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Goats/Nigerian Dwarf doe, seems ill


QUESTION: I have a Nigerian dwarf doe approximately 3 yrs old, who seems ill. She may be pregnant, I saw her breed on August 13th and again August 26th.A week or so ago I nnoticed  black mole looking cold sore.Yesterday morning when I let them out of the barn she usually runs out she just stood in the corner and came out eventually and I noticed one eye looked a little goopy.I washed it off with a warm wet cloth and she seemed normal rest of the day.This morning same thing same corner I lured her out with some grain and black oil sunflower seeds and I noticed it sounded like she is grinding her teeth,and she seemed to be shaky or shivering, and she kind of shook her ear or head like so me in ear. I washed her eye again. She is not hanging out with the other goats just laying around.she seems kind of thin and her hair kind of dry and coarse .

ANSWER: Sounds serious, especially if pregnant. What is her diet? How much grain does she usually get? Is she getting alfalfa? Minerals. Is she eating normally? Diarrhea or loose stool. Take her temp and let me know what it is. I can try to help you, but if you are on facebook there is a group called goat vet corner, which has vets who volunteers and answer such questions. They are really helpfulaa so it is another resource.

If she is not eating much, give fortified vitamin B and probiotics. When was she last dewormed? Any similar signs with other goats?

Let me know.

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QUESTION: she forage all day mostly blackberry and grass and maple leaves,walnut leaves and poplar leaves alfalfa in the barn and every night and morning they (5 goats) get a 3 lb coffee can full of goat pellets mixed with oats and a small amount of barley and black oil sunflower seeds. They have ran out of minerals  a few days ago and I was not able to get in to get yet.
 No diarrhea temp 103.6

ANSWER: That is a fever, so there must be an infection of some sort. I use oxytetracycline for a first line antibiotic, but it is supposed to be avoided in early pregnancy. So I would recommend that you get some penicillin or tylan instead and treat her. They are over the counter. Alternatively, I would suggest calling a vet, if you can, and get some excenel, which is approved for goats for pneumonia and some banamine also. That is a painkiller and anti inflammatory. Put your head against her side and listen to breathing. It could be pneumonia, with the goopy eye. If it cold there put a goat coat on her. I have made them from the inexpensive fleece blankets or old sweatshirt. I would also suggest getting her a bale of hay and penning her up to recover.

Let me know how it goes. If you cannot get banamine, you can give aspirin or ibuprofen.  One every 12 hrs. You can also flush the eye with sterile salt water and put a drop of oxytetracycline twice a day.

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QUESTION: This morning  she is down can't get up kind of moaning and breathing a little raspy maybe. Temp 103.2 I am stuck w/o transportation trying to find a ride or vet to come out Yamhill Oregon. I hate to admit not prepared I have some 500 mg cefalexin capsules will that be OK? With pregnancy? I have been giving her some "Electrolytes Plus" what I can with a bottle

Can anyone bring you some antibiotics from the feed store? I would still give her some aspirin, but if you cannot get antibiotics, she will die. If it were me, I would try giving the cephalexin. The dosage is 10 mg/22 lbs. Can you figure that out with what you have? You want to make sure it gets all the way down her throat. The studies on rats and humans didn't indicate a high risk of birth defects with this drug, which is why I think you need to use it.

Make sure that she is always on her brisket and not lying completely on her side. Keep her warm. Lots of fluids. The electrolytes are good.

You could try calling OSU vet school if you can afford them.

Good luck! Let me know what happens.

Also, in the future, you should consider buying Goat Health Care, which has all the dosages and safety info for drugs, as well as natural methods of treatment. And consider keeping some penicillin or oxytetracycline (Biomycin) on hand for such occasions.


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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, 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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