Goats/Falling kid


I have a young kid roughly 3-4 weeks old. Pokie has been doing fine on goat milk supplement, but recently she has trouble walking. She'll walk a few feet and then either lay or flop down, and when she tries to get up, she flails a bit before getting up. An her appetite has also dropped. Today would be the 2 day her appetite has changed. She'll go for the bottle as if starving but not finish the bottle. I've heard of giving baking soda, but not on how much.

HI Amber:

a tsp of baking soda  wetted on a teaspoon like toothpaste and directly into the mouth is what I do.. repeat in a few hours..  also take rectal temp -  normal is 101.5 to 103.5  higher than 104  might be pneumonia or other infection in the body - lower than 100  maybe the body trying to shut down

If baby has not been properly dewormed  or treated for cocci  this is prime age for these - read on ...

First of all look at her inner eyelid color-  I would bet it is light  pink or white due to anemia most likely form  parasites. as this is the perfect age for wormload and coccidiosis to take hold of a kid - and does so quickly - read both of these articles on  deworming and coccidiosis - as well as how to look at inner eyelid membrane

Anemia eye color chart- http://goat-link.com/content/view/110/107/
Deworming - http://goat-link.com/content/view/58/46/
Coccidiosis - http://goat-link.com/content/view/145/155/

Secondly if you are feeding a milk replacer  time to get the bay off the replacer - as IMHO it is beginning to do it's damage  to the digestion - my guess is you  have not had this kid from birth? Even if you have, the milk replacer is not good for the digestion - will cause lack of appetite and scouring leading to more serious complications -  here is how to  change the feeding from my  bottle baby article here- http://goat-link.com/content/view/94/76

Excerpt from Article-

I cannot tell you how many emails and phone calls I get a week (sometimes so many in just a DAY) from gals who are losing kids due to kid milk replacers- Even the "best" replacers. "Even" the ones that say "kid replacer" Just don't use them. They are expensive and really not your best choice.

OMG! But How do I change them over? Just start giving them milk?

Surprised  Well you could but it probably won't help the digestion any because any sudden change in diet will give gut upset and intestinal issues.  Rather change them over gradually and here's how:

The best way to change from replacer to milk is:

Mix up a quart of any good livestock electrolyte mix (I prefer Vi-Tal) But any good MILKLESS electrolyte powdered solution will work  (read the ingredients) , ( or in a pinch you can use gatorade, pediolyte or  sports drink) , add to each bottle 2 pumps of  goat nutri-drench (or equivalent) and a  tsp of molasses or corn syrup to each bottle for energy.
If you do NOT have any electrolytes you can make some in a pinch-

Homemade Electrolyte Solution
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp NO-Salt (potassium)
1 tsp baking soda
4 oz corn syrup or molasses

Add warm water to make 4 pints and mix well. Give this as a replacement for milk bottles until the kid is feeling better- Usually 24 hours.

This will be a 4 day feeding process:

Day 1- use this exclusively in all bottles
Day 2 -give 1/2 this solution and half milk (regular  whole cows milk from the grocer)
Day 3- give 2/3 milk and 1/3 this solution
Day 4-give all whole milk
This allows the baby goat to adjust to the change gradually and reduces the chance of further gut upset.

IF Your baby is already down and weak

First take the rectal temperature so you know what you are dealing with- a subnormal temperature needs a quick response from you to bring the core body temperature back to normal article gives advice on how to do this - Take the baby off milk completely for at least 36 hours, You will need to give an electrolyte solution (I also add a pinch of baking soda and some form of easy to assimilate sugar such as molasses or corn syrup-just a little bit for energy) and administer CD Antitoxin injections to kill the toxins in the gut caused by the milk in the belly not being able to digest. Once the poop has become normal and the baby is holding a normal temperature and no longer weak you can Gradually change the baby to milk as mentioned above
You also need to determine if the baby is suffering from FKS or ecoli - ecoli will have a fever present and I administer BioSol (neomycin sulfate) in addition to treatment for birth chill - FKS usually happens at about a week old (overfed bottle babies being the exception) and the kid will have a sub normal temperature- baking soda is the answer for this - a tsp of baking soda dissolved in 8 ounces of warm water will neutralize the gut (If tube feeding 60ccs of this will be enough) -in addition, milk of magnesia will help to push the nasty stuff from the system (only a half tsp for tiny kids)- then begin your regimen of electrolytes for the next day or so before you reintroduce milk.

Get back to me  if you have further questions  - but read these things and address as needed -  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




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.


23 years experience of raising goats and herd management. Active hands on experience with goat herd and research with various Caprine University Research and Extension Centers nationwide. 15 years dedicated to helping other goat breeders/owners with goat anatomy, goat disease and goat health care issues via phone, published goat care articles and internet interaction. The information I have to offer is not only from personal experience and years of research updated often as new information is made available to me, but supported by many Veterinary Research colleges and all medications and information I have to offer on how the medications work and what dosages "I" use, is information I have acquired by discussing directly with the company's veterinarians and staff research experts.

12 year active member of International Veterinary Information Service

United Caprine News, Homesteaders Magazine, Columnist for Goat Magazine, Owner and Author of GoatPedia™

Graduate Programs in Medicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.