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Goats/My goat has gone off feed


QUESTION: My goat kidded 8 weeks ago. She has been fine and in good health since. 2 days ago she has gone off her feed and is quiet.She has been self weaning her buckling so we have had him away from her a couple time a day for a few hours. Her bag is not full or hot.We live far from the vet and getting them out her is quite the chore. Any suggestions on what to start doing for her?

ANSWER: Does she have any discharge from her vaginal area? What is her temperature? Did she have a hard time kidding?  How many kids did she have? Does she have a sweet sick smell to her breath?  What hay has she been on - alfalfa, timothy, etc.?  This could be an intrauterine infection or it could be hypocalcemia if she has been on alfalfa, or it could be ketosis (that would be where the sickly sweet breath comes in).  Let me know re my questions and I will get back to you with hopefully a regimen.  Thanks - Donna

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

QUESTION: Hi Donna, No discharge, her temp is 102. Easy kidding two live kids however we lost one 8 hours after birth. sickly at birth. She is fed high quality alfalfa and goat grain. She has only nibbled a few strand of grass that is coming up in her pen but only a few this morning. She is walking around some but is still quiet. No signs of any injuries. her breath is normal but she did just have a small amount of Diarrhea.

Thanks for the update.  She could have an intrauterine infection and that was also the cause of the one kid's death.  She could have a hypocalcemia as she is on the alfalfa, which is high in calcium - did she have a large udder to start with and only recently start not producing milk well? No sickly sweet odor to her breath that you can tell?  If so then we would also consider a ketosis.  

With all that said I like to treat goats with the kitchen sink method so you cover for everything but nothing would hurt her but could help.  

Would start on injectable penicillin (over the counter available) or LA200 given intramuscularly - have you given intramuscular injections before? Would also start on extra calcium - either give TUMS or give human calcium tablets to get her calcium up.  Would also give extra sugar - warm molasses water if she will drink it and if not give as an oral drench at least twice a day.  Since she is not eating well would also start on either Vitamin B complex tablets (these contain B1/thiamin) or vitamin B1 tablets - the thiamin will help her from getting polio (a secondary disease from not eating) - would give 8 tablets of either complex or B1, need to crush the tablets and dissolve in a little hot water, cool and give orally twice a day.  Would be sure she is drinking lots of water - if not could use lemonade mix to add to water to see if she will drink that or if she will not drink then would advise giving oral electrolytes/drenching as necessary.  Would also add probiotics - can use yogurt or other human probiotics or livestock powder or gel for this - twice a day until she is eating better.  Would also start her on a nutrition mush - I use baby rice cereal mixed and thinned a little so you can draw up in an oral drenching syringe or other syringe, add to that karo syrup (this will also help if we are dealing with ketosis) to the mix - you can add the other oral drench items noted above - give twice a day - for an adult goat would be 1 cup in the a.m. and 1 cup at night - you can also use human regular oatmeal or other hot cereal but would need to use blender to make it thin enough to draw up in a syringe.  Hope this helps - let me know if you have questions re the above items or other questions.  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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