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Goats/Goat with tail down


I purchased 3 nigerian dwarf does 4 months ago. My plan was to breed them so that I could milk them and make cheese and such. They are mostly our pets and we love them like our dog. I purchased them all from the same farm. Two of them are 3 years old and were the owners first goats, bottle babies. The 3rd is a one year old kid born on the farm. One of the older does (Pippi) has a habit of slamming into the younger one (Charlotte). I am very aware of this and have had concerns about breeding Charlotte fearing for her safety and that of her unborn kids.

About 2 weeks ago Charlotte started holding her tail down. I'm not an expert but that seemed to me to be a problem. I didn't notice any limping or obvious distress. She is eating and drinking and pooping and peeing. Charlotte screams loudly when she is in heat...last week she was screaming away and I decided that was the time to breed her! I bred her with a buck from the farm that I purchased her from. (I'm not clear whether it worked, it was rather chaotic!) Charlotte was not so happy about being bred. She peed a few times as if she was nervous. When we got home the pot-shots from Pippi increased alarmingly. Poor Charlotte came back smelling like a buck and everyone went a little crazy. I generally lock the goats in a 12x6 barn at night for safety. When we put the goats in that night Charlotte cowered in the corner, she also was peeing frequently again. She also started grinding her teeth.I wound up locking only her in for 2 nights giving her a break from the other goats. I have taken her to the vet twice. The first time the vet gave her an antibiotic shot and a nasal vaccine. (Totally missed the issue in my opinion.) The second time, yesterday, different vet...good..spent an hour with her..did an ultra sound on her bladder, checked her back teeth and did a stool test. The only thing he could find was a slightly elevated worm count. He gave her Panacur.

Yesterday before the vet visit she looked really good. Jumping around like never before. Today, just more of the same. Tail down..I have noticed her poop is slightly smaller than usual. What should I do?

Thanks so much, Judy

ANSWER: Hi there - So I am assumig the goat's tail is not down normally?  What is it's temperature? Anything over 102.5 would indicate an infection.  It could be that she is just still nervous/stressed.  I might advise to give a preventative antibiotic such as penicillin injectable along with probiotics and vitamin B complex.  I also take it that she is not eating as well as normally or is she?   Let me know - Donna

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QUESTION: Thank you for your response. All of the goats usually have their tails held up. They wag them when they are excited but they do not hold them down for long periods of time. Her temp was 103 the first visit to the vet and 102.5 yesterday. I understood, and was told by the vet yesterday,that normal for a goat could be as high as 104? The vet did give her an antibiotic shot last week.I have been giving her probiotics and herbal immune support and herbal dietary supplements.

I am hoping that it is just maybe as you say, still stressed out over all the excitement of injury, breeding and vet visits. Any other thoughts would be great!

Thanks, Judy

A goat's temp is not normal over 102.5 in general.  Anytime a goat has a temp of over 102.5/fever I advise starting them on antibiotics if the symptoms of illness are also with this, especially in winter time.  A temp of 103 would definitely be a fever.  I would suggest if she is still not normal in a few more days that you keep up on an antibiotic - either injectable or oral.  Glad she is on the other support items you have her on.  I would also recommend, thinking that this might just be a stress response on her part to the breeding, that you could give her Pulsatilla, a homeopathic remedy for stress/anxiousness, this can be found at health foods, supplement stores, etc.  These are small pellets and are given orally either as just placing them into her mouth or making a liquid from them by dissolving them in a little hot water, cooling and then giving orally.  The dosage for these is 5 pellets once and then again in 2 hours, you can re dose the next day if not where you want her to be by then.  Hope this  helps.  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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