Goats/Sick goat



One of our two pygmy goats has not been interested in eating for the past day and a half. This morning I noticed she was trembling. We have a vet appointment for her tomorrow evening, but I'm worried about her in the meantime. Is there anything we can do for her? She is not pregnant and is 7-8 years old.

Many thanks.

ANSWER: What is her temperature? Anything over 102.5 would indicate an infection/fever.  Goats can have fevers/chills as do humans when they are running a fever.  Any foam around her mouth? Is she peeing and pooping? If pooping is it pelleted? What color are her inner lower eyelids? Is she bloated? Any change in her feed recently?  No mold in her grain or hay? Is she drinking? When a goat is not eating this usually indicates poison intake, infection, or gastrointestinal issues.  Let me know about the above questions.  Do you have penicillin injectable available?  How about mineral oil and milk of magnesia?  Do you have human 325 mg aspirin?

Because the goat is not eating, I would start on human vitamin B complex (with thiamin) at 8 tablets crushed and dissolved in a little hot water, cool and give orally.  Would also give probiotics - this can be yogurt or powder or gel - can mix with vitamin B mixture - all is given twice a day.  If she has a fever, would start on one 325 mg aspirin per 100 pounds body weight every four hours until fever is down - again, tablets need to be crushed and dissolved.  If she is not drinking you should be orally drenching her with electrolytes - human or livestock.  Further regimen, i.e. stomach needs or injectable penicillin needs, will depend on the answers to your questions.  Let me know - Donna

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

QUESTION: Thanks for the prompt reply. Temp is 101, no foam around mouth. She is peeing a little bit. While taking her temp, we noticed something covering her anus--about a quarter-sized piece of something that kind of looked like tree bark with the consistency of a fungus. We peeled it off, worried at first it would be painful for her, but it didn't seem to bother her. Could be coincidental, but it seemed like after that she started eating a little honeysuckle and wheat. We have her a little Purina minerals and she seemed to like that. I did not see her poop in the short time from when I got home to when I put her in for the night. Does that sound like she is constipated?

Thanks for the update.  It could be constipation - the temp is on the lower side, but with constipation usually we see around 98 to 100.  You could start with mineral oil and milk of magnesia - 1/2 cup of each mixed together and given orally every 2 hours for 3 doses.  If it is constipation she should be pooping by then.  No changes in her feeding regimen? Re the item around her anus, that could simply be dried poop or it could be a fungus, but that should not create an issue.  Would start on the B complex, probiotics, mineral oil and milk of magnesia to start with.  I would also advise starting the penicillin just in case.  Lots of liquids too should be given - perhaps adding some flavoring such as kool aid type or other to her water may get her to drink by herself, otherwise oral drenching will be necessary.  Many times a kitchen sink method helps better than trying to decide exactly what it is causing the symptoms.  Keep me posted - please feel free to call me too if you need to - 360-742-8310 - 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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