You are here:

Goats/Losing Hair (and various ?s)


QUESTION: My Nigerian dwarf doe is about a week away from kidding. She has had a minor prolapse (our first with that... scared me to death). I'm pretty sure it doesn't have to be stitched of anything as it goes back in when she stands up. Should I give her any sort of antibiotic or anything to prevent an infection?
Next, I noticed she was starting to lose hair around the base of her ears. Then she started losing hair on her nose and up her muzzle. The skin is gray, dry, and flaky. She has access to manna pro goat mineral, but could it still be a selenium deficiency? Completely unrelated, but still a question of mine. How much can a Nigerian dwarf carry as a pack goat? Or are they not really suited for that? And if they can do that, is it possible to make your own packs? I know it is long, sorry! Thank-you!!

ANSWER: Sounds like a vaginal or rectal prolapse - that can be due to selenium deficiency as selenium helps keep the muscles strong.  You could give her antibiotics just in case - oral would be okay on a daily basis - duramycin or terramycin powders work well.  These are given mixed in a little apple juice or yogurt and given orally.  Use of 1/2 teaspoon once a day of either powder should do the trick.  Generally though if the prolapse is minor - only see a small portion come out then antibiotics are not necessary.

Re the loss of hair - this could be selenium deficiency or it could be mange mites.   Would treat for both - use ten of the 200 mcg human selenium tablets crushed and dissolved in a little hot water and to that add all the oil from a 1000 IU vitamin E capsule and all the oil from an 800 IU vitamin D capsule - mix, cool and give orally.  Also would use poultry or livestock dust to dust the goat and can also make a paste of the powder and a little water and place on the most affected areas around the face as dusting should not be done around the face.  Many times even if the goats have free choice minerals with selenium they just do not get enough of it.

Nigerian dwarf goats are not made to pack - you could have them as a 4H packgoat project but as a packgoat in general they do not work well.  You can make your own crossbucks and panniers.  You can also use some soft packs, like dog packs.  Hope this helps - Donna

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I gave her the selenium mixture. Thank-you for that! I was dreading having to call up our vet for Bo-Se. (She is mainly horse vet, and knows next to nothing about goats or sheep, but she is the only vet around.)Can I use this in place of Bo-Se completely?

We have some cat powder that is supposed to kill that kind of thing, would that work, or does it need to be 'livestock'?

Could they carry just the water bottles or something like that for roughly a four hour hike? It would be primarily exercise for them. :)

Thanks! You have helped a lot.

Re the oral selenium/D/E mixture, yes that is used in place of Bo-Se completely.  I give our goats the mixture four times a year and also 4 weeks prior to kidding.  

Re the cat powder - is this mites and tick powder?  If so, it should work.

Your Nigerian dwarfs can absolutely still carry a small pack - perhaps no more than 10% of their body weight - so yes to water bottles and snacks.  Some of the 4H members in our packgoat project use Nigerian dwarfs as their packgoats - using them to go on short trails, in the fair on the trail course, and showing.  Perhaps up to 3 miles round trip might be good for them.  They have to be in good shape too - and working up to the 3 miles will certainly keep them in shape.  Hope that helps - Donna


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

©2017 All rights reserved.