Goats/swollen udder


QUESTION: Hi Donna, I don't believe my Nigerian Dwarf nanny is pregnant however her udder is very distended. She's a short fat little thing that everyone says she looks pregnant but unless they're really sneaky my Billy has never been at her. There's no movement on her right side that I can see or feel. Her udder is firm to the touch with no milk seen (yet?). My billy is constantly stalking her so much so I put her in another pen. A y idea what's going on?

ANSWER: If the udder is firm then that usually indicates mastitis.  Has she had kids before/in milk before? Is the udder warm or hot to touch or is it cold?  Is it a regular pinkish color or blue/black in color? How old is she?  Is she otherwise eating and drinking well?  Let me know and I will get back to you - thanks - Donna

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QUESTION: The udder appears to be its normal color and seems to be a normal temperature. As far as I know she has never had kids all though she was full size when I bought her. Supposedly she's about a year old. She's eating and drinking. I noticed last time I was out there she has been urinating small amounts frequently and appears to have some discharge coming from her vagina although it's swollen and could be urine. It seems to be viscous. Her behavior is normal and doesn't seem to be in distress. By the way Ive had her since June so again unless they're sneakin around I can't believe shes pregnant. I really appreciate your quick response.

Thanks for the update.  The swollen vagina with the viscous type discharge sounds like she is either in heat or ready to kid.  Have you had her tested for CAE? CAE can cause a hard udder, but usually this does not occur until after the doe has kidded.  Did she have a small udder when you first got here? A doe can get an udder from being a "precocious milker"/genetic lines that have large udders with large amounts of milk and if this is what the udder is from then the hardness would be most likely from mastitis. No way the buck could have gotten to her? Nigerian Dwarfs are year around breeders so that means she could have come in at any time, and if bred in July would be due to kid in December time frame.  Do both sides of the tailhead area look indented? If she were pregnant you should be able to feel kids on the right side easiest (left side uterine horn is under the rumen so is more difficult to feel) - placing the flat of a hand against the mid to lower abdomen on the right and pressing in gently you should feel kids.  The urinating of small amounts frequently also points to pregnancy and close to kidding time. Has her barrel gotten larger over the past few months?  Let me know - 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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