanks - Donna

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QUESTION: Sorry for just getting back to you. Nothing wrong before yesterday and no diarrhea. All goats were outside with a few other goats and a donkey.

The fetus looked normal but premature.

Didn't know about the CDT toxoid vaccine, but have order it.

ANSWER: Thanks for the update - CDT toxoid is generally available at the feed/farm store.  I might assume it is either enterotoxemia (CDT vaccination needed) or pneumonia.  Let me know - Donna

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QUESTION: Well I just had to put another one day, an adult. She seemed fine earlier in the week, but today she was very latergic and kept calling out. She got up to eat when I cut down some green trees, but laid in the mud the rest of the day. I moved her inside and she would put her back own the ground towards her stomach. I tried to get her to stand up, but she was too weak. She looks like she has lost some weight also in the last few days also.

Does this sound like enterotoxemia or something else?

Is there anything poisonous they could have gotten into? Any foam around the mouth of the doe today?  Was her stomach bloated? Had she been eating well before this?  It sounds like it could be polio but polio is a secondary illness that happens after a goat is not eating well for more than 2 days usually.  Usually the enterotoxemia only is fatal to kid goats.  Enterotoxemia can make adults ill and cause digestive issues such as diarrhea, but generally is not fatal to them.  What type of weather have you been having?  Have you checked their grain to be sure there is no mold on it?  Listeriosis from mold on their feed can cause neurologic issues.  Let me know - 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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