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Goats/goat not acting right after birthing


QUESTION: My female goat had twins 2 days ago. Everything went like it should. She passed and ate the after birth. First kid was a big boy and was hard for her since it is her first birthing and he was big. The little girl was next. The babies nursed right away. She had done very well with them. All was good until today!! She has been laying around most of the day. unusual for her. and now she stretches allot. She want eat or drink. After she stretches she then will lay down and moan like she is hurting. Kinda the way she did when she was in labor!! What could be the problem??? Seems to have some trouble walking and wants to walk backwards??    Thank you!!

ANSWER: I always advise against letting the doe eat the afterbirth as sometimes that will cause digestive issues - obstipation, constipation, or diarrhea. Is her rear area puffed up from the delivery? Is she bleeding? So she had been eating after the kidding but started today not eating and drinking? Does she have a large/full udder? Does her breath smell sickly sweet? Is she pooping and peeing?  Is her poop normal pellets? What type of hay is she on?  She could have an infection of the uterus and a fever (over 102.5 temperature) or she could have ketosis (sickly sweet breath smell) or she could have hypocalcemia (milk fever/not enough calcium in her system).  Is she bloated? Let me know and I'll get back to you - Donna

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QUESTION: NO her rear area isn't puffed, she is only discharging a little not bloody though. yes she was eating and drinking just fine after the birth. she is pooping and peeing. her poop is normal pellets. she is eating hey that she always eats. we get it from the co-op or feed store. no she isn't bloated. everything seemed to be just fine until today. today around noon is when we noticed that she wasn't acting quite right. she was getting her normal regular feedings during the pregnancy. nothing has changes as far as scheduled feeding and grazing. and infection in the uterus was what we were thinking. just by the way she was acting. thank you for your quick response.

Thanks for the update.  If the hay is alfalfa she could have hypocalcemia which would need high doses of calcium given to her orally or injected (but injection should be done by a veterinarian).  If her breath was sickly sweet then ketosis is an issue and high doses of sugar/molasses/karo syrup can help.  For the possible infection would advise use of penicillin injectable (available at most farm/feed stores) - regular kind not long acting - 3 cc/100 pounds body weight twice a day for 5 days - intramuscular injection using 20 gauge 1 inch length needles in the thigh muscle. Have you given IM injections before?  If not, you must gently draw back on the plunger when the needle is in to be sure you are not in a vein, if no red color comes into the barrel you are not in a vein and can inject the antibiotic.  Also would need probiotics during the antibiotic therapy.  Also would need human oral B complex (with thiamine) while she is not eating - crush eight tablets and dissolve in a little hot water, cool and give orally, do this twice daily.  Would also take her temp if you can - I would assume from her symptoms that she has a fever - would start her on one 325 mg human aspirin per 100 pounds body weight twice a day.  If she is not drinking would also orally drench with electrolytes four times a day.  If she is not eating in another day would start her on a special mush I make that is liquidy enough to draw up in an oral drench syringe or turkey baster.  Would watch the kids as if she has an infection that would mean the kids probably do to.  I might advise to start bottle feeding the kids so you can watch them closely and at the first sign of not eating start them on penicillin (1/2 cc) too.  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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