Article Index "FKS - Floppy Kid Syndrome" Article Index

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FKS - FLOPPY KID SYNDROME

By: Robin L. Walters
About the Author
Website: Bar-None Meat Goats

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Floppy Kid Syndrome:

  • Affects kids from 3-21 days of age. Some get it younger or older, they can have it twice.
  • Is found in dam raised kids, as well as bottle raised kids.
  • Is caused by clostridial type AE bacteria.
  • Clostridial bacteria, such as Tetanus live in the ground.
  • Is treatable if caught early.
  • Is usually found in late spring kids after the weather warms up. Here in Texas late April & May is FKS season.

Symptoms:

  • First symptom is a wobbly or unsteady gate. If you see a kid cross his back legs when he is walking or runs a few steps and stumble he is probably in the early stages of FKS.
  • Kids seem to eat dirt have dirty mouths and faces.
  • Does have strutted udders. You can tell their kid has not nursed well.
  • You can sneak up & catch pasture kids, they don't try to run off.
  • Dam raised kids tend to be hollow, haven't nursed & appear to be weak.
  • Bottle kids tend to show the more prominent full belly the gut shuts down & the milk stays in the stomachs. The kids seem to slosh when shaken. These kids need treated with Pepto or Baking Soda.
  • Kids become lethargic unable to stand & eventually unable to even hold their heads up they become flat unable to control any muscles.
  • Some kids run high fevers others do not.
  • Some kids show signs of respiratory distress some don't. Inexperienced observers may diagnose these kids as having pneumonia.

Treatment:

  • If caught early enough (kids that are just starting to stumble) kids can be left on their dams. Treatment needs to be continued for 3 days even if the kids act fine on day 2.
  • Treat daily for 3 days with:
    • 500mg Thiamine
    • 2cc penicillin
    • 2cc B Complex
    • This can be mixed together & given orally.
  • If the kids are flat when you find them give the following in addition to the above treatment:
    • 1cc penicillin SQ
    • Electrolytes or 50% dextrose given orally do not give milk if their gut has shut down - Tube feeding may be necessary.
    • Probiotics mix with electrolytes to start the good bacteria going in the gut.
  • If the kids are out with their dams be careful they don't get out in the sun & try to cook. These kids tend to seek out the sunny spots & dehydrate quickly.
  • If the kid's gut is full and is not functioning a dose of Pepto-Bismol and/or baking soda will help.
  • If the kid is flat:
    • Prop him up on his brisket & hold his head & neck up with a rolled up towel
    • Keep kids hydrated tube feed electrolytes or 50% dextrose.
    • Withhold milk until the kids has been up and moving well for 8 hours.
    • Don't let him get too cold or too hot.

About the author: Katy & I raise a small herd of meat goats outside of Seguin Texas. We try to breed for the show season, mainly show wethers & percentage does. Katy shows extensively in the wether shows & in the ABGA & AMGA shows.

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