Goats/Goat Hernia??


Hi Donna!

My young pygmy goat, Keli, gave birth to triplets February 18th.  It was at least her second birth.  She had a very hard time of it.  The first kid was breached and I had to have a vet help her.  He was able to get them out without surgery but it was a very hard birth for her.  All the kids were very large and she is a very small goat.  We did lose the breached baby within a few days but the other two are doing good.  
About three weeks ago the other doe I had her penned with started getting very mean with her and was butting her around pretty hard.  I noticed that Keli had a lump on her side and her doeling developed diarrhea.  So I separated them and have Keli and her kids in their own area.  
The lump has not gotten better.  Keli is eating and drinking normally.  Her poop is pelleted.  Her doeling got over the diarrhea with some probiotics.  But the kids aren't gaining like they were.  It seems like when they nurse it hurts her lump and she kicks them off.  
What could this lump be?  I hope not a hernia that will keep her from breeding and living normally but that is what it looks like to me.  Any other ideas?  Any way to fix it without surgery?  
The lump is soft and doesn't seem to bother her too much to mess with it.
Thank you for all your help!

I am unable to enlarge the photo so cannot see exactly where it is - on one side of the abdomen or the other?  Or is it right in the middle abdomen? If in the middle it could be a mammary artery that is bleeding out.  What color are her lower inner eyelids? This could be a hernia especially if she was straining a lot.  If it was a hernia you could manually push it back up into the abdomen - of course, it won't stay there, but if it goes into the abdomen that would indicate most likely a hernia. If it is a hernia surgical repair is most likely the only way she could get back to being a breeding doe.  If it is an injury to the mammary vein/artery under there this may or may not heal up by itself.  If the lower inner eyelids are white to light pink then that indicates anemia and that could be from loss of blood from the artery/vein injury.  I would definitely take the kids away from her and start them on a bottle - milk replacer works fine if you don't have other goat milk available.  They are not gaining weight well because it sounds like they are not being allowed to eat.   Hope this helps - let me know - Donna

Revised answer - I just got the photo to enlarge and see it is on the side so doubt both hernia or mammary vein injury.  This could be swelling from an injury by the other goat and as long as the internal bleeding stops the tissue should repair itself and she should be fine.  The other item it could be would be an abscess, but if it is soft and not hard or tense then an abscess is less likely.  As long as she is eating and drinking well that is good.  If she stopped eating would indicate an abscess.  Hope this helps - Donna


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.