Goats/baby goat


I have a newborn baby goat that was one of triples, 2 were stillborn. I found out that the girl that owned the mother had never feed her the proper diet and so she did not have any of the minerals that she needed for herself, let alone the fetuses. The 2 stillborns were badly deformed, the one viable male is doing well on mother's milk but is being bottle feed. My problem is that one of his back legs will not work. I am pretty sure its a mineral deficiency but I'm not sure what to do. I'm completely new at this and could use some advice. I'm a nurse of 30 years and am now retired. Just purchased 2 pregnant female goats, to start my retirement dream of a small goat herd. I was raised in the country on a farm and my husband and I have a farm, so we are not strangers to farm animals, but I am new to goats and have a lot to learn.
I have been studying and have read about "White Muscle", and feel that this may be what he has. He is 4 days old and I would like to know what I can do to save him. He really is doing very well, except for the inability to walk. Can I help him and if so, how? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
Maypop Hollow Farm

HI Melba:
I doubt that the ability to use one leg is White Muscle..  sounds ore like either Contracted tendons,  a birth defect or injury -  not knowing exactly what the leg is doing hard for me to say - WMD  usually hits kids between 1 week old and a couple months old but it is always a good idea with all newborns to give them just an 1/8cc or 1/4cc (depending on size of kid)  of BO-Se at birth.. this is a prescription injectable vit E Selenium combo which is what they use for WMD (white muscle disease) -
If the other 2 were deformed..  they could have been the product of 1. deworming with a dewormer in the first trimester that causes birth defects such as Valbazen or 2. mom may have eaten a poisonous plant that  will cause birth defects or 3. baby may have injured leg during or directly after birth

Work with the baby, stand him up in a normal position..  hold him up..  do this a few times a day for 5 - 10 minutes..  set him  all 4 feet properly on the ground and  allow him to stand.. it may take a few  days to weeks .. but  it should help unless there is a fracture..  (make sure first it is not a broken limb.. (maybe a vet call and rays are in order)

massage, encouragement.. and  helping him stand is the best  way to help..  I have seen babies who for 3 weeks could not stand  only to finally (with help)  learn, get  strong enough in the bad back leg and end up healthy goats  with long lives..

baby goat birth defects..  - http://goat-link.com/content/view/47/79/1/1/

I think since you are not sure.. a vet call is in order.. to  have him checked out and see what the vet says about possible injury first and go from there.  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




Specializing in New Goat Owner understanding of goat physiology, goat anatomy, goat care and herd management. *I am not a veterinarian, any advice and information should be verified by your veterinarian before administering to your goats. (! During times of severe weather in the Midwest, I may experience a delay in internet service due to the interference of the satellite reception - but will answer your questions as soon as service is restored. !) Note: Keep in mind, the goat expert is volunteering her time to help other goat owners, she also runs her farm with her own herd of 100 goats and may not be at her computer at all hours. Questions are answered as soon as she can possibly read and answer them, usually within 24 hours.


23 years experience of raising goats and herd management. Active hands on experience with goat herd and research with various Caprine University Research and Extension Centers nationwide. 15 years dedicated to helping other goat breeders/owners with goat anatomy, goat disease and goat health care issues via phone, published goat care articles and internet interaction. The information I have to offer is not only from personal experience and years of research updated often as new information is made available to me, but supported by many Veterinary Research colleges and all medications and information I have to offer on how the medications work and what dosages "I" use, is information I have acquired by discussing directly with the company's veterinarians and staff research experts.

12 year active member of International Veterinary Information Service

United Caprine News, Homesteaders Magazine, Columnist for Goat Magazine, Owner and Author of GoatPedia™

Graduate Programs in Medicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.