You are here:

Goats/Sick pregnant goat


I have a female goat due to kid in 3 weeks time. She has suddenly come down with heavy diarrhoea over the past 2 days. She is due to be worked but I was hoping to wait until she had the kids. I gave her some Rolled oats the day do you think this could have caused it? How can I help her? She is eating a little but not moving around much. At times I have found her hidden at the back of the paddock away from the other goats which really worries me

HI Michaela:

I would go ahead and deworm her now and again in 10 days and again in another 10 days as per this article:

ALSO have you taken her rectal temp?  if she has a fever   could be summer pneumonia?  this will cause them to  hang back and not want to eat - article on treating pneumonia

ALSO be careful changing the diet with a pregnant goat - you don't want to cause digestive upset and possibly causing pregnancy toxemia -info as follows - not knowing how much you gave her - read this and see if it fits the situation.

Pregnancy Toxemia can occur within the last six weeks of pregnancy and is caused either by underfeeding (starvation toxemia equals an energy shortage) or overfeeding. A doe's nutritional balance is critical during this time frame. Feeding too much grain or feeding the wrong kinds of grain is usually the culprit. During these last weeks of pregnancy, a doe has little room in her body for lots of grain, fast-growing fetuses, and the amount of roughage (grass hay) vital for proper rumen function. A goat goes off-feed when it doesn't get enough roughage. Huge stores of body fat plus a uterus full of fetuses set the stage for Pregnancy Toxemia. Symptoms of Pregnancy Toxemia include off-feed, dull eyes, slow moving, general weakness, tremors, teeth grinding, stargazing, leg swelling, and coma. When fetuses die, toxemia results from the decaying bodies inside the doe and she also dies. All of this happens because of improper feeding.

When Pregnancy Toxemia occurs, a dramatic change in feed will not solve the problem. Instead, divide her grain into three or four small meals each day. Make sure that she eats a lot of top-quality grass hay. Leave fresh, clean water out free choice. Also offer some warm water laced with molasses or apple juice to encourage water consumption. The doe needs to drink a lot of water to flush toxins from her kidneys. An occasional handful of alfalfa hay may prove helpful. Propylene glycol dosed at 60 cc orally twice a day can be used, but this product is hard on her kidneys and goats usually don't like it. An alternative to propylene glycol is a combination of 50% dextrose diluted with an equal amount of water and given orally at a rate of 60 cc twice per day. Molasses and water or Karo syrup and water can also be used. Get both Vitamin B12 and Fortified Vitamin B Complex into her, and orally drench her with Goat Nutri-Drench ( Feed the doe as many green leaves as she will eat; in off-growing season, pick dried leaves and offer them to her free choice. Oral administration of CMPK or MFO is desirable. Niacin at a rate of 1000 mg per day is helpful. Daily dosing with probiotic paste are advisable. Moderate exercise is essential; do not allow the doe to be inactive.

A good preventative measure for both Pregnancy Toxemia and Ketosis is to offer 20% protein sheep-and-goat blocks or tubs offered free choice to all pregnant does. The energy available in these blocks and tubs goes a long way towards counteracting nutritional problems. Buy protein blocks or tubs that are NOT combined with minerals; minerals are used to reduce (limit) feed consumption by livestock but you are trying to increase the goats' nutritional levels at this critical point in pregnancy. Make sure that the sheep-and-goat blocks and tubs do not contain urea (also known as non-protein nitrogen). Use these blocks and tubs as supplements to whatever else is being fed. A goat's ability to overeat on these blocks and tubs is almost non-existent. Offer loose minerals made for goats on a free-choice basis; the does will eat the goat minerals as they need them. This is a good example of a situation where a protein and mineral combination block or tub is not desirable. One size does not fit all.

Ketosis describes conditions similar to Pregnancy Toxemia that occur once kidding has taken place. If the pregnant female does not receive adequate amounts of proper nutrition to feed both herself and her unborn kids, when she begins the kidding process or has just completed kidding, her body will draw upon stored fat reserves in order to produce milk to feed her babies. Then her own body tissues begin to go into starvation mode and deadly ketones are released as by-products of this process. A quick way to diagnose Ketosis: a doe with sweet-smelling urine is ketotic. Ketosis test strips can be purchased at pharmacies; they are an over-the-counter product but usually have to be requested. Placing a ketosis test strip in a urine stream results in a color change that identifies Ketosis is occurring. Tip: A goat urinates and then defecates when it first stands after having been in a sitting position for some time.

Treatment is the same as described above for Pregnancy Toxemia. Bringing a doe back from Ketosis is difficult; death is too often the result. Prevention of Ketosis is simple. Feed her properly during pregnancy and after kidding. Ketosis -- like Pregnancy Toxemia -- is caused by improper feeding.

I would  look at all of these possibilities  and  go forth with which one fits your doe best - may be a combination of things as well - BUT I would deworm  her now.. using Ivomec or Ivomec PLUS as an   injection remember to follow up in 10 days and again in another 10 days  


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

©2017 All rights reserved.