Goats/Pregnant Goat


QUESTION: The queen (7yrs old) of our herd is due soon, exact date unknown. We do not breed her due to a genetic defect of vaginal/rectal prolapse during pregnancy which is passed to her kids. This year she managed to get pregnant through the only shared area of three feet of fence. Regardless, she has both prolapses and the babies are beginning to shift lower. She is eating very little and resting more, but no babies yet. She is getting electrolytes 3x a day, vitamin B complex/extra thiamine, probiotics. In the past, she gave birth within two weeks, prolapses disappear, followed up with PenG. Prolapses much larger this time and it is difficult to tell labor as she strains against the prolapses and kids shifting. We would like to know if there is a way to help her pee easier and how to tell the difference between straining because of the prolapses and babies shifting, labor, or worst case, kid is stuck? She gave birth easily in the past and we don't know if we should help or wait. No goat supportive vet. Thank you.

ANSWER: If her pelvic ligaments are gone and her sides have dropped considerably/sides look hollow - then she is due within 36 hours - have you checked her pelvic ligaments?  The fact that you say the prolapses are much larger this time may indicate she has been pushing and is straining to have the kids.  When she strains is she lying down on her side or is she standing up right and perhaps pressing her head against something?  When did her appetite drop? Have you seen the mucous plug come out yet?  Let me know - you are also welcome to call me at 360-742-8310 - Donna

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

QUESTION: Her sides have not dropped enough to indicate labor soon, her ligaments are soft, not loose. She is much larger than I've ever seen in our herd. Appetite dropped last night, she will eat a bit of grain, a nibble of hay, is drinking normally. Mostly lying/sitting on deck, resting with head against barn, but can stand and walk. Straining on and off while lying down, then stands to relieve pressure I think, no regular rhythm. Seems to snooze off and on, but not exhausted, not crying in pain. Her previous births presented with the sac first for several hours, no indication of this yet or mucus. Rinsing the prolapses with warm water to keep them clean-ish. Worried about drying and cracking. Waiting is probably best until we see contractions start regular and close together, right? Should we start penG early due to large prolapses? How do you really know when labor is failing and a kid gets stuck? Just when we thought we had these critters figured out...Thank you for contact info, will keep on hand for this one!

thanks for the update.  Once you cannot feel the ligaments at all usually by 36 hours they will begin labor.  The appetite dropping can also be a sign of labor.  The on and off straining can be early labor.  Generally I do not allow a doe to be in hard/pushing/groaning labor for more than 20 minutes without seeing progress.  This time limit continues if I see a sac but nothing else after 20 minutes.  I would rather go in and check than let something not normal get prolonged.  Especially with does who have prolapses - vaginal and/or rectal - I do not let them push hard for too long and would rather use lots of KY jelly and go in and get kids so the prolapses do not become unable to be put back in.  Re the pen G, yes, I think that would be a good idea to start her on that as a preventative for infection.  You can also use KY jelly on the prolapses to keep them moist.  If the prolapses become extensive you can push them back in gently and use a soft strap to keep them in.  Some vets will sew up the areas to keep the prolapses from coming out totally, and then cut those stitches before kidding - I have found using a soft cloth wrapped around and up over the hips will sometimes help, but then some goats just don't like this and won't leave it on.  If she is not eating well would keep her on high doses of vitamin B complex that contains the thiamin.  Hope this helps.  Donna


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.