QUESTION: I have 2 does which have always bred and kidded within a couple days of each other. Last fall they were bred on Oct 15 & 17. The first goat kidded last Saturday. The second goat has not kidded yet and is not in labor but is huge.
She did have a little mucus discharge yesterday and she was quietly "talking" about being uncomfortable so I expected something to happen by now. Last night and this morning she wouldn't stand up to eat or drink (but when I brought it to her, she did eat/drink lying down). She is 7 years old. Is there anything I should do?
Thank you so much for taking time to answer questions!
Sincerely, Cathy

ANSWER: Are they both the same age? What hay/feed do you have them on?  The mucous discharge you saw is most likely the mucous plug, which for does with multiple kids generally pops out a day or two before kidding.  Pregnancy can go from 150 to 165 days without issues and each doe is different, even though they kidding close to each other last time.  Age, hormones, selenium level, and other items can change the pregnancy length.  I am glad she is eating and drinking for you.  Since you have good dates, and she should have matured kids ready for deliver, you could go in and see if she has a closed cervix or if she might have a breach kid which causes the doe not to be able to get her hormones for kidding to kick start.  I take it her pelvic ligaments have gone and when she stands her sides are sunken in, both which indicate kidding within 36 to 48 hours.  Hope this helps - let me know - Donna - you are welcome to call me to if you'd like at 360-742-8310.

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QUESTION: Thank you, Donna! It's such a relief to have someone to ask when I'm worried about my goats! I thought I'd let you know what happened... Labor started today--early afternoon she was having contractions, pushing, etc. and then things seemed to stall out. I tried to feel for the kid but was afraid to go in very far. So I called the vet (he was a back-up for my normal vet). He came and delivered the kids. The first one was breech and had died. The 2nd one lived and the 3rd one had also died.
Do you think the doe needs an antibiotic or pessary or anything? It was a hard birth process and not sterile. The vet said everything should flush out with the afterbirth. She did expel the afterbirth although there is still a bunch of goo hanging out. She is standing up and has eaten and drunk some.
Thanks again for taking time to answer questions!
Sincerely, Cathy

ANSWER: Sorry she had such trouble.  The breech kids always cause issues. Glad you had a vet you could call.  Even if the vet was careful/sterile, I still would cover the doe to protect from possible infection - I use penicillin (over the counter) given at 3 cc/100 pounds body weight twice a day for 5 days; during this time she also needs to be on probiotics - powder/gel/yogurt, whichever you have available - once a day.  Would offer her warm molasses water for energy.  Glad she is eating and drinking.  Glad she passed the afterbirth.  Hope this helps - Donna

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QUESTION: Hi Donna, Sorry to bother you again. The doe has been steadily recovering but now we've had a set-back. Awhile after I gave her the penicillin last night, I thought she was not standing normal. Today she doesn't want to put weight on one back leg. She doesn't even want to stand. But if I pull her up, she will stand and even try a couple steps. She lays back down as soon as I leave though. She's eaten some hay, but not a lot. She's caring for her kid too. I'm worried that I forgot to pull back the plunger to check for blood--could that have caused it? What do you advise?
Thank you again,

First off, never a bother, always glad to try and help, so no worries there.

Does the leg feel warm to touch in the area of the injection or is it swollen at all?  What size needle and length of needle did you use?  You might have hit a nerve, especially if you used a longer than 1/2 to 3/4 inch needle.  If this is a nerve injury then would switch to the other leg thigh muscle, using a 20 gauge 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch length needle.  You would have seen a flash of red infiltrate the barrel and make everything change color if you were in a vein.  So, no not pulling back on the plunger did not do anything.  

If she is laying down a lot, is the kid getting to suck at all?  If not you may need to supplement with a bottle.  

For the leg issue you can use warm epsom compresses to the leg, this helps to relieve inflammation there.  You can give her aspirin at one 325 mg tablet (crushed and dissolved in a little hot water so you can give as an oral drench) per 75 pounds body weight every 4 to 6 hours.  This will not hurt the kid.  The aspirin would help with pain and inflammation.  Other than that, just not using that leg and allowing the nerve to heal is about all you can do.  It may take a week to 10 days before you see her put full weight on it.  

As an aside, when you give her the injection, I advise using one hand to kind of compress the muscle, kind of pinching it, so that there is a bulky area to place the needle, this also helps bring the muscle up and away from any nerves.  

Is she eating any grain for you? Is she drinking?  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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