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Goats/Boer goat 6 days overdue, possible placenta previa

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Question
Hello! I gave my boer/nigerian dwarf doe to my mother and she is caring for her on her farm. She is 6 days past her due date and we're concerned she may be experiencing placenta previa. She was contracting hard and regularly on Saturday for several hours (four days ago) and was beginning to open to about the size of a golf ball with each contraction. Then they stopped and began on Sunday at which point she was opening slightly bigger. However, she has not seemed to be in labor at all since then. She is eating and drinking normally and doesn't seem to be distressed. Today when she was laying down there was a reddish bulge visible. When she stood up it went back inside. My mom tried to check her on Monday and felt nothing but tissue using only two fingers. We are very rural and there are no vets in our area. We are trying to decide what the best course of action is. 1) Wait and see if she delivers naturally 2) Drive her to a vet in the city 3) Try to go in and possibly help deliver. Neither of us have ever experienced a situation like this in many years of goat raising. Any suggestions or knowledge you may have from similar experiences would be helpful.

Thank you!!

Answer
Are you sure of the due date? How many days pregnant is she?  Some goats can go up to 160 to 162 days pregnant.  Is this her first time kidding? Are her pelvic ligaments totally gone? Are her sides dropped down from where they were? When she was "contracting" on Saturday was she pushing at all? Usually if a doe goat is at or past her due date and she is in labor that is hard and pushing with nothing showing, I wash up and go in to see what is going on.  When your mom was checking her how far did she get into the vagina - did she feel the cervix at all? Are the kids still moving?

She certainly could have placenta previa, that being tearing of the placenta from the uterine wall and the kids are needed to be removed/kidded out before the tearing gets worse.  What you are describing sounds more like a vaginal prolapse.  The muscles in the vagina either are not strong enough or the doe is having difficulty kidding and as such is pushing so hard she is weakening and possibly tearing the vaginal tissue.  

Has there been any blood draining?  Has she lost her placental fluid yet?  

If your dates are good and she is at least 155 to 160 days I would go in to check - that is you need to go in to see if the cervix is open (about 4 to 5 inches sometimes more or less from the vaginal entrance - if it is open you may feel a kid there and you could deliver it if you wanted, as it should be viable.  If you do not feel anything then the kids are probably not down and ready for kidding.  It is possible the kids were just getting into position and that is why she was giving you the symptoms she did.  It is also possible her first kid is a breech presentation and that means the cervix is not opening correctly so kidding cannot proceed like it should.  If a breech kid is not delivered soon it can suffocate.  

Is she up to date on selenium/E/D vitamins and mineral supplementation to help with her vaginal muscles and uterine muscles being strong?

Let me know - you are also welcome to call me at 360-742-8310 - Donna  

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Donna Ruelas-Semasko/Edelweiss Acres

Expertise

All goat health care, nutrition, judging questions about all goats - packgoats, dairy goats, pygmy goats, meat goats, fleece goats.

Experience

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.

Organizations
NAPgA, The Evergreen Packgoat Club, 4H, ADGA.

Publications
Hobby Farm, many newspapers, 4H newsletters, Packgoat Manuals (youth and general), judging information pamphlets, seminar handouts about health care and nutrition.

Education/Credentials
4 years of college, ongoing education in goats.

Awards and Honors
Small Farm Award of Thurston County

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