Goats/Sudden death


We are new goat owners.  About a week ago, we got four males who were recently banded, about two months old.  They have had all their shots.  Two were brothers (two of three from a triplet birth).  Yesterday, the two brothers were dead.  We had not noticed anything unusual.  Three of the four had a small puncture-like wound, but hardly any blood; two of those died.  All four have been active, eating well, pooping well, and seemed fine.  

Our neighbor and her two dogs that came to "visit" the other day, and the dogs were very upsetting to the goats.  The neighbor said she would keep the dogs at home.  We do not believe the dogs came over while we were gone (my husband and I both work during the day).  

My husband was concerned that the puncture wounds could be insect bites.

We were told stress can be a contributing factor (dogs, new home), but the single puncture wounds are a mystery.  We did not notice anything in the pen or shed they might have injured themselves on.

The owners/breeder did not seem to think it was something that was an inherited trait.

I was upset at the loss of the two babies and am concerned that we may lose one or both of the others.

Any thoughts?

Is it just one puncture? Could it be snake bite? If they were stressed I would expect to see other signs.how is the third goat doing?  If another one dies, I would suggest getting to vet immediately for a necropsy.  That would help determine if it is pre existing cause.  I am sorry you are having such a rocky start to your goat keeping. This is baffling. Let me know if you see any change.  Also walk and closely examine all fencing to see if there is a prob.


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Cheryl K. Smith


Goat Health Care; basic goat management. Author of Goat Health Care (2009) and Raising Goats for Dummies (2010)


Publisher of Goat Health Care, www.goathealthcare.com. I have raised miniature dairy goats since 1998. I published Ruminations, the Nigerian Dwarf and Mini Dairy Goat magazine for 7 years and mentor other goat owners, as I was mentored for my first years.

American Goat Society (AGS), The Miniature Goat Registry (TMGR)

Raising Goats for Dummies (author) Goat Health Care (Editor and Author), Ruminations, Dairy Goat Journal, Issues in Law and Medicine, Topics in Health Records Management, Oregon Bar Bulletin, Midwifery Today, Countryside

BS, Health Information Administration JD, Law

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