Goats/White Muscle


Hi Donna , a question about a calf I have . Very early on he developed White Muscle , and I gave him Selenium , he also seemed to have a cold so antibiotics at the time and over night he was able to get up etc. Again 2 weeks later the same symptom's appeared , and again the selenium , and again noted improvement . It has been 2 more weeks and the same thing except this time he has a very swollen joint in his back leg , the equivalent of our knee . It's not hard or soft , but is bothering him somewhat . This is new , i'm wondering if this is a symptom of white muscle , and if i need to find a stronger selenium daily supplement . He is eating well , but doesn't seem very thrifty even though he has been on goats milk all his 7 weeks . Any suggestions ?

Hi there - When you say white muscle I take it he was not able to get up and his whole body became flaccid/floppy?  Sometimes it is not full blown white muscle disease but they definitely are selenium/E/D deficient.  For a calf they would get 2 mg of selenium along with 1000 IU vitamin E oil and oil from 800 IU vitamin D capsule.  This would be given once orally and repeated in 2 days and again in 10 days.  Re the swollen joint in the back leg, this is most likely an infection (low selenium could impair the immune system easily), so I would start back on injectable antibiotics for this along with human 325 mg aspirin - one aspirin per 100 pounds body weight - crushed and dissolved and given every 4 hours for a few days.  To answer your question about a swollen joint, no that is not part of white muscle disease.  Hope this helps - let me know.  


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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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