Goats/Lame buck


QUESTION: I have 4 year old, 200lb Saanen buck who has for the past 6 months limped and often walks and feeds on his knees. I have trimmed his hooves and see no sign of hoof rot. His knees are not swollen. I was thinking he stepped in a gofer hole and sprained his leg or something as he was eating well and still moving around. It was breeding time last week and I put him in with his girls. He was managing to bred and things seemed normal until a few days ago...now he cannot put any weight on his left front leg and his appetite is poor, he is loosing weight, he is drinking ok. I gave him some banamine 1.5 cc for 2 days thinking it would help his swollen shoulder, which is soar to the touch when I try and feel it. It is hot and swollen still and the banamine did not bring the swelling down, so I am assuming he injured it somehow in the breeding pen as it is rather rocky and on a slope and he was chasing the girls around the pen.
I have wormed him and given him minerals and probiotics and lots of vit C. Could this be something else besides a injury and what can I do for him at this point as I am keeping him by himself and trying to keep him quiet. How much aspirin can I give him, if any?  Taking him to the vet is not a option.
thank you for your help and any info you can share.

ANSWER: What feed regimen is he on? Have you taken a temperature? Anything over 102.5 is a fever and indicates an infection.  Certainly could be an injury but it should have healed up by now, at least the limping he has had for 6 months.  It sounds more like an infection.  Were the hooves ever inflamed/warm to touch? Let me know and I will get back with you - Donna

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QUESTION: He was free grazing some and getting regular hay as well and a small amount of alfalfa from time to time and in the evening I give him a little cup of grain with his minerals. I cut back on the grain during the mating but gave him a cup this morning with a bit of loose minerals and vit C, he looks like he is loosing weight. this evening I offered him his usual hay with a small piece of alfalfa to try and get him to eat some, he nibbled at it a bit. I also give the ammonium chloride from time to time to prevent urinary problems.
If he was getting to much grain before the shoulder injury could that cause him to limp, none of my other goats have this problem and they all eat the same.
thank you for your insight and help!

Thanks for the info.  Might think this is could be an infection, especially with the no eating well.  I take it he is peeing and pooping okay though? Regular poop pellets?

Would suggest starting him on injectable intramuscular penicillin at 3 cc/100 pounds twice a day for 7 days; aspirin at one 325 mg human aspirin per 75 pounds body weight crushed and dissolved in a little hot water, cooled and given orally  every 4 to 6 hours for 3 to 4 days; probiotics - needed anytime a goat is on antibiotics - can be yogurt at one tablespoon per 50 pounds (I use yogurt/any flavor and thin with a little water so I can orally drench the goat), this is daily; if not eating well to help prevent secondary disease of polio would also add four tablets of human B complex with thiamin (B1), again crushed and dissolved and given orally twice a day until he is eating better; you can mix all oral items together if you'd like, even the probiotics.  Have you given intramuscular injections before? Intramuscular is the best for injections - I use the rear thigh muscles with a 20 gauge 1/2 to 3/4 inch needle for adult goats.  Penicillin is available over the counter at most feed/farm stores.  You can give up to 10 cc of penicillin in one injection area.  

As an aside, during breeding season bucks should be given up to 5 to 6% of their body weight in feed a day with at 1/3 of the amount in grain - we use a pelleted livestock feed for all our goats - does, bucks and packgoat wethers - as the protein is good at 12 to 14% and it has the perfect 3:1 calcium to phosphorus ratio to keep urinary calculi away in the bucks and wethers.  

Hope this helps - 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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