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Goats/Sick granny goat



First off I love reading your previous answers.  You are so knowledgeable and helpful!!  Reading your answers to people's questions makes me feel a little more prepared to be a goat mommy.

We have an older, I am assuming, dwarf goat.  We got a package deal... we could only buy a pony if we took the 5 goats. We fell in love and got a few more goats and had babies!  They were rescue goats so the lady didn't know ages but she seems older and is the only one who hasn't settled and kidded.  She has some grey on her face and ears so I just assume she is older.

Anyways in the summer I keep the goats in separate group pens with three sided roofed shelters at night and let them out to graze together during the day.  I keep the larger, more aggressive goats separate from smaller goats and kids.  Since it has gotten cold and snowed here in Minnesota I moved them all to a small shed.  It's about 8X8 and houses four pygmy babies, two pygmy mommas, two dwarfs and one alpine.  I made smaller stalls for the two bullies and the granny goat stays in the pen with the pygmies.  I have a little window that I keep cracked for ventilation.  When I clean the shed I put lime down, then shavings then hay on top.  It doesn't smell bad in there with the lime.

When I moved them in I didn't use the lime at first and it smelled like ammonia in a few days.  Granny goat got a snotty nose.  That's when I started the lime and the smell went away even if I don't clean it as often.  I also add the hay every night as they pick through it and use the rest for bedding.  The goats do go out first thing in the morning and stay out all day.  I just leave the doors open in case they need to get back in.

But even with the lime and no smell Granny goat still has the snotty nose.  She is bright and alert.  Eats, drinks, urinates and poops fine.  She runs around with everyone else.  Just has this snot that is mostly clear but sometimes yellowish color.  It has been continuing for maybe two weeks?  Her temp right now is 101 F.  I wrapped a digital thermometer in a baggie to take her rectal temp. so maybe that is why it's low?  Plus it is kind of cold tonight.  Well warm for MN at 32 F!

They get sweet feed that the local feed store mixes themselves.  It's corn, oats, pellets and molasses.  Grass hay and free access to loose goat mineral.  They are all in good shape and healthy although I do need to get them in to a vet to vaccinate.  Just having a hard time finding a local goat vet.

So first what should I do with Granny goat?  Penicillin or is it my shelter?  No one else has the snotty nose.

Also with no good local goat vet should I just do the vaccinations myself?  I am fine with giving shots, I used to work at a livestock barn and did hundreds of cattle vaccinations.  What vaccinations would you suggest?

Will my shelter get us through the cold Minnesota winter?  I have a similar shelter for my chickens.  I keep a heat lamp in theirs and even when it's below freezing their shelter stays pretty warm.  Only when it hits 20 below does their water start freezing solid.  Should the goats have an infrared bulb or will they be ok with a regular bulb?  I don't want to interrupt their sleeping habits.  

Sorry I know it's a lot of questions at once so my main concern is Granny goat the rest can wait until you have time.

Thank you so much for helping all of us goat crazy people.  Goats are so much fun and so aggravating all at the same time!  Gotta love them!

ANSWER: First off, you sound like you are doing a great job with caring for the goats.  Re vaccination, you can get the CDT toxoid from the local feed store or online and do that yourself, I would be happy to walk you through how to if you need to.  The CDT toxoid is probably all you need, given yearly after 1 year of age, more often when they are kids.  The shelter sounds good - if the temp goes into the teens you may need to add a coat to the older and younger animals.  The key is that they have a nice thick hair coat right now.  Sounds like their shelter does stay pretty nice.  If you went to low teens or single digits you may need a heat lamp, but that can also be a hazard if the goats get to it.  

As to Granny, 101 is a good temp.  Anything over 102.5 would indicate a fever/infection.  The new bedding and lime could have caused a little allergic reaction for her.  The clear discharge is usually not a concern, but the yellowish can sometimes indicate a pneumonia.  In that she is bright and alert, eats and drinks, pees and poops fine, sounds like pneumonia is not an issue.  You can give her some Children's Benadryl about 1 teaspoon per 100 to 150 pounds twice a day just for a few days to see if this clears her nose up.  Does she have a cough at all?  Have you ever noticed a snotty nose on her in the past?  Is she in good condition, that is hair coat is thick and she has a little fat on her body?  Is her poop pelleted?

Re "goat crazy people", since I am one of those, I love to help where I can.  And, never worry about asking questions.  

Hope this helps - let me know - Donna

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Granny goat is in great shape.  She's a little bit on the chubby side for winter and her coat is nice and thick.  No cough and her poop is pelleted.  She has had a runny nose maybe once or twice this summer but it cleared up in a few days on it's own.  I'll bet it's the lime or new hay we got.  I'll give the Benadryl a try.

How often should I give the kids the CDT vaccination?  I have four kids under 1 year old right now.

Thank you so much for all your help!

Thanks for the update. Re  cdt this should be given at 2 months, 3 months, 6 months, and 9 months of age at a dose of 1 cc and then starting at a year and every year thereafter is 2 cc. Hope this helps. Let me know if the benadryl worked. Thanks, 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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