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Goats/Dying doeling Goats


QUESTION: I bought a lot of twenty Alpine doelings, in January, of about 6 months of age, Two weeks ago 1 dyed the 2 last week. The symptoms were, Stiffening of the limbs, curling of the neck and death within 1 day of start symptoms. I administered 4ml of Tasvax 8, 2 ml of sel & vit. E yesterday and this morning 12 dead. What went wrong?
Thanks for any information you can give me.

ANSWER: No symptoms before deaths?  Did they stop eating and drinking? If no other symptoms before deaths, then this sounds like Clostridium/enterotoxemia - I advise vaccinating kid goats starting at 2 weeks of age with CDT toxoid (1 cc), then again in 2 months, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and at one year and every year after they get 2 cc.  For the ones left I would administer CDT toxoid now and again in one week - I give this intramuscularly in the rear thigh muscles and not subcu as in the muscle is a better/quicker route.  Would also start remaining on antibiotic - oral is fine - terramycin or duramycin or sulfa (all available usually at the feed store) - using 1/2 teaspoon mixed in a little apple juice (these are powders and they taste terrible) and give orally twice a day for 7 days.  Would also give probiotics - human yogurt works well daily or livestock paste or powder probiotics.  If you can only get the Tasvax, that will work instead of the CDT but Tasvax is not made for goats as it has a lot of extras that goats do not need.  Hope this helps - let me know - Donna

You're also welcome to call if you'd like - 360-742-8310 - I am at work today so if you can't get me on the first number (my cel) you are more than welcome to call me at 360-493-7798.

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

QUESTION: Thanks Donna,
I will call the vet for the CDT toxoid in the morning. I did notice the Tasvax bottle was open prior to my use, could that be the cause? There was no symptoms before hand, They were eating well and drinking well too.

Thanks for the update.  This sounds like enterotoxemia, which is caused by Clostridium C or D.  In kid goats their immune system is not strong so they need a consistent source starting early on of the Clostridium toxoid, from whatever source you can get it from, and if you can get Tasvax over the counter you are welcome to use that.  The consistent toxoid allows their weak/growing immune systems to grow strong.  Many times the Clostridium bacteria, which are in all goats even from birth, in their digestive systems, don't cause issues but when a stress occurs from transport or change in feed or change in weather, etc. this allows the bacteria to grow quickly as the goat's immune system does not have the ability to fight that bacteria.  Enterotoxemia sometimes comes as a yellow diarrhea first, but many times people just find the kid goats dead.  The oral antibiotics help kill the bacteria that are growing in the digestive tract.  Do 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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