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Goats/Pygmy Goat leg problems


I have a two and a half week old Pygmy goat doeling. She had been abandoned by her mother and a nanny goat took her over. She could not get up so she was taken away to bottle feed. When I got her she could not even stretch her back legs out or put any pressure on them at all. I immediately gave her a BoSe injection of 1 ml, Vitamin B injection and then the gel from a Vitamin E capsule. I took her to the vet, she peed clear and it was tested. The vet said her kidneys were not working right. However, this is a small animal vet who does not work with large animals. He gave me Ampcillin to give her 3/4ml 2x a day until gone. We are on day 5 and it is almost gone. She has had dramatic improvement in her legs, she can actually walk now but she will not put any pressure on her back left leg at all. It obviously hurts her. She is on pure goats milk 4x a day, has access to hay which she does nibble on and water. When she peed a little while ago it was still really clear. My worry is that her kidneys are not functioning. Her poop went from looking like sunflower seeds without the shell to more like yellow dog logs but not runny. She has had a probiotic and electrolytes as well to hydrate her because her poop was so hard in the beginning. She is pretty perky and is definitely a fighter. She does grind her teeth alot which I have read means she is in pain. Based on what I have told you, do you have any suggestions for me? And do you think her kidneys are actually not working or is her pee just clear from being hydrated? Also, what about her leg? Can I give her more selenium? I have heard too much is not good. Please help! She is so sweet and is currently living in my house to keep warm.

ANSWER: Hello - the leg issue could be selenium and/or joint ill from an infection.  Glad she is on antibiotics, although for large animals penicillin is best and when given should be given intramuscularly.  But again, sounds like she is better.  What has been her temperature?  Anything over 102.5 is a fever and would indicate an infection.  Selenium deficiency is certainly a possibility.  The issue with Bo-Se is that it does not contain vitamin D which is absolutely necessary for selenium to be used by the body.  The same is true with the gel, no vitamin D.  I use human selenium, vitamin E and D and it works very nicely - dosage is for ages.  You are correct about the grinding of teeth indicating pain.  What did the vet test for when he tested the urine? Most of the time clear urine and that with a slight yellow tinge is a good sign - this means all is working well.  The poop "dog logs" could indicate just dietary changes - or the antibiotic working on her - excellent on giving her the probiotic too.  How much milk is she getting? At 2 1/2 weeks kid goats are at 3 to 4 feedings a day and for pygmy goats that would be about 8 ounces each time, perhaps less.  Is the leg warm to touch or does it seem swelled at all?  Unsure as to why the vet would say her kidneys are not working.  Would add half of a low dose aspirin 2 to 3 times a day - crushed and dissolved in a little hot water, cooled and given orally - can put in her bottle too.  This would help with any pain or discomfort she might have.  If the ampicillin was given subcutaneously it is possible it is not killing all of the bacteria that could be causing the leg symptoms.  Hope this helps - let me know - Donna

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QUESTION: Her rectal temp right now in my warm house is 103.1. How much vitamin d should i give her? He looked at her urine through the scope and then tested for blood with came back positive on the test strip so he figured there is blood coming from either her bladder or her kidneys which is why her prescribed the ampicilin. she is getting about 4-5 oz of milk every 5 hours or so. She will stop and refuse the bottle when she hite the 4 1/2 mark usually. Her leg is slightly warm but stiff like it really hurts her. It isn't swollen thoughl. I have 325 mg aspirin, how much should i give her of it? 1/2 tablet? And yes the ampicillin is given subq. Should i give her penicillin after her ampicillin is used up? and how much if so and where? Thank you so much for your help! Im praying that it's not kidney failure :(

Thanks for the info.  Even in a warm house the 103.1 could indicate a true fever.  Re the vitamin D, it does not help without being given at the same time as the selenium and vitamin E, so I would go with the oral dose at least once - this should not overdose her even though the Bo-Se was 1 ml, normal dose for a kid goat is 1/2 ml, and it was given 7 days ago (same goes with gel re time period).   Re the urine, I am surprised the urine is so clear if it has blood in it, even a trace, but that's not to say it is not possible.  If there really was blood in it then that could have been due to stress and the infection which stresses all of the body systems.  Did the vet get a pH on the urine?  I would say she has joint ill and many times even penicillin does not take care of this - but I always start with the penicillin which would be 1 cc twice a day for 3 days given intramuscularly - once you are in the rear thigh muscle (best place to give) you must draw back gently on the plunger to be sure you are not in a blood vessel (blood will flow quickly into the barrel) as many goats are allergic to anything going into their veins.  If clear, then inject.  If in 3 days the leg issues are not totally gone then I would switch to LA200 at 1.5 cc every day for 3 days, again intramuscularly.  I would start her on the penicillin now or once the ampicillin is done - that is your choice.  Subcutaneous method is a slow method to get medicine to any livestock, and if it is not given correctly the medicine many times just gets stuck in the lower skin levels and does not do anything (bump occurs).  Both the penicillin and LA200 are available at most farm/feed stores.  Continue with the probiotics while on any antibiotics.  Re the aspirin using the 325 mg is fine - you can use 1/4 of it to dissolve and give as dose every 6-8 hours.  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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