Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Milk Fever, Ketosis, Infected Umbilical Cord, and Urinary Calculi

Heck of a title, eh?

Well, those are all goat health issues that I am currently dealing with. I noticed Pebbles (baby Dehlia's mother) wasn't acting right. Its pretty common that does mope around after kidding out and the first fresheners act like pansies about their sore udders. However, here are FiasCo Farm's symptoms.

*The doe seems weak.
*Decrease in appetite
*Mild bloat or constipation
The doe is wobbly on her feet.
Inability to stand.
*Muscular trembling.
Weakened uterine contractions
Decreased body temperature.
The doe may stop ruminating, urinating or defecating.
*Shivering after milkin
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*The doe eats less or stops eating completely.
*Depression
*Seperation from the herd
The doe may be slow to get up or may lie off in a corner.
*Her eyes are dull.
Somestimes blindness
Muscle tremors & seizures
Staggering
Head pressing
She may have swollen ankles
She may grind her teeth.
*The doe may breathe more rapidly.
The doe's breath and urine may have a fruity sweet odor. This is due to the excess ketones, which have a sweet smell.

* means these were observed in Pebbles.

Pebbles would also walk very slow . . . not because her udder was sore . . . but because she couldn't walk quickly from those symptoms. We had to act quickly because she stopped eating all together. I found a recipe for Magic Ketosis Treatment then I starting drenching Pebbles with 3 oz a day. But, as Fiasco recommends, I also added "Goats Prefer" Probios to the sticky mixture. Sure enough, a few hours later, she started to perk up and ate her entire milking ration and began eating hay!!! I'll continue that mixture for a week or until she's better.
As for the Milk Fever, FiasCo recommends dosing with Tums (contains 500mg of Calcium Carbonate) and Calcium Citrate. I'm giving her 3-4 generic tums in the morning and 1 tablet of Calcium Citrate in the evening. Needless to say, Pebbles is feeling sooo much better! I obviously need to reevaluate the feed/hay since both sicknesses are preventable through proper nutrition.

Infected Umbilical Cord
As my previous post discusses, Pebbles kidded out a doeling that we named Dehlia. Dehlia's umbilical cord broke at 3-4 inches naturally, since it wasn't bleeding I just left it and used lots of iodine to dry it up. A fellow goat breeder friend pointed out that she ties off the cord at 1" and cuts off the rest. Yuppers, definitely going to do her suggestion for next year (as well as purchase u-cord clips from Hoegger). Yesterday I noticed Dehlia had a 2-3" swelling at the base of the cord (belly button area). I was suggested to give her a round of Penicillin shots and with further research, discovered that it would be a good idea to give her some Tetanus Antitoxin. Here are the links for the meds. Penicillin dosages. Tetanus Antitoxin dosages. And the website with info about Umbilical Cord Infections. So poor Dehlia has to deal with me giving her shots of Pen for the next 5-10 days (only one Antitoxin dose was needed) and trying to keep the swelling well iodined.

Urinary Calculi
One of my purchased doelings has decided to get 'hard pee' as some dairy cow lovers have aptly described. She yelps in pain whenever she squats to pee. The "Natural Goat Care" book by Pat Coleby suggests a dessertspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar once a day until symptoms are gone. Cider Vinegar has lots of benefits for dairy goats but it also neutralizes urinary calculi in bucks and wethers. I'm diluting it with a little water and drenching the doeling. I'll continue that for about a week or until she is better.

What a life. Wish us good luck and prayers that these three goaties will heal quickly.