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Goats/Ready to SCREAM!


QUESTION: Hi Donna. I am about at the end of my rope. I have a Alpine/Boer cross, 2 yrs old, bred to kid in March, who aborted one fetus 2 weeks ago when our weather got down to -40. She is eating, drinking, no diarrhea, healthy otherwise. She is separated from the others and no further issue. I decided it was due to weather stress and carried on.

Then, 2 Days ago I found my Alpine doe, 4 yrs old, bred to kid in March, down with partial paralysis. Eating and drinking, will stand with some assistance, pale eyelids, and diarrhea. I brought her into my house, dosed her with Cydectin, electrolytes, and fed her lots of hay. The next day I gave her Valbazen, thinking I had a Meningeal Worm problem (we are OVER RAN with deer!). Today, I think I will be putting her down. =(

Yesterday I found one of the 10 month old whether's (in the pen next to the Alpine's)with watery diarrhea. I gave him and his pen mates Corid and Valbazen and electrolytes. I also gave this whether Spectrogard.

This morning, I found my yearling Alpine doe had aborted her fetus. I am ready to send them all to the sale barn! What is going on??!!

Thank you,

ANSWER: Wow - so sorry to hear.  Certainly could be the weather.  Were they all up to date with selenium/D/E? No new animals into the herd or on the farm? If their inner lower eyelids are light pink to white then that indicates anemia and that can cause abortions.  Generally this is caused by either liver flukes or the barber pole worm.  Both of which can only be treated with fenbendazole - I use Safeguard horse wormer/oral - using three times the goat's weight to find the dosing on the plunger then give this once every 7 days for three dosings.  The goat also needs to have extra iron given - human tablets work or Geritol liquid.  Are the goats on alfalfa mainly? Any sickly sweet breath to the does? Pneumonia can also cause enough stress on a pregnant doe's system to cause abortion.  This still could be a sexually transmitted disease that due to the stress of the weather has come on.  Penicillin might help with this along with helping with possible pneumonia.  I would start on penicillin injectable at 3 cc/100 pounds body weight twice a day for 5 days.  They also should have vitamin B complex (with thiamin - this is human type 6 human tablets crushed and dissolved in a little hot water) along with probiotics (I use yogurt) given twice a day until eating well again and off the antibiotics.  What color was the wether's diarrhea?  If green it is coccidiosis, if yellow it is enterotoxemia, if white it is E. coli, and if brown it is either bacterial upset or digestive upset.  

I might treat all with duramycin (usually over the counter powdered antibiotic at the feed/farm stores - can also use terramycin powder/same dose) drenches at least - one teaspoon per goat twice a day - I mix with a little yogurt and a little extra water to thin so it can be orally drenched.  This will not hurt any goat and just might help.  Might also start all goats (can add to the duramycin drench) vitamin D3 2000 to 5000 units twice daily - this helps with immune system strengthening.

Hope this helps - let me know - Donna

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

QUESTION: Thanks Donna.
I did also dose the downed doe with injectable iron, I forgot about that. They are getting a mixed hay, mostly grasses. Our area was so wet last year, that the alfalfa never cured well, so I'm not feeding it at all. They are also getting some sweet feed for energy, but not a lot. Hay is always in front of them and they are eating it very well.

Diarrhea is brown. No new animals. No sweet smelly breath. No coughing, rasping, or snot. And no, I haven't given any Selenium/D/or E, just CD/T. Will Bo-Se do the trick? I do have injectable Thiamine. Should I use that on any of them? I also have Aureomycin 4G crumbles(by Manna Pro)Would that be useful? I also have penicillin.

Thanks soo much!


Thanks for the update.  Even with no coughing or raspy breaths they can still easily have pneumonia.  Re the selenium, yes you can use Bo-Se injectable except that vitamin D (sunshine) is needed for both to work and especially during the winter there is just not enough D so that needs to be given as an extra - I use human selenium (200 mg tablets) at 10 tablets for goats over a year of age, crush and dissolve in a little hot water and to that add all the oil from a 1000 IU capsule of vitamin E and all the oil from an 800 IU capsule of vitamin D, mix, cool and give orally once and repeat in 10 days.  I give this dosing to all my herd three times a year as well as 4 weeks prior to kidding to the pregnant does.  I find that the local veterinarian is resistant to providing me with the Bo-Se, since it is not over the counter and is a prescription.  For those goats who have lost kids and are otherwise ill would treat with injectable penicillin.  But, could use the aueromycin crumbles for other goats.  Re the injectable thiamin - I would definitely use that or oral human vitamin B complex (8 tablets - again crushed and dissolved in a little hot water twice a day) to those goats who are not back to eating well.  As an aside, there are tests through the veterinarian that could check for Chlamydia infections in the goats (does cause abortions), but these can be costly.  Hope this helps - 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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