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CountryDoc, Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
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Experience:  Experienced mixed animal veterinarian
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I need help with a female nubian goat from a "goat

Customer Question

Good Morning, I need help with a female nubian goat from a "goat veterinarian" please.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  Dan C., DVM replied 10 months ago.

Good evening, and thanks for your question. My apologies for the delay in your receiving a response. I just got in for the day and saw your post.
So what is it that I might help you with concerning your Nubian Ewe?
Thanks,
-Dan C., DVM

Expert:  Dan C., DVM replied 9 months ago.

I just wanted to let you know that I’ll be signing off for the evening. I’ll be checking for your response first thing in the morning.
Many Thanks!
-Dan C., DVM.

Expert:  Dan C., DVM replied 9 months ago.

I wanted to let you know that I’ll be offline for a few hours, out working. IF you have further questions or replies, I’ll be checking as soon as I return.
Thanks again,
Dan C., DVM.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Dr. Dan, I'm sorry for the delay. I have been charged $58.00 but have not conversed with you. Can I still discuss my problem with you? Sherri
Expert:  Dan C., DVM replied 9 months ago.

Certainly, Sherri!

What has been going on?

-Dan C., DVM.

Expert:  Dan C., DVM replied 9 months ago.

Hi again, Sherri:

I just needed to let you know that I’ll be out of my office for a few hours doing some farm calls. I’ll check for your response as soon as I return.

Thanks,

-Dan C., DVM.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Good Morning Dr. Dan, I have a 13 month old Nubian female. She has never been pregnant and is only kept with out Black Bellied Barbados Ram who was "fixed" when he was a baby. (He is now 7 years old) My goat, "Speckles," is having a serious problem with her udders. For 2.5 months, or so, she has had a swelling, hard and warm udder on both sides. I don't have a livestock Vet anywhere near us. My Mom spoke with her Vet, which is 60 miles from me, and he believed it to be mastitis. He sold us Excenel RTU EZ to inject daily. My Mom picked it up and my husband met her to retrieve it. It did not help!!!!!!!! The area around her teats are now turning an almost bruised looking color. Since the very beginning I have not been able to get more than a few "squirts" of fluid from each side. It is just a watery thin liquid with a tiny tint of milky color. We have tried warm compresses a bunch. Nothing is helping her. I have been told that it likely isn't mastitis since she has never been pregnant, I have been told it could be mastitis and I have been told it could be a false pregnancy and if so, we should not be trying the express her udders. Do you work with goats??? I need help with Speckles, PLEASE!!!! I was up at 3am this morning searching the internet for help. Some people have said they had to have their goat's udders surgically removed. H-E-L-P!!! Thanks, Sherri
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
kept only with OUR, not OUT, neutered Ram.
Expert:  Dan C., DVM replied 9 months ago.

Hi again, Sherri:

Thanks for the information. Yes, I work with many goats (about 1/3 of my practice), and what you are seeing is not unusual. It is true; it could be either mastitis, false pregnancy, or a condition known as persistent udder. The fact that you mention that the teat region is looking bruised is concerning. Is there any way that you could send me a photo of her udder? That would be a tremendous help. I’m about to go out on farm calls for the majority of the day, but I promise to get back to you as soon as I return. IF you can get a photo, that would be great. Otherwise, we can chat a bit more so I can get further details, or we could have a phone conversation.

So keep me posted!

Thanks,

-Dan C., DVM

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Good Afternoon Dr. Dan, my husband just got home from work. We will take a couple of photos within an hour. (I just needed his help getting the photos.....I hope you understand) Will you be available to look at them this afternoon/evening? Thank you so VERY, VERY much!!!!!!! Sherri
Expert:  Dan C., DVM replied 9 months ago.

Hi Sherri:

Yes, I will be available, and am looking forward to seeing the photos!

-Dan C., DVM.

Expert:  Dan C., DVM replied 9 months ago.

Hello, Sherri: I just wanted to let you know that it’s still not too late to send some photos, if you were fortunate enough to get some!

Thanks,

-Dan C., DVM

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Good Morning Dr. Dan, I haven't been able to get photos yet. My husband has been working until 6:30 or 7:00pm everyday. (It's always too dark by the time he gets home) This morning I searched on google to find a goat with an udder like Speckles' bag. I am attaching a word document with 2 pics.....one as I found it on google and the second with circles indicating that her bruised looking color is in a large area around her teats. Does this give you any ideas whatsoever??? Her bag is so very, very hard!!!!!
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Sorry, Dan........my husband swears he will be able to get home after lunchtime today. I will be able to snap a few pics then. Please think about anything you can come up with to help Speckles and then you can have the photos too. (I'm not sure what state you are in, so I don't know if you are in the same time zone as myself.....I'm in Georgia(EST). I realize it's Sunday and I probably shouldn't even be bothering you on a Sunday, but I am so afraid for Speckles! Thanks a BUNCH!!!!! Sherri
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Oh my goodness, I forgot to attach the document! I'm so sorry!!!! Sherri
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hey Dr. Dan! I have attached 7 pics. I tried to get every possible view that you may want. One of the pics also has our sheep, Knot-Head in it. Let me know your thoughts on Speckles. Thanks again!!! Sherri
Expert:  Dan C., DVM replied 9 months ago.

Hi Sherri, and thanks for all the work in getting the photos of Speckles. It must have taken some doing!

I can understand your concern about her condition. There are several conditions that her appearance and clinical signs could be attributed to, however the most common fitting conditions are normally seen associated with kidding or during pregnancy. “Hard Udder” is one, which is normally seen soon after kidding, as well as mastitis that causes udder congestion.

You mentioned earlier that there is no milk production, but only small amounts of a clear liquid. Have you tried milking her recently? If not, I’d recommend giving it a try to see if anything has changed. If you are seeing milk production, then the problem is most likely a condition known as “precocious udder”, where an unbred doe begins having sudden and constant milk production.

Mastitis is not very likely, unless the udder seals were opened unintentionally at some point, and bacteria was allowed to enter the udder.

A few more questions for you: Is her udder warm or uncomfortable at this point? Is the bruising getting any worse? How is her appetite and attitude? Have you taken her temperature? If not, you can take it rectally using a digital thermometer. Normal temperature for a goat is between 101-102 F. You might need some help holding her! A small bit of lubrication on the thermometer also helps.

One thing you can do at this point to try to help softening the udder is to lightly apply some Vick’s Vapo-Rub once a day. The menthol can help to relieve congestion. Peppermint oil can do this as well, but be sure to dilute it with some water first. Try to avoid getting anything on the teat openings.

Do you know if Speckles has ever been tested for the CAE virus (Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis)? This common goat disease can at times cause this condition, but again, is usually only seen post-kidding.

Thanks again for the photos, and again, I know this is frustrating for the both of you. But hang in there and we’ll get this figured out!

Thanks,

Dan C., DVM.

P.S. By the way, I live in Oregon.