Article Index "Hypothermia Treatment for Baby Goats" Article Index


By: Barbara Howard
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A goat's body temperature lower than 100 is dangerously low. It needs to be above 100 for their body to function correctly. The normal temperature of a goat is 101.5-103.5F. If a goat's temperature is below 100, the first thing you need to do is get the goat temperature up to at least 100.

The best way I have found is to encase the goat in a plastic bag up to the neck and immerse it into a tub of warm water (103.5F. up to 105F.) (Don't get the goat wet.) Massage the legs while he/she is in there to get circulation going. Pull the goat out after about 10 to 20 minutes to check his/her temperature. If it is still low, repeat this process until the temperature is up to 100F. or above. When you get the temperature up place him/her on a heating pad -- cover the heating pad with a blanket and lay the goat on it -- turning him/her over every few minutes. Watch very carefully -- this can dehydrate. You can take a sock, cut four leg holes in it and put it on him/her for a sweater to hold in body heat.

If the goat is dehydrated, you need to get Lactated Ringers (from vet) and give her 30 cc at each shoulder -- there will be a knot of fluid but it will soon disappear. If you have CMPK or MFO, (available at most feed stores or through livestock catalogs) give 1/4 of 1 cc orally about every 30 minutes until he/she gets 8 cc of it. You can also give him/her 1 cc of Vitamin B twice a day.

Another thing, this is a homemade remedy:

  • 5 cc of strong black coffee mixed with 1 tablespoon of molasses or Karo syrup given orally.

If it sounds like he/she is developing pneumonia, Nuflor (vet prescription) seems to be the antibiotic of choice for this -- 1 cc per 25 lbs. Also available by prescription is Excenel (Naxcel) also very good for treatment of pneumonia. If you don't have either, give Penicillin -- 1 cc per twenty pounds body weight. Be sure to keep that body temp up.

About the author: Barbara Howardlives in east KY and raises Boer Goats for meat and pets.

Agricultural Research Service

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