QUESTION: Hi there,
I have 2 ,almost 1 year old,twin sister pygmy goats..had them for6 months now and really love and spoil them. One of them has had a couple small abscess' on her right side of the cheek..they popped on their own and healed up well. She recently had one get rather large on her right side but towards her ears..still on the cheek area. I have a friend who assists in veterinary and she came to lance it yesterday,and my poor girl was so frightened from the procedure I thought her heart would stop :( I saw her squeeze out the contents(white and pasty)and seemed to be empty when done.Then she filled it with a sterile solution to flush it out.
 So today i see that it's not flat,looks like there's still fluid in it,but there's no more bleeding..I want to know if I should make a hot salt water compress and go out to clean it ? Or do I leave it alone? I am so worried about her,I also am aware of the possibilities of CL disease which scares me to death..Can you help me? I am very upset...thank you so much,,

ANSWER: As to being CL, if the contents was cream or white colored and looked like cottage cheese that is most likely CL - of course, that does not have to mean this will be fatal to her.  If it is as what you sound like you are describing of white and pasty in appearance - kind of like toothpaste, then this sounds more like an abscess from an infection.  Once an abscess is lanced it should be cleaned out daily until it does not fill up and looks like it is healing - with goats you must allow the site to heal from the inside out - I usually rinse with hydrogen peroxide twice a day, let drain, dry, and then if it has a large hole left use penicillin injectable medication to put into the hole - of course, you take the needle off after drawing up the penicillin and place the tip of the syringe into the opening and flush - again, letting it drain and then dry.  Using compresses to keep the wound open can also be used.  Salt water may sting so I advise against that.  Re CL, whenever a goat has an abscess you should quarantine it from the others or if that is not possible then either lance the abscess or watch for it to pop and then clean out well and use antibiotics to the opening - CL is transferred by the contents being spread to other goats via mosquitoes, flies, or just rubbing up against another goat and that goat has a scratch or injury that the contents can get into.  

What type of hay do they eat?  That is, is it full of stickers or sharp edges of hay?  Do they browse a lot in blackberry or other possibly sticker type plants?

Hope this helps - let me know.  Donna

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QUESTION: yes,the contents looked more like tooth paste..they get fresh green hay from my neighbors fields..just regular hay.
  never browse in any tree's or bushes as they are confined to a large run.
So you recomend peroxide instead of the salt water? I have no penicillan available,,only compress's..**sigh

ANSWER: Thanks for the update.  Any oral antibiotics available? I do recommend the hydrogen peroxide rather than salt water - salt tends to burn the wounds, especially the soft tissue in the cheek area.  You can certainly use almost hot salt water compress but not use the salt water to push into the wound to clean it out.  Hope that helps - Donna

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QUESTION: Thank you for your quick replies! :)
I really can't do anything at this point,I'm so upset. I just came in from cleaning it and compressing,and it's all messed up looking,I feel like my friend botched it up badly :(
I might need to bring her in to my vet,,,as long as she takes minigoats..Is there any danger if it closes up and still has stuff in there?? hoping that it dries up and eventually heals itself...is there a chance? I feel like I should have left it alone and let it pop on it's own ,,then cleand it after.. :'(

If most of the abscess contents were removed and there is just tissue fluid (from the injury to the tissue with lancing and squeezing) it certainly might heal fine - you would just need to keep a close watch on it and if you see grayish/bloody discharge from it then it has turned to an infection and would need to be cleaned out and the goat put on injectable antibiotics.  When you say "messed up" does that mean that the opening is huge or just that it looks crusty and red, etc.?  If you have any human aspirin I might give her 1/4 of a 325 mg human aspirin - crushed and dissolved in a little hot water, cooled and given orally every 4 hours to help with pain and swelling.  Even just wiping it down with a washcloth that is soaked in an antibacterial soap solution will help and if that drains into the wound that's fine too - even something like antibacterial dish soap mixture is fine - then pat it dry.  You can put some human antibiotic ointment over the top to help heal it slowly.  Hope this helps - 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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