You are here:

Goats/goat kid woke up this morning and wont walk on front legs.


QUESTION: Hi, I have a 7 week old Boer goat buck kid.  THis goat kid has had alot of problems since being born.  First of all he was abandoned by his mama, he was almost froze so i put him in warm water and kept him n the house, he started doing great.  So we moved him to the barn and then at 2 weeks old he got diarrhea and kept it until he was 4 weeks old, we thought it was due to the milk but we gave him a shot of C&D antitoxin and he healed up and in the past 2 weeks he has gained weight and has been very healthy.  

My question

Today I went to feed him his bottle but i noticed he couldnt really walk on his front legs, he will put weight on his back legs but no weight at all on his front legs.   WHat do u think is the problem and what doi need to do?

ANSWER: Is he eating well? Is he peeing and pooping okay? Normal pellets for poop? What is his temperature?  Anything over 102.5 is a fever and could cause neurologic issues including walking issues.  What color are his lower inner eyelids? Is he up to date on his selenium with vitamin E and D?  If he is not running a fever and otherwise eating well, just can't walk very well then this could be selenium deficiency.  For this use of human selenium with vitamin E and D works very well - the selenium gel and the Bo-Se injectable are not advised as they do not work best.  For his age he would receive 4 of the 200 mcg human selenium tablets, crushed and dissolved in a little hot water and to that add half the oil from a 1000 IU vitamin E capsule and half the oil from an 800 IU vitamin D capsule - mix, cool and give orally, repeat in 2 days.  Hope this helps - let me know.  Donna

Additional item - forgot to ask if he is in with other goats older than he is such that they could have stepped on him or kicked or butted him and thus injured him.  Thanks - Donna

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

QUESTION: HI, at around 5:30 i gave him a banamine shot, it is now 9 oc lockand i just took his temp. and it is 103.3 with a digital thermometer.  He can stand up on all his legs, he just cant walk on the front ones and when he tries he just falls down, this goat has walked fine for 7 weeks and today this just started, and no he does not stay wth the other goats, he is separated from all of them,  He still takes a bottle 3 times a day of real goats milk,  he has had his cdt shot, he did have to have c&d antitoxin a couple weeks ago because of severe diarrhea and then it just cleared up.  his eyelids are dark pink, he is still drinking a bottle and he is alert, he pees and he poops normal.  
What do you think this is?

ANSWER: Thanks for the update - sounds like joint ill/infection - would start penicillin at 1 cc twice a day for 5 days along with aspirin - I don't like banamine as it masks the symptoms but if you like it fine - the aspirin works, is oral, and does not sting.  1/4 of a 325 mg human aspirin crushed and dissolved in a little hot water and you can mix this with a teaspoon of yogurt - twice a day at least for the aspirin and yogurt (can go every 4 hours for aspirin until the fever is broken).  If the diarrhea was yellow then that would have meant enterotoxemia for which the CDT antitoxin worked nicely, if the diarrhea was brown then this was coincidental.  Hope this helps - let me know - Donna

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

QUESTION: Hi, we have been given the goat an anitbiiotic, I gave him selenium, and i have been giving aspirin, he still wont walk on his front legs.  I will pick him up, and he will stand up, he still pees and poops, and he will move his back legs, but when he acts like he wants to walk he just falls down because his front legs just wont go.  He also lets out alittle cry when he does lay down because of the pain in his front legs.  So I dont kow whatelse to do.. We also gave safeguard yesterday to him.   So hes had cdt, c & d antitoxin, hes on naxcel, hes had seleniun andVit E gel, had safeguard and is on aspirin, but still no walking on the front legs. WHatshould I do now? Please help

Thanks for the update.  You need to continue the penicillin - you are giving it intramuscularly, correct?  It might be that it will take a few days for him to feel better.  You had not told me before you had him on Naxcel - with any other antibiotic that cancels out all antibiotic help - so I would advise stopping the Naxcel and keeping up with the penicillin - your choice - but if he has been on Naxcel and still was not better then it is not working.  If his poop is dog poop type then okay for the Safeguard, but otherwise he does not need to be wormed - too much on his system.  So, as I said before he must have the vitamin D with the E and selenium - the gel does not work - so he has not really received help from that either - would go with the dosing I gave you.  

So go with the human E, D, selenium as I told you, go with penicillin and stop Naxcel (intramuscularly a must), keep up with the aspirin.  What is his current temperature?  The cry he does indicates that he has joint ill - if the penicillin (no Naxcel) does not help in 2 days time (that is after you have stopped the Naxcel) then it would be time to change to LA200.  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

©2016 All rights reserved.