Your goat is limping. How do you determine what is wrong? What do you do?
THINK LIKE A GOAT. What was happening in the goat's life when the lameness appeared? What was the goat doing? Who was it with?
Was it recently put into a new herd or with members of the opposite sex? Don't make this situation complicated. It is usually the simplest thing that caused the problem.
If the limping goat is a newborn or very young kid, there are several possibilities:
(1) Crowding in utero may have caused stretching or contraction of leg muscles and the kid cannot stand properly when born. The kid may need assistance standing to nurse for several days until it gains strength in its legs;
(2) Joint Ill, which is an infection in the (usually) front knee joints from bacteria wicking up a wet umbilical cord;
(3) Hooked by horns and thrown by another kid's dam if it got too close to her;
(4) White muscle disease (selenium deficiency);
(5) Floppy Kid Syndrome, although this is more staggering than limping;
(6) Injection site reactions;
(7) Weak Kid Syndrome, although this is more inability to move around than limping;
(8) Injury from predators, playful dogs, or unthinking/careless people.See my articles on these topics on the Articles page of www.tennesseemeatgoats.com.
If the limping goat is a young kid or an adult, several possibilities exist that could cause it to limp:
(1) Hoof rot or hoof scald;
(3) Injured by an animal, person, or another goat;
(4) Injured from getting caught in a fixed object, like fencing or other materials that should not have been left out for goats to access;
(5) Hypocalcemia ("milk fever") in a pregnant doe;
(6) Meningeal deerworm infection;
(7) Listeriosis or Goat Polio, although this is more staggering than limping;
(8) White Muscle Disease (selenium deficiency);
(9) Hypocalcemia, although this is more the dragging of hind legs than limping;
(10)Injection site reactions;
(11)Stroke or seizure.
This is not a comprehensive list but rather a good overview from which to begin. When diagnosing the problem, you must start by eliminating what it is not and work toward what it might be. You must also have on hand appropriate medications and supplies to correct the problem once you diagnose it.
Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch, 10/2/13
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All information provided in these articles is based either on personal experience or information provided by others whose treatments and practices have been discussed fully with a vet for accuracy and effectiveness before passing them on to readers.
In all cases, it is your responsibility to obtain veterinary services and advice before using any of the information provided in these articles. Suzanne Gasparotto is not a veterinarian.Neither tennesseemeatgoats.com nor any of the contributors to this website will be held responsible for the use of any information contained herein.
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