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Goat Kid With a Broken Leg

By: Gary Pfalzbot
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The following article is based upon a thread in the GoatWorld Message Forum. Questions are in BOLD BLACK, responses are in italic and BLUE.

I have an 11 day old buckling who I just came back from the veterinarians office with. He is not doing good. First, we thought it was Thiamine Deficiency because he was blind, weak, but still barely up and shivering. I gave him 3 ml of Vitamin B-complex, Probios, and a goat drench. He got worse. The veterinarian gave him an IV, Vitamin B1, and 2 subcutaneous shots. The vet thought this may be FKS and gave Penicillin, cd antitoxin (the kid just had one last week) and tubed down baking soda. The kid revived a little when I gave him Karo syrup (orally). Now he is still very down, and raspy breathing is starting. Is there anything else I can do? Is this contagious to his twin sister and my 4-month old?

You need to continue the baking soda (1 to 2 teaspoons dissolved in water) or Pepto Bismol (1 to 2 cc per 10 pounds) and the B Complex (thiamine, he should be getting 100 mg/20 pounds). I would give this every 2 to 3 hours. It is hard to over do any of these. Tubing it into him would be the safest as FKS kids may not be able to swallow. Also give pedialyte to keep him hydrated and some Magic or Karo syrup for energy. FKS and polio are not contagious. They are metabolic conditions not caused by bacteria or viruses. Make sure to keep his temperature up to normal and aim for 102(F). He may need a heating pad. Be careful not to get him too warm.

The vet tube fed him. I'll do my best (tube feeding) and I don't want to get the darn thing in his lungs. The veterinarian also said no more baking soda until this evening, but I'm doing what you said. Pepto Bismolalso? How much? I forgot to buy electrolytes at TSC the other day; will get pedialyte. The heating pad is on him. Can I give him more probios and nutridrench?

Baking Soda or Pepto - Usually not both at the same time. Probios can never be over-dosed, give it up to a week after he is better. Then once a week for at least a month. All mine get powder sprinkled on their feed once a week. Give the other goats some also. A daily dose according to the label of vitamin B squirted on feed of the other goats as well as a preventative. Is it possible he ate some moldy hay, or got into the feed and ate too much? Please read the previous response again.

Perhaps you can reduce the pain with an asprin. If you crush it up to a fine powder then dissolve it in a bit of water and drench with a large syringe without a needle. Once every 4-5 hours.

Getting the tube into his lungs is very difficult especially if you insert it as far as it needs to go to reach his stomach. Measure the tube from his mouth along his throat and to the last rib, mark this point, insert the tube that far and you are in the "stomach". The lungs do not go that far. Be sure he is in a natural position when you tube, he should be propped on his chest with his head up or held in someone's arms with his head up. Don't tube him laid out on his side, the fluids may run back up his esophagus to his lungs. Also be sure he stays propped up on his chest when he is resting. A goat laid out on the side is prone to bloat. And like an Elaine said, use either pepto OR baking soda, not both. Some of the vitamins and minerals in the Nutridrench can be overdosed. I wouldn't give it more than once a day at the recommended dose.

Thanks everyone. Didn't get back because well, he's gone. I really didn't get to administer anything that was suggested. I was reading on tubing him and then as I was taking his temperature, 103.5, he started coughing and got a snotty nose. I picked him up and a ton of liquid came out of his nose. He was gasping and coughing. This went on for a good while and then he was gone. Anyway, I think the tubing procedure was done wrong at the vet? Could he have gotten pneumonia on top of all this? I really don't know. As strong as he was trying to be (Me too!), he really wasn't supposed to be here. I just called the veterinarian again. His sister is looking a bit uncoordinated, not running away from me, but laying in the sun and feels raspy-chested. The vet is on a house call right around here and on his way over here now.

I am sorry for your loss. One thing I recommend you always always have on hand is Fortified Vitamin B Complex (with Thiamine). I believe that was vital to that treatment. I believe he needed the Thiamine. Again sorry for your loss, I know it is hard.

I think he just vomited as he was dying. If the fluids had gone in his lungs at the vet he would not have made it 2 minutes there, he would have drowned. Try giving his sister a dose of baking soda and some B Complex for the thiamine. Entero can look alot like FKS and kill very fast. The only way to know is to have a necropsy done. There are more than 2 kinds of clostridia that cause entero; there are types A and B. I hear type B is becoming more common. There are also types of pneumonia that strike very fast and have virtually no symptoms. Let us know what the vet says, he actually sounds like he is quite knowledgeable.

Thank you all. Yes my vet is great. He left about an hour ago. We tubed the little girl with baking soda & water, but she is going downhill. Gave a shot of thiamine also. IMPORTANT!! Something one of you mentioned about was the hay. I put new hay out 2 days ago. The older 2 goats - 1 year olds, wouldn't eat it (it had a lot of grass-like stuff in it) so I pulled it and put on the floor as bedding. Wow, the vet looked at it, and said it was very, very rich, too rich, and the babies stomachs couldn't handle it. So that's that. I just got done cleaning out everything and will go bury my boy, and keep an eye on my little girl. I'll keep you posted. I an really confused about the dosage of Vitamin B complex (not fortified). 100mg/20 lbs or 100cc/20 lbs?

MG refers to the amount of B1 in each cc (cc is the same as ml). To treat for thiamine deficiency a goat needs to get 100 MG per 20 pounds not 100 cc per pound. Fortified B Complex has 100 mg/ml, regular B Complex has only 12.5 mg/ml and some straight injectable thiamine meds have as much as 500 mg/ml. So you see you need to look on your bottle of B Complex for the amount of thiamine that is in each ml and adjust the amount given accordingly to be sure the goat is getting 100 MG per 20 pounds. With fortified B complex the dose would be 1 ml (or cc) per 20 pounds. With the regular B complex you would need to give about 1 cc per 4 pounds. With a high potency thiamine injectable such as one that has 500 mg/ml you would only need to give 1 cc per 100 pounds. Remember MG does not equal ML (cc).

The measurements dawned on me the minute I left the computer. She went really downhill after the baking soda dose. Hmmmm. But I started the same regimin for her. She is doing much better and is up and around at least. She's been trying to poop or pee. She hasn't all day. I bought a children's saline enema (no infants) when I got the pedialyte. Should I give her the enema? I feel she needs it, but at this point I don't want to jeopardize anything I've gained.

Try the enema. If she is constipated it would make her feel better to poop.

OK, right on it. Just got back from the vets with thiamine, cdt, and banamine. Banamine supposedly halts the inflammation in their guts so the good stuff can work. She seemed better after it the first time so....

Hello all, an update; baby Bonnie is up and trying to nurse. Very aggressively too. Mom won't feed her though; maybe that's for the best. Any suggestions? I'll try to bottle feed her. Maybe with 1/2 cow's milk and water or just electrolytes and probios, magic, or something extra light? Any suggestions are welcome.

I would give small feedings of plain whole cow's milk. Keep her with mom too. The doe may just be weirded out by some strange smell. B vitamins can make the poop and pee smell very different and I think they exude it through the skin some too. Try gently holding mom to let the kid nurse a little. The doe could be extra full and the aggressiveness of the kid a bit painful.

She nursed on mom for a bit with me holding her. About 30 minutes later my son told me she was down again. So she's in the house with me now. I just went up the street to my friends and got a new bale of hay for the other 3 goats. So for the baby, I gave her a shot of 1 cc B1, 2 cc B-complex, some pepto, a little bit of magic, some electrolyte paste, some probios paste, and a 1/2 cc of banamine. Tried some milk, but she isn't interested. Her temp is 103.5. I'm gonna tube her with pedialyte right now. I only saw her take one pee about 4 hours ago.

How are your Selenium levels there? Goats seem to have particular requirements for it for their health. Not to say a deficiency would be the immediate cause but an adequate level in a goat helps to maintain its health towards fighting diseases.

Selenium is really low here, the babies got Bo-Se shots last week. I just gave her 2cc's thiamine; she went right down!! Any advice?????

B vitamins can cause anaphylactic shock. Is she any better now? Call the vet.

NO, I'm waiting for the vet to call back.

Not really. You might try Benadryl if you have it. 1 cc per 10 pounds. We used to be able to get epinephrine injectable over the counter, but it is prescription only now. But if you do have some give 0.1 cc per 10 pounds SQ.

When she went down did you notice if her respiratory rate was rapid and if her heart beat was also rapid?

Yes, her heartrate and pulse and breathing were all escalated, but other than that, she was just about comatose. I did get liquid Benadryl from my neighbor, and per your suggestion I will add it to my med chest along with the dosage info. While I was waiting for the vet to call back, I was taking her temperature, the vet called back. He said IF it was anaphalytic shock, benadryl wouldn't work; try dexamethasone (which is a steriod) or epinephrine. I don't have them. I ended up driving her to the vet. The epi shot didn't revive her. Then he thought her glucose was low, tested it and it was fine, which I thought was at least on a positive note, considering how much liquids I was trying to get into her. Just before she went down, she was finally sucking on a bottle of magic... not much but and ounce or 2 in a half hour, with 2 of us feeding her. The vet said it would be highly unusual for it to be anaphylactic shock, because animals get b shots all the time... and this dosen't happen. But you guys here have seen it and I've read posts about having epinephrine on hand just for that purpose, but honestly when I ran to the vets last night, for the thiamine, cdt and banamine, then TSC for syringes and needles, it had completely dropped from my mindless mind. I hope I can get it from the vet; or Canada maybe? I left her at the vet's overnight, they'll do some more levels and keep her hydrated. (The fee for this is incredibly reasonable, I really love these guys). Long drive, though. It's a wait and see. She wouldn't make it if I brought her home. All the while though, her temp today was between 102.5 and 103.5. One more question for you guys though, if you have a chance. I'm not sure what to do about Mom's milk. When the baby drank it she got alot sicker, so i'm not hip to putting her back on the teat when she get back. Could her milk be just contaminated for the baby? I have to let some out or she's gonna explode. Poor thing, she's screaming for the kids and her udder is bodacious.

Milk the doe. I don't think it is her milk specifically that is causing a problem and if she does get back to normal you may be able to use it. Or you can drink it yourself. It freezes reasonably well. The reaction to B and anaphylactic shock is quite rare. I have never had a reaction in 20 years of giving all sorts of things to goats. But I do remember reading a specific warning on B Complex injectable. Giving both B1 and then giving more B Complex on top of it, maybe she is hypersensitive. Seeing that this is a kid she doesn't need that much to counter possible polio. I'm just as stumped as you and the vet, but I feel he is still leaning toward something metabolic and he is on the right track.

Yes, everybody is stumped. She had the reaction to the 2cc Thiamine injection I gave her; I didn't even get to the b-complex shot which was next on the list. Just to let you know, Quakertown Animal Clinic (in Quakertown, PA) called me back last night to tell me she stood on her own; but they didn't think she was out of the woods yet. They didn't really know what direction to go in yet, but seemed to be happy that I had continued with the penicillin shots. It's 8 am. here, I should be hearing from them soon.

Glad to hear the positive news. Sounds like the persons there are very caring and knowledgeable. I hope she continues to improve. I tried to read back through the postings, but did not see whether you gave the enema? At one point you asked about giving it, then later said she started drinking, so I do not know if it might have been from the help of an enema. If she has not consumed much anything she may not have pooped. But if you and the vet did not see her poop, I would suggest the enema. Her arching back is mostly due to hunger pain or some other pain in the gut. I do not know what the vet gave for nourishment but if different from what she had before, the change in diet alone is very upsetting to the digestive system of the goat. My suggestion in this case is to give B-12 injections to sooth the gut and stimulate appetite, but start it out very gradually to see if there is any bad reaction to that. Avoid the B-complex since it has thiamin. If she has had electrolytes, I wonder if it would be good to try giving a small amount 50/50 mix of electrolyte and (milk from the mama or whole cow milk). If she responds to it well slowly increase the volume and change the mix to more milk less electrolyte. Also a probiotic gel twice daily will help with the microbes.

Yes I did give her an enema on Friday evening. A small bit of orangey poop came out. As soon as I put her back on the ground her mom kept cleaning her, so I don't how much more came out. On Saturday she peed alot at 9 and noon. That morning I had just been giving her magic, pedialyte, electrolyte paste and probios. I tried to feed her some milk but she didn't want it. The hospital has had her on IV fluids and some meds, and she drank 2oz. milk replacer yesterday am. She's over the initial "shock" she went into but she's definitely not out of the woods. When I left her yesterday at 4pm, her symptoms were still head down, hunched back, staggery (but up and walking), she seemed to have a hard time putting her back end down. Like, she'd lay down, front knees first and had to adjust alot and was uncomfortable in getting her back end down. She still seemed a little unfocused, but not blind. I was rolling a pen on the floor and she was following it, but not too quick. Even the vet said it was hard for her to tell if Bonnie was still blind, because she wasn't sure if baby goats responded to some sort of sight test they do on animals. I'm just keeping my chin up and waiting for the vet to call; I'm gonna try everything for her, but if she hasn't shown any improvement overnight, then I think I should put her down. It's not the way a little goat should suffer. I only hospitalized her because we thought we had a chance. I also have to focus on the mom, because I found a sore on her udder that's looking infected. When she's done eating and drinking I've gotta tie her up and check out this situation. Geez... i'm feeling a bit overwhelmed here. Can I ask you all for some more advice? I'm not too sure how to handle her homecoming. If she's stable enough, should I let her be back with her mom, or keep her in the house? Or let her just visit her mom and then bring her in. I know this is dependent on how bad she is still feeling. But her mom is screaming for her kids. But then I think maybe for Bonnie's best interest, i should keep her with me so I can administer meds and keep an eye on her. It's also gonna be 90 out today, Yikes. I will ask the vet, but I know you all have been in this situation and the vet in particular might not have hands-on knowledge of this.

Hello everyone. I've been reading over all the post where everybody has been trying to help with her sweet little Bonnie. I was curious about something. When the little one went into anaphylactic shock, could it have been brought on by the injection of the 1/2 cc of banamine she had been given ?? I've just been sitting here reading all the post racking my brain and trying to figure out what else could have done it when we all use the same exact things on our goats without any problems and this happened to hers. The only thing is it seems like a high dosage for the banamine on a small baby and maybe that caused a reaction or am I completely off and that isn't a high dosage at all ?? Just wondering for future knowledge. As far as bringing sweet baby home, I'd bring her inside and take care of her. She is going to need extra love and attention. Good luck, I hope your sweet little angel recovers.

Bonnie went into "shock" after 2cc of Thiamine. The vet told me to administer the 1/4cc of banamine to maybe counter-act the swelling because I didn't have anything else. But, they really don't think she went into anaphylactic shock, because she didn't revive from the epinephrine shot. Wow, my spelling is really being tested here. She stayed overnight last night. My husband was freaking out that I was administering needles to the mom and kids before and after birth - we had a huge fight about it, he feels that they don't get that "in the wild" and I'm probably killing them. SO, with that said, he told me to keep her there until she's good enough to come home / or never. He doesn't want me to play doctor anymore. She's also his favorite goat. I think it might be the high black boots she's got. The vet ran blood work yesterday and got back to me saying her liver levels are bad, which causes depression and continued liver problems will cause neurological problems. She keeps spiking a fever 103.5 to 105. Her potassium is also very low. She was upping the antibiotic and potassium through a drip. The liver problems could be from Toxic Insult(?), hepatitis, or something infectious, because she has a marginal white cell count. Otherwise, the vet said she is doing much better... drinking from a bottle, peeing & pooping and was even hopping around the room when they let her out for awhile, & she feels the blindness is gone. Doctor McCann even said she's looking much better, more alert, etc. even with the poor blood work results. But I am still looking to make a decision today. It is 2pm and I'm waiting for the vet to give me the daily update; she is out on farm calls. I will give you guys and update when I find out more.

You will need to have a serious discussion with hubby after this is over. You cannot be an animal owner and NOT play doctor at least once in a while. Unless, of course, you can afford to spend many hundreds of dollars in vet bills. Needles are part of the reality of dealing with livestock. Heck, I tell my vet when I have to medicate my cats that I'd prefer to give injections rather than pills...they don't mind the needles but will fight pills down the throat every time. Goats in the wild frequently die because they don't belong to anyone and don't get medical care. OK, they live a natural life and die a natural death...but their lives are much shorter than well-cared for domestic goats. I know this because I live on Hawaii Island, which has large herds of wild goats. Goats kept on farms are living an unnatural life from day one. We have to compensate for keeping them unnaturally in pastures rather than letting them run all over the mountainsides. We compensate by administering worming meds, vaccinations, supplements, antibiotics and such...many of these things are injected under the skin. A needle poke is not the worst thing you can do to a goat. If you were to ask the regular posters on Goatworld what they keep in their goat medicine cabinet, you'd find they all have stocks of veterinary supplies. Once I started raising goats, I needed to educate myself on what my job was going to be. Thanks to the folks on this forum, I've saved about a dozen goats and sheep that my neighbor can't be bothered to treat. I've learned how to tube feed babies, take temps, give injections and enemas and more. Besides those creatures, I've been raising my own herd and folks who visit my place acknowledge that my goats look very healthy and happy. The goats in the wild will die and no one really cares. You obviously care about your animals, and you are learning how to treat them. Maybe hubby is too squeamish to help, or maybe he just didn't realize that animal husbandry involves hands-on care. At any rate, as long as you have animals you are going to have occasions when your "doctoring" is needed. You should discuss this with your man after the emotion of this event is over, because this is just your first time. BTW, will he let you trim their hooves? They will need that done on a regular basis too. No point in paying a farrier to do it. I hope I'm not coming across as mean or angry because I'm not. I just think you are going to have to get on the same page about raising your animals because there will be more medical issues to come. My hubby will hold animals still so I can treat them, he will even help with tube feeding and bottle feeding....but he won't do the actual injections. (He has filled syringes for me) I respect his limits and he respects my lack of them. :-) Good luck and please feel free to email me if your hubby wants to talk to mine about wives playing doctor on baby goats. The good thing is that we keep learning with our animals, the ones we save and the ones we lose.

Thank you for your support. Things did change for the better and we have the baby home now. My husband actually thanked me for taking her... I just have loads more questions. See everyone on 411 forums. AND THANKS!!!!

A very interesting post; and even thought the Kid had a side reaction to The thiamine; the thiamine and Potassium and other nutrients did pull the Little Kid through great wonderful news. PS re: Thiamin Vit. B1; message: I have read of only two other animals which had a bad reaction to Thiamine B1; this was:

a. a PMU Mare who had Listerosis and was given Thiamine Vit. B1 shot but the shot did not revive

b. a donkey in a mule pack was given a shot of Thiamine and the donkey unfortunately "died: (both animals were already very sick;

I have heard of human allergic reactions to B1 shots; but they were giving B1 shots daily; I read about A Deficieny of Thiamine causing "Goat Polio; I find that just fascinating because I already know how a B1 Deficieny is; and finally; I got interested in Thiamine B1 and B-Complex animals due to a post I read about: A lamb who was presumed "blind; due to the lamb "bumping into thing; and then i read; "after one shot of Thiamine vit. B1; the lamb's sight was restored; how absolutely wonderful;

GoatWorld Note: Even though this case had its ups and downs, it gives valuable insight into many aspects of getting a goat back to health. One should base this case on the merits of what can go wrong and why, and not necessarily the outcome, either good or bad. Many thanks to the following GoatWorld Members for their contribution to this article: Anne H., Frances Rieha, Tina Aden, Kelly Todd, Elaine Elder, Maggie Leman, and Don Slade.

About the author: Gary Pfalzbot is the webmaster of GoatWorld. He has raised goats over the years, been involved with 4-H (as a young boy) and currently resides in Colorado where he raises a few breeds of goats and continues to research and study a variety of livestock and further the GoatWorld web site.

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