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Dr. Matt
Dr. Matt, Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
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Experience:  Ambulatory Large Animal Veterinarian
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Goat/Ruminant Veterinarian only please! I am a fellow expert

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Goat/Ruminant Veterinarian only please!

I am a fellow expert here on JA. I am an attorney, and also a farmer. We have been raising goats for 2 years now, and just had a horrible experience this morning with one of our buck babies who was weaned a few weeks ago.

He was in a separate enclosure with a wether to keep him company, and to keep him from breeding the other doelings of his same age. Last night he started acting a little depressed so we did the usual, kept him company, gave him treats and he was being playful and doing his same routine where he nibbles on my jacket zipper.

This morning we went out for feeding and we knew right away that he was going to die. Took him into the house to warm him up and try to hydrate him and when trying to take his temp with a digital thermometer, it wouldn't read because the thermometer only went as low as 90 degrees F. Obviously as you know this is not normal, and we were shocked that his body temp was below 90. We wrapped him in a heated blanket, and slowly made him drink warm electrolytes from a syringe. He was crying a bit off and on, and then I could see it in his eyes he was slipping away. We tried taking his temp for an hour after being in the blanket and it still didn't go up.

We could really use help from a veterinarian who has seen this and can tell us exactly what it could have been so that we can prevent it from happening to our other goats who are in perfect health today. The only thing that we could think of (my partner was a vet tech), is that we noticed he was obsessed with a salt block more than the wether was, and perhaps he ate too much salt, not enough water and dehydrated himself to death.

We are devastated, and could really use the help of somebody who can tell us what they truly believe it was.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Matt replied 3 years ago.
Hi, I'm Matt. Sorry to hear you lost your buck kid. I've had cases of very young kids coming in with extremely low body temperatures, but most of these are very young (pre-weaning) and are out in very cold temperatures. What has the temperature been in your area? The cases I've seen are generally sick from an underlying disease and the. Get cold from exposure after they go down and aren't able to get up.

How old exactly was he? Young animals in general tend to get sick but compensate for their illness well until they've very obviously ill which can occur very quickly.

Was his stool normal? Was he urinating normal? Usual food/water intake? Was his dam vaccinated? Did he nurse from the dam or was he bottle raised?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for getting back to me. I really appreciate it. Last night was in the 30's, but he was acting off before the chill came in.

He was approx. 10 weeks old. His stool was completely normal before I put him away for the evening, but wasn't able to examine the urine to check for dehydration. He was eating normal also, on hay, and on pasture. His dam was healthy and vaccinated, but he didn't nurse from the bottle. All our kids came from another farm, and were nursed on cows milk, free access, with occasional probiotics.

He did get scours when he was about 2 weeks old and we had to bring him inside for a few days, none of the others had it either.
Expert:  Dr. Matt replied 3 years ago.
I doubt the scours had anything to do with it being that it was a while ago and his stool is normal now. Being that he wasn't really showing any signs aside from some depression it's very difficult to say what the cause was. I'd suspect that his illness caused him to go down and secondarily get hypothermic. The best case scenario would be to have a necropsy done if at all possible.
Dr. Matt and other Large Animal Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Matt replied 3 years ago.
Hi Jon,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Donald. How is everything going?

Dr. Matt

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