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We have a two year old female pygmy goat. We had her bred for the first time end of Feb and ever since she just hasn't seemed well. The last week or two she's seemed especially miserable. She's hardly gained any weight, in fact aside from a tiny bulge she almost looks like she's lost weight. She isn't overly interested in hay or feed and lets her sister push her away with out much of a fuss. She kind of has this hunched look to her back and in the last day or two she's been acting as if her feet are tender (stepping very lightly and holding one or the other off the ground or pawing gently at things) she's kind of lethargic and doesn't seem interested in anything, although she does go outside and nibble at this or that.

We wormed her and gave her vitamins afterwords but that didn't seem to help. Her sister (bred at the same time) is about twice her size (around) and rambunctious and healthy looking so whatever it is I don't think it's contagious.

thanks for any advice

I don't think it is caused by the pregnancy if it started right away. And it is too early for her to have toxemia, milk fever, ketosis. I would take her temperature and listen to her lungs (you can put your head against her side). You can give an injection of vitamin B complex to soothe the GI tract and increase her appetite.

Are her hooves okay? Have they been trimmed recently? I would look at those. Is she grinding teeth? That is a sign of pain. You actually would not expect much weight gain for the first three months. And they should not get grain or alfalfa until the last two months, so they don't get overweight.

Find some brushy food for her to eat. This could be anything from wheat straw, to pine or fir branches, to blackberries. Depends on where you live. Often if they will eat nothing else they will eat this and it helps get the rumen going again. Is she chewing cud? That is also key, and roughage can help with that.

During pregnancy is usually not a good time to deworm, although some may be safe. It is the season for parasites, though. What did you give for dewormer, how much and by what route? It could be that she has parasites that resisted the dewormer you used.

Let me know what you find out and then we can figure out what is going on.


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Cheryl K. Smith


Goat Health Care; basic goat management. Author of Goat Health Care (2009) and Raising Goats for Dummies (2010)


Publisher of Goat Health Care, I have raised miniature dairy goats since 1998. I published Ruminations, the Nigerian Dwarf and Mini Dairy Goat magazine for 7 years and mentor other goat owners, as I was mentored for my first years.

American Goat Society (AGS), The Miniature Goat Registry (TMGR)

Raising Goats for Dummies (author) Goat Health Care (Editor and Author), Ruminations, Dairy Goat Journal, Issues in Law and Medicine, Topics in Health Records Management, Oregon Bar Bulletin, Midwifery Today, Countryside

BS, Health Information Administration JD, Law

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