Dear Goat Veterinary Doctor,If you're short of time, please go directly to paragraph 2 for my question, thank you.On Tuesday, January 17, 2012 I found two newborn kid goats, about ten feet apart from each other, that appear to have been abandoned by their mother. (The location is Brentwood, in Northern California, so while it is dry outside, the temp. at this time of year is between 45 and 55 degrees during the hours I found them). They were still damp, curled up and shivering. I wrapped them together in a clean blanket and held them to keep them warm. After sucking down plenty of store-bought goat's milk, I cleaned them and put them to bed wrapped in warm towels, clean flake bedding and a heat lamp. The next day, both females seemed strong and hungry. Although one more than the other. The question I have is about the smaller, weaker kid. When she walks, she drags either one or both hind legs. If she's been on her feet for a while, she will slowly pick each one up, but it stills looks quite different to the healthier kid. I've read online this could be a selenium deficiency. Since I don't know their background and whether they received any colostrum, etc., I'm loathe to jump to "internet" solutions. I live about 1-1/2 hours from UC Davis and will happily take her there for a workup. In the meantime, I was hoping you may have some immediate suggestions that may prevent further weakness or diminishing health of this very cute and snuggly little goat I call Ginger Snap! THANK YOU FOR ANY ASSISTANCE.Jan Lindsay(XXX) XXX-XXXXemail:XXX@XXXXXX.XXX
Type of Animal: Kid goat
Age: 3 days old
Name of Animal: Ginger Snap
Warm, clean living environment. Store-bought goat's milk, and lots of love.
Greetings, Jan:I saw that you are offline, so I'll respond in the Q & A mode.Based on your description of Ginger Snap's condition, there is a great possibility that you are correct in thinking about selenium deficiency. The area that you and I live ( I'm in southern Oregon) is very deficient in the selenium content of the soils, and supplementation is normally necessary. If the doe hadn't been treated recently with a selenium supplement (BoSe), it's very likely that your kid is deficient. Selenium is responsible for normal muscle development, and without supplement a condition known as "white muscle disease" is not uncommon. The disease causes extreme muscle weakness , difficulty walking and can also inhibit reproduction and skin. I encounter many of these kids, and in most cases a BoSe injection can make a big difference within 24 hours. BoSe should be available from your local Veterinarian (prescription only), but it will require an exam in order to be prescribed. Also, importantly, as you're unsure if the kids received colostrum, a vet should be able to draw a blood sample to determine if they have received the appropriate antibodies for a healthy start to life. It is important, however, that this be done soon, especially if they are seeming somewhat weak or lethargic. If they haven't received adequate colostrum, they may require IV treatment of colostrum supplementation to get their immune systems functioning normally. Since you're close to UC Davis, and if the condition with Ginger Snap continues, it would certainly be worth the drive if there isn't a local goat vet available. For future thought, I always recommend annual BoSe injections for all goats yearly, especially pregnant does.I trust I've been of some help, and please let me know if you have any further questions.Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX of luck to you and Ginger Snap!-DanDan C., DVM40929.1797975347
Equine Practitioner. Owner of Mobile Equine/Large Animal Practice for eleven years.
Do you have any further questions?Thanks again,-Dan
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX were really helpful. I've just been out to feed her and made her stand up and encouraged some walk-about. She appears to be doing a bit better. Although still dragging at least one hind leg at a time. Although she stood and fed from the bottle wagging her tail for the 1st time (I normally hold her) and she had an "extended" look to her back legs which is more in keeping with the healthy kid - Baby Pinto. Sooooo....one last question...you mention "within 24 hours" for the BoSe injection. Since Ginger Snap is now 3 days old, will this still be of benefit to her. I'd rather do over and above (just to be safe) than not enough??