Question My husband and I purchased two Alpine dairy goats in June 2012. They were bred with a Saanan. Yesterday (February 26) at around 8 p.m. our second goat had her kids. They were triplets, two females and one male. The male died. One of the females is perfect and the other is having difficulty walking as her hooves on her hindquarters do not face forward. She basically stands on the lowest joint with the top of her feet dragging behind and more crawls along than walks. In a human, it would be like trying to walk on our ankles while bending our feet backward with the tops of our feet dragging behind. She seems in good health otherwise as she is able to suckle from mom and is wagging her tail repeatedly like she is content. She does rest quite often, but does not seem in pain. I can send pictures if this is helpful. I guess I'm wanting to know what you would suggest for helping her? I was hoping maybe we can slowly stretch her ligaments to begin working the hooves forward or perhaps splint, tape, or cast her feet in such a way that she can strengthen those muscles to work properly. I haven't tested the flexibility of the joint yet as we wanted her to bond well with her mother on the evening she was born, but I'm planning on gently seeing what can be done later this morning. I don't think there are bone deformities, but I'm definitely not a goat anatomy expert! I appreciate any help and advice you can offer and would be happy to try to send some photos if this would be useful. Thanks again!
Answer First I would be sure and bottle feed her and may even suggest taking away from mom and sister especially if they are with other goats as she is definitely in harms way of getting stepped on and not getting enough to eat. With that said, the main issue is probably a combination of being in a strange position in the uterus and also selenium deficiency. Would assume the selenium deficiency is the main issue here - would 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 capsule of vitamin E and half the oil from an 800 IU capsule of vitamin D - mix, cool and give orally. Repeat tomorrow and again probably in 5 days. This will not overdose her on selenium and most likely within 10 days you should see improvement. You may also massage and gently stretch the feet - absolutely no casting is advised. Hope this helps - let me know - Donna
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Thank you so much for your response! I've only lived a farm life for the past year and a half (since getting married) after living a life in a rural town for the past 32 years. I'm learning so much and love my new life, but I knew we would inevitably have some animal health issues to deal with at some point. Thankfully, this is a health problem we can deal with thanks to your specific, detailed instructions and thoughtful explanations. You have put my mind at ease and am so grateful for your willingness to help an unknown person asking for help out here in cyberspace! It is much appreciated and I hope to share a very happy follow up with you in the future! Thanks again for all you've done to help us! Becky (and Scott) Boersma, Clear Lake, SD
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.
Organizations NAPgA, The Evergreen Packgoat Club, 4H, ADGA.
Publications Hobby Farm, many newspapers, 4H newsletters, Packgoat Manuals (youth and general), judging information pamphlets, seminar handouts about health care and nutrition.
Education/Credentials 4 years of college, ongoing education in goats.
Awards and Honors Small Farm Award of Thurston County