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Goats/Possible Emergency with pregnant doe



I followed one of your other threads about a pregnant doe and I hope you can help me.  First, let me say that in my area, vets don't take goats seriously, and they attempt to diagnose things over the phone and leave it at that.  I understand that horses are the big money, but this is a rescue goat and I really really love her.

My doe has some foul smelling discharge.

She lost her mucus plug three weeks ago, and we don't exactly know her due date as she and the buck were running together when we got her. She is a 5 year old rescue goat and is getting out of a copper deficiency (I didn't bolus her yet because she is pregnant, but will if/when we solve this issue), and I am concerned about infection.

After she lost her mucus plug, there were a few instances of pink-tinged discharge which cleared up on its own, and became the normal-looking discharge of a goat about to kid. Bags are filling up every day. We gave her a CD/T shot about a week ago.

She is eating just fine, drinking water just fine, eliminating just fine. She seemed to be her normal self until today; that's when I started to smell her.s

It's hard to take her temp by myself, as she's a slippery one and wasn't handled much before we got her--waiting on a helper to do that but I'm going to guess she's got a slight fever. I started her today on 3cc of penicillin delivered IM per my vet's orders.  Of course it's Friday night and I can't get her any SMZ tablets until next week, but at least we got her started on something.

Most people are suggesting that this is a dead kid situation, and that if we let it go, the doe will die too.  With that said, and feeling sort of on my own here, midwife-wise, is there something I can do to get these kids out naturally?  I am not about to wield a scalpel or anything and I don't have any lute (we didn't even know that she was pregnant until she lost her plug).

Any help would be appreciated.


ANSWER: With no specific kidding date it is difficult to decide to give black cohosh or pulsatilla to help the hormones kick out a dead kid or kids.  She certainly could have an intrauterine infection or it could be a dead kid.  What makes you think she has copper deficiency?  Mucous plugs are lost usually 2 weeks or 2 days before kidding, not longer than the 2 weeks generally.  The penicillin is an excellent choice - this is the regular type I'm hoping - dose is 3 cc/100 pounds body weight twice a day for 7 days or longer if we have a dead kid.  Taking a temp would certainly help - anything over 102.5 would indicate an infection.  Would not do SMZ tablets while on penicillin, they cancel each other out.  She also needs to be on probiotics during her time on the penicillin.  If her pelvic ligaments are not able to be felt then she is most likely close to kidding.  Have her sides dropped?  Let me know - Donna

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


Thanks for your reply.  She had the classic fish-tail from copper deficiency when we got her, and she's been improving since we've given her good free choice vitamins.

My husband corrected me and advised that tomorrow will be 2 weeks since she lost her plug.  The penicillin is the regular type from the feed store.  It looks from the label that she should be getting .5cc for her body weight (appx 50 lbs), but I gave her the 3cc per doctor's orders.  

I haven't been able to feel her ligaments since she lost her plug.  Her sides dropped 2 weeks ago.  She is eating like a pig and today is more active than she has been all week.  I am giving her her regular feed ration, and she is still searching around for more.  I know that pygmy goat kids can get too big and cause delivery issues, so am limiting her feed to as close to regular rations as possible.

Will be taking temp in next few minutes.  I am hoping that this infection isn't related to the kids, but all I really care about is saving the doe.  We'll be having more kids later this year.

Thanks for your help.  We are sitting out here with her because my gut says that something will happen tonight.


ANSWER: Thanks for the update - still need to go with the penicillin regimen and as long as she is on probiotics it will not hurt her. Donna

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


Can you advise on probiotics?  You mean like acidophilis?

Her temp is 102.2 btw, thanks

Thanks for the update.  Re probiotics - yogurt or probiotic powder works well.  Re the penicillin dose - it should bed 1.5 cc twice a day day for 7 days and it will not hurt the fetuses.  Glad she is on extra vitamins.  You are correct about too much food and an increase in the fetus' weights.  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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