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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 17682
Experience:  As a veterinarian, I have been educated to treat all animals, big and small.
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I have 2 pygmy goats who are both in advancing age, 15, and

Customer Question

Hello, I have 2 pygmy goats who are both in advancing age, 15, and they both have become crippled in their walking, due to their knees. One has 1 bad knee, the other both knees. A local vet visited and suggested that we "put them down" because "it's going to get much worse" this winter and that they "are suffering." In my view they are not suffering as they seem to enjoy moving around their pen, scratching their back on the tree limbs, butting each other when they are fed, they enjoy eating and are still as affectionate as ever. They are never braying as they move about, so they do not seem to be in discomfort. Can you go me some idea of what they will be like when they become unable to walk? Can they live in a stall with food and water and be comfortable? Their health seems fine except for their walking difficulties. Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee ones today.

Now this is not an uncommon situation in any elderly animal (even us). This will be a condition that does progress with time and in regards ***** ***** question, we would need to monitor for them becoming too stiff to move comfortably. If they find their joints getting too sore, they will refrain from moving any more then necessary. We could see them standing and reluctant to move or they may even choose not to rise unless they absolutely have to. In severe cases that can even mean starving themselves or risking dehydration rather then facing the pain of walking to their food/water troughs. So we need to monitor them to make sure neither goat stops walking about, coming over to see you, eating/drinking, interacting with one another or decides that they just want to stand or lay in one site. If we saw that, then we may have to decide to let them go.

Otherwise, I do just want to note that I am glad to see that you are treating them with pain killers and cartilage injections. Both are good treatments for these situations. Though just to note, if you haven't already, you could consider also treating them with Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and Omega 3+6 fish oils. All of these can be procured OTC via human or equine products. In regards ***** ***** the average goat can have around 1500mg Glucosamine HCl and 1200mg of Chondroitin sulfate. And fish oil, a natural anti-inflammatory, can be given at a rate of 20 mg per pound of their body weight. So, this could be supplemented as well as their current treatments.

Finally, in regards ***** ***** last question, it is fine to keep them in a stall where they will be warm, deeply bedded, and able to easily reach their food and water. You may want to give them access to the outside during the day for grazing (perhaps a means to leave the stall if they wish, so it is their decision), but for the cooler winter months, this would be a warm and ideal place to keep their joints from the chill.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi Robert,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Gumdrop. How is everything going?
Dr. B.