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Goats/Broken leg? What now?


Skippy John Jones slipped backwards off his shelter yesterday morn and got his leg caught on the way down. SOOO scary! I can't believe his shoulder isn't disconnected as he fell back to the tree, back legs jst touched ground. By the time I got down to him he had twisted around facing front and I lifted him up and pulled his leg free. Yesterday his ankle was expectedly swollen. Today his ankle and knee is swollen. He's using the leg every now and then, but less than yesterday. Should I have it looked at? Give aspirin (325mg/100lbs)? Lock him up in pen?

2 days later, he's not using the leg at all when walking. He will use it when he stops and bends over to nibby on leaves. Now the ankle and the knee are swollen. He's still eating and drinking. Haven't witnessed him peeing but he is still leaking beans fine. I have them in the pen today and gave him aspirin. Is there a way to tell if it's broken? Like tickling the bottom of his hoof and seeing if he reflexes? I can't find anything online But contradictory advice.

HI Erin:

How scary! If you are not confident that you can detect  if the foot, ankle, knee or leg is fractured.. then yes you might want a vet to take a look and perhaps do an xray- All you can do is to feel the leg bones and gently wiggle the bones to see if there is a cracking sound or movement where there shouldn't be.. hard to explain  in words.. more of an experience thing..  but you do not want to make it worse if it is in fact fractured. A badly broken leg will actually swing at the break.. but in the case of a fracture or joint dislocation you may not see this and it may be difficult to determine where it is injured  exactly.  The aspirin will help relieve the pain and swelling. An injury like this  very well may have fractured the leg or dislocated a joint. His lack of using it is good that he is not further injuring it  by too much use.. completely taking away the pain would make him use it more than he should for natural healing. Sometimes they know more than we do when they stop using a leg that they have hurt. I think tomorrow I would call a vet  and have him looked at.. have the vet show you.. what he finds by manipulation - he may not be able to feel anything which  is the reason they will xray ..  he may put a splint on it or even a cast depending on how injured it is.. to immobilize it. Good news is.. broken legs usually heal very nicely.. and relatively quickly. I have a medical background to begin with and Fortunately in my case I am able to detect breaks.. (usually) and cast my own here at home with success.. but like I said if this is new to you.. and you cannot  feel it or determine the issue, you might do more damage than good trying to "wing it".

Short  answer is this: the aspirin will help some of the pain ad swelling but  yes I think you might have this looked at by a vet to be sure  and have him  splint or cast  if it is broken. Since the swelling is  apparently increasing in places where it is swollen, a vet will help.

Let me know how it goes..  but yes call your vet tomorrow

I hope he recovers soon.  


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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.


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