Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

Yesterday, my son noticed my wether wasn't acting "right".  He seemed sleepy and didn't want to walk.  Well, that evening, my other son was walking him back to the barn and he just stopped in the doorway and sat down and didn't want to get up.  I went over there and when we finally got him to get up, he was very shaky.  His back legs seemed kinda stiff.  But wobbly at the same time.  They didn't seem to want to hold him up.  He also was breathing heavy.  His appetite is fine.  According to my google search, it sounded like selenium deficiency, so I gave him some of that last night.  Today we just left him in the barn so as not to make him walk far.  He isn't as shaky and isn't breathing heavy, but is definitely unstable on his feet.  Is that what it could be?  Could it be something else?  If he was deficient in selenium, how long till he starts getting better?  Is there anything else I can do for him?  I gave him nutridrench just because I figured it couldn't hurt.  I have also made sure he has access to weeds, grass, hay, water, baking soda, and minerals.  I wanted to cover all the bases!

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One of our goats died from floppy goat syndrome.  How old is he? this usually only affects 3 days to 2 weeks.  Sounds like some of the symptoms our little guy had.  His appetite was great, but he walked around like he was drunk... Maybe something to look into.  treatment is peptobismal, but I think we didn't diagnose in time.

He is about a year old. 

I should have mentioned he is pooping fine, too.

Janel Rickey said:

One of our goats died from floppy goat syndrome.  How old is he? this usually only affects 3 days to 2 weeks.  Sounds like some of the symptoms our little guy had.  His appetite was great, but he walked around like he was drunk... Maybe something to look into.  treatment is peptobismal, but I think we didn't diagnose in time.
It looks like it only affects very young kids?

Janel Rickey said:
One of our goats died from floppy goat syndrome.  How old is he? this usually only affects 3 days to 2 weeks.  Sounds like some of the symptoms our little guy had.  His appetite was great, but he walked around like he was drunk... Maybe something to look into.  treatment is peptobismal, but I think we didn't diagnose in time.
yes, sorry I am really new to goats that was one of my first experiences.. I hope you can get some answers!!
He could be anemic, which could be caused by a severe worm infestation. Pull down his lower eyelid. If it's pale pink or white, it's anemia, and he needs to be treated for worms ASAP.
Nice and pink.

Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:
He could be anemic, which could be caused by a severe worm infestation. Pull down his lower eyelid. If it's pale pink or white, it's anemia, and he needs to be treated for worms ASAP.
Is he peeing okay?
I haven't seen him pee.  I checked for any crystals on his stomach area and didn't find anything.  I don't know how long I need to hang around before he will pee.  And he isn't yelling.  He is quiet.  As of a few days ago he would yell when he knew we were outside.   I doubt my son noticed if he's been peeing, but I'll ask him.  

Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:
Is he peeing okay?

Goat Medicine says that stiff, abnormal gaits are either neurological or musculoskeletal. Is it his hind legs, front legs or both? There are so many causes it is nearly impossible to say--too much phosphorus, poison plants, meningeal worm,various diseases. Has he been dewormed recently? Grasping at straws, but GM also mentions a tapeworm in the muscle.

You should check his belly for tightness and watch to see whether he is straining to pee, if you don't know whether he is peeing. Urinary calculi is very painful and needs treatment, so it is important to rule that out. (Although if he is eating well, I wouldn't suspect that)

 

I believe you are doing the right things. Selenium deficiency wouldn't come on strong like that, I don't think. I would also make sure he has woody browse or leaves, depending on what is available. Continue giving nutridrench from time to time.

Janel,


The treatment is baking soda in a little water, not pepto. It is some kind of metabolic imbalance.


Janel Rickey said:

One of our goats died from floppy goat syndrome.  How old is he? this usually only affects 3 days to 2 weeks.  Sounds like some of the symptoms our little guy had.  His appetite was great, but he walked around like he was drunk... Maybe something to look into.  treatment is peptobismal, but I think we didn't diagnose in time.

It seems to only be in his hind legs and they don't always seem stiff.  I wonder if it just looks funny cause it's hard to hold himself up?  If he's been up walking around too much, he gets shaky cause I guess he getting tired?  Yesterday he was wondering around for awhile looking pretty good.

I watched him for awhile this morning and still haven't seen him pee.  I am supplying him with plenty of fresh water, but I haven't seen him drink.  But I don't ever see any of the boys drink.  

Cheryl K. Smith said:

Goat Medicine says that stiff, abnormal gaits are either neurological or musculoskeletal. Is it his hind legs, front legs or both? There are so many causes it is nearly impossible to say--too much phosphorus, poison plants, meningeal worm,various diseases. Has he been dewormed recently? Grasping at straws, but GM also mentions a tapeworm in the muscle.

 

I believe you are doing the right things. Selenium deficiency wouldn't come on strong like that, I don't think. I would also make sure he has woody browse or leaves, depending on what is available. Continue giving nutridrench from time to time and make sure he is drinking plenty of water.

If it is urinary calculi you really do need to verify it because it can kill goats. You will see him stop eating and get even worse. It is very painful. Maybe you can have your son stay with him until he pees. :)

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