Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

We have had ND goats for several years which means with 10 does we have had many kiddings - all without any major issues.   Last Monday our 3 year old Hali delivered three beautiful doelings.  She did well for the first day, but by that night she was down and we suspected ketosis.  The next morning when she appeared more sickly we took her to the vet who determined that she had mastitis.  We were shocked since nothing had been noticeable the night before and she had a normal temp.  He explained that mastitis can progress very quickly so it was entirely possible that it screamed up overnight.  He sent us home with antibiotics, ToDay,  and Banamine.  Of course we pulled the kids and relocated them to the house so that we could care for them as mom could no longer nurse them.  By the next morning (2 days post-delivery) it was clear that she was in trouble.  We bypassed our regular vet and took her to the specialty hospital who determined that it was an extremely aggressive bacteria and, although offering very little hope for recovery, added one additional antibiotic to try to combat the bacteria.  We followed the protocol, tried to get her to eat, and milked what we could.  Last night we lost our precious Hali.  Thankfully we were with her when she died.  What made it doubly painful is that just that morning we took the smallest of her kids to the same hospital because, although she had been fine for the first 5 days, she was now suddenly having difficulty sucking and her heart rate and breathing raced whenever she ate.  Even trying a syringe exhausted her so we knew we likely had something major going on.  The vet opted to keep her for observation and tube feedings overnight.  This morning they called to say that Pepper did in fact have a very enlarged heart with fluid accumulating around her heart sac.  The only treatment was to drain the fluid which came with its own set of risks, but that would only help her immediate issue - it would not solve her heart defect and she would continue to worsen.  So after losing Hali last night we had to put down one of her babies today.  Hali was well loved and will be greatly missed by us and her herdmates.  Little Pepper barely got a chance at life, but she made her way into our hearts from the moment she was born.   The other two doelings who think jumping on my couch is acceptable are an incredible blessing....the loss of my two girls is incredible heartache. 

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Our hearts go out to you.  Sometimes no matter how much you do and how hard you work things still go awry. Take comfort in her two babies.

So sad with you. Thank you for sharing your story.

That is so sad! We had a LaMancha die of mastitis a few days after kidding several years ago, and it was quite a shock. Her udder was not even hard or hot. I had her necropsied because she didn't have any obvious signs of anything in particular. She just laid down and wouldn't eat the day after her kids were born. You know you did everything you could. Sending you a big hug! 

Thank you so much for your comments.  We goat people are truly a community of caring individuals. 

We found a nice resting spot for Hali and Pepper; near the turning trees, morning sun, and under the protective eye of the donkeys.  We laid Pepper near Hali's face in her arms, said a prayer, and said goodbye.  At least Hali has one of her babies with her and Pepper has her mama whom she barely knew.  I still shed tears but am at peace with it now.  The other goats look into her empty stall seeming to understand the loss.  

Her "relocated to the house" kids, Halo and Cali, are crazy people!  On the chair...off the chair....when do we eat...where's the cat....what's that....in bed...when do we eat....out of bed...oops, sorry....poop coming!.....when do we eat....   They are a handful, but such a delight.  Our chocolate lab tolerates their antics and even allows them to lie with her....briefly!  We are in the midst of a rainy cold snap so once the weather turns a bit we will return them to the barn.  I do fear a bit for them as they have no mama to protect them from the rest of the herd, but we had another doe deliver 4 days after Hali (she had quads!) so we will be able to let Hali's girls run with them.  They will need to learn that goats really do live in a barn!  Not at all sure they will appreciate the relocation.

 

Their final resting spot sounds so beautiful and peaceful. I'm all choked up. 

I know what you mean about those kids in the house. Oh, my! But it's good to get them out as soon as possible. They'll handle it much better now than they will later. Years ago my youngest daughter had a couple of house goats that she didn't evict until they were a month or more old, and that was truly heartbreaking. They had been sleeping with her and spending all their time with her, and they were terribly sad when they were put out in the barn. I don't think they had any idea they were goats. 

The goal is to get them outside by week's end.  The low tonight is 24 and after being in the house, I fear it's just too cold.   They are adorable, but today I had to move a baby gate because they figured out the stairs. We are sitting in the dark on this rainy day because I had to unplug every lamp as the cords and plugs are so enticing.  I also had to remove them from a table top lest the knock over the lamps....unplugged as they are.  And as if that were not enough though I have no idea how, they have figured out how to unlatch the door to the fireplace insert.  Thankfully, there is no fire going!   Not to mention that I will have to rent a steam cleaner before company comes for Thanksgiving.  In all my sadness there is joy....I think that's what you call it when you have baby goats in the house!  :)

Thank you Deborah for being so very kind. 

Oh, my goodness! I'm laughing, but it sounds like you have a lot of work ahead. Some kids just seem to find more trouble than others. We had one kid that jumped up on a CD player within a couple of days. He was bouncing up and down on it while it was playing a CD, and somehow that broke it. It always skipped after that. And I had a lamb that chewed up the charging cable to my laptop. It was kind of frustrating at the time, but those memories make me smile now.

Please accept my heartfelt condolences. I wish I could say I could only imagine how you feel, but I have had more than my share of kidding heartbreak.  In fact, just today, I came home to two babies, one alive with mom and the other dead at the edge of the pen.  I don't know if his bubble didn't break and they came too close together for mom to get them both cleaned off in time (but had cleaned him later), if she stepped on him, or if he got too cold (it was in the mid 40s).
I am so glad for you that you have the two little girls who will never give you back your stolen heart.  I know that Hali and Pepper will be in your heart forever.
{{{ Judy }}}



Glenna Rose said:

Please accept my heartfelt condolences. I wish I could say I could only imagine how you feel, but I have had more than my share of kidding heartbreak.  In fact, just today, I came home to two babies, one alive with mom and the other dead at the edge of the pen.  I don't know if his bubble didn't break and they came too close together for mom to get them both cleaned off in time (but had cleaned him later), if she stepped on him, or if he got too cold (it was in the mid 40s).
I am so glad for you that you have the two little girls who will never give you back your stolen heart.  I know that Hali and Pepper will be in your heart forever.
{{{ Judy }}}

I am so sorry for your loss....and your doe's.  Despite the sadness,  I hope that the surviving twin brings you both much joy. 

I looked at some of the pictures on your page and the doe with the child looks amazingly like my Hali...especially the close-up pic.  They made me smile. 

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