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Goats/severe frostbite on 3 week old Angora goat


I am in need of help with my baby goat I rescued. She has frostbitten tips of her ears. Severe frostbite on her hind legs, Lower half. They are black and hard. She will put weight on one of the legs but the other one is really bad. She is eating 7 oz goat milk 3x a day and some water. She weighs 10 lbs. One of the tips of her Ear has fallen off. Will her legs fall off, will she survive. She has a great spirit, but tonight she is quiet and grinding her teeth.lying on my chest and lethargic. No thermometer to take her temp. I think she had s mild case of scours- yellow and smelly poop with brown pellets occasionally . Lots of pee. Her name is Olga and she is very sweet and I am in love with her.

ANSWER: So sorry to hear - nice of you to rescue her.  If the frostbite is only in areas of the leg all of the leg may not fall off.  The black and hard definitely mean the tissue is dead.  She may have infection under the frostbite and that could be causing her to grind her teeth (indicates pain), and so would start her on 1/2 cc of penicillin (over the counter at farm stores) given intramuscularly in the rear thighs.  Along with that would also start her on a homeopathic remedy if possible - at natural food stores and some drug stores - over the counter - Arnica Montana - this helps with healing of damaged tissue - she would get 2 of the pellets 3 to 4 times a day for a week - I usually dissolve the pellets in a little hot water and give as an oral drench via a small syringe.  You can give her aspirin, human type - low dose 81 mg, one tablet dissolved in a little hot water and given every 4 to 6 hours, again as an oral drench, until all the sloughing off of the dead tissue is gone, as this helps with pain and inflammation.  Keeping her hydrated is important too - use of pedialyte type electrolytes will help keep the damaged tissues that might be saved hydrated so they can try to heal.  

Re the yellow poop - this is most likely enterotoxemia - this is caused by Clostridium bacteria that builds up in the kid goat's intestinal system when stress occurs - would give her 1 cc of CDT toxoid (at feed store/via 22 gauge 1/2 to 3/4 inch length needle)once and repeat the following day.  Would also give her probiotics (yogurt works well) mixed with pepto bismol, and mixed with ecchinacea and vitamin C (ground up and dissolved in a little hot water), mix together and give orally 4 times a day until the scours are under control.  If you have any oral sulfa animal antibiotic powder that will also help - 1/8 teaspoon twice a day - I mix this in a little pepto as it tastes terrible.  

Hope this helps - let me know - Donna 360-742-8310

As an aside forgot to say to try and keep the damaged tissues soft - you can use vaseline to help with this.

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

Olga the frostbitten goat
Olga the frostbitten g  

I cant thank you enough for the quick response to my message. I was very distraught and scarred for my little Olga. I went out and gathered my supplies and started the administration this afternoon, with the exception of the penicillin. I only had 29 gauge needles,so I will get the 22 gauge tomorrow. I also have not found the CDT Toxoid.
She does not like the yogurt- although it was blueberry flavored. Will try to get some plain or Keifer tomorrow.  
She lost a big piece of the dead skin on one of her hind legs today, revealing a hard pink course bony structure with two clear bony knobs protruding from the leg. Her pain seems better, not as much grinding and playful tonight. How much Pedi should she get in a day? Sure makes for lots of diaper changing!!!
In your experience, do you think the lower leg where the damage is should be amputated?
I searched many sights over the past week, but this was by far the most professional and helpful. I can not thank you enough for the support and encouragement.

We will stay in touch


Donna and Olga

ANSWER: Sorry I did not get back to you sooner.  If the 29 gauge needles work then that is fine to use them.  Re the yogurt, I usually mix it in with a little hot water, so it is thin and I can draw it up in a little syringe and give orally.  

As to the hard pink bony structure, that should heal over/scar up, but if kept from getting infected and she is able to use the leg then it should be fine and not need to be amputated.  Kids especially because their tissue is growing heal well many times.  Keeping her on penicillin may be ongoing until all fresh open wounds are healed - you could though go to just one injection a day after her initial time period of twice a day.  So, if she uses the limbs even though they lose flesh from the frostbite, they should not need to be amputated - of course, she may never be the top goat on the hill, ha, ha, but she could at least have fun getting there.  You can use human antibiotic creams/ointments to cover fresh wound areas that may be oozing.  You can also use an antibiotic powder called NFZ puffer - some feed/farm stores carry it, otherwise it is available online - this is a powder that is "puffed" onto the wounds - dries them out a little to help the healing get started.  You can put a dressing on the wounds too but this is sometimes very difficult to keep on a goat.  

Sorry the feed/farm store does not have CDT toxoid available -hoping her scours are not getting worse or to the point of mucousy.  

She can have about 1/4 cup electrolytes every few hours if she will take it.  Especially important as these larger chunks of tissue fall off.

Thanks so for the photo - she is a cutie!  

Please do feel free to call me anytime too, especially if I do not get back to you right away with the email.  


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

Olga the frostbitten goat
Olga the frostbitten g  

Olga Frostbitten goat
Olga Frostbitten goat  
QUESTION: Good day Donna

Olga is doing good today- walking is getting difficult as the one hind leg that she could put pressure on is now hurting her. I think it is starting the dropping off process. She is rubbing her little buds on everything and trying to play. Do the little horns hurt when they are coming in? Getting the penicillin in her today and going to get some CDT. She loves her pedi and drinks it right up. SHe has not pooped today at all.

I guess it is waiting game on her legs. I sent pictures of both her hind legs.

You have been wonderful and I so appreciate all the support

Be Well

Donna and Olga

Thanks for the update.  Thanks for the photos.  For pain you can keep up with low dose aspirin for as long as she needs it - it will not hurt her.  Glad she likes the electrolytes.  Glad you are starting the penicillin and CDT today.  At least the tissue under neath the sloughed off frostbitten tissue looks nice and pink.  While healing those areas can become tender and tight, another reason for keeping up on electrolytes, and if you rub antibiotic ointment or vaseline on the healing parts to help keep them from tightening/drying up too fast.  

Re her horn buds, they don't hurt they just feel funny to them as they grow.  

Re pooping, sometimes kid goats don't poop as much with stress.  Glad at least she is not scouring.  



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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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