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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20840
Experience:  As a veterinarian, I have been educated to treat all animals, big and small.
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We have a pregnant pygmy goat who lost her mucous plug two

Customer Question

We have a pregnant pygmy goat who lost her mucous plug two nights ago. Today we are seeing a bright red discharge - looks like blood mixed with mucous. We've found about 3 tablespoons in one spot and another teaspoon in another. Is this normal or is she miscarrying?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

When is her due date?

Is she showing any signs of impending delivery (nervousness, pawing at the ground, acting restless and lying down)?

Any green or black material in the discharge (which can tell us if the fetus is in distress)?

Have you had a feel of the cervix (with a glove/lube) to check dilation?

How is she in herself?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

We don't know her due date. The woman we got her from said she was bred in April/early May but we don't know when.


She's not showing a lot of nervousness. She's lying down and every now and then I think I see a contraction but it also could just be the rumen working.


There is no green or black material in the discharge. I haven't checked the cervix.


She seems fine although tired and just not quite herself.


We put her best friend in the birthing stall with her and that seems to help quiet her. They are both resting now.


She is only spotting now. Not very often but there is still red mucousy drops at the bottom of her vagina.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for the additional information.

That is a shame that we don't have any idea of when she was mated since that means we cannot really say if she is due or not at this stage. (and whether we might consider inducing her if we thought the fetus were in trouble). The only way to really address this at this stage would possibly have her ultrasounded to see how far on the kids are.

Now in regards XXXXX XXXXX discharge, at this stage we cannot really say whether she will miscarry or not since we can see spotting in any species not lead to this (as well we have to consider that it doesn't take much blood to make mucousy blood look bloody) I would be more worried if you were seeing a copious amount of fresh blood or a green/dark material since that can be a sign of the placenta rupturing or the fetus in distress. That said, we need to keep a close eye on it.

We usually expect to see a mucous discharge from the vulva in the last 24 hours preceding labour. It can be clear to a murky white or light yellowish color and often is watery at first and thickens before labour starts. It isn't uncommon for it to appear tan in goats. The fact that she lost her plug about 48 hours ago tells us that if she is near due this stage that we are probably looking at her delivering soon (or our needing to intervene).

So at this stage if she is fine (not quite herself is acceptable in this situation) then I'd monitor her. Keep an eye on gum color since paling of her gums might suggest more of a bleed then we are seeing (and could be a hint if the vet needs to be called in to intervene) and if you do have a sterile glove you might consider a gentle feel of the cervix to see how dilated it is. This can give you more of an idea of where she is in regards XXXXX XXXXX While she might not be dilated yet and there are only a few possible contractions, we do have to watch for her going into labor and having a ring womb (where the cervix doesn't dilate as it should leaving the doe unable to push the kids out).

Now with having the plug and possible contractions, we do need to consider that labour is on the horizon for her. If you don't see her progressing into active labour in the next 12-24 hours or you see any dark discharge or more blood, then you will want to have the vet out to assess her (and possibly induce labour or do a c-section). If she does manage on her own, then, we would expect labour to take up to 5 hours. Cervix dilation usually requires four hours, and then delivery of each kid can take 30 minutes to an hour (you might need to intervene if the kids are malpositioned and she has a dystocia).


So, a few teaspoons of bloody mucous doesn't mean we are in distress but it does mean we need to keep a close eye on her at this stage. So if you can, check her gums to make sure she is nice and pink and have a gentle of her cervix to give you an idea of where she is in the process. Otherwise, closely monitor and if we aren't seeing some action soon then we need to consider having the vet intervene and assist her to ensure her continued heath and the survival of her young ones.


I hope this information is helpful.
Please do let me know if you have any further questions.
If you have no further questions, feedback is always appreciated.

All the best,

Dr. B.


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