Goat Pregnancy Issues and Prevention
The overall nutrition and health of your does is the single most important factor in avoiding goat pregnancy issues and ensuring healthy kids. Make sure that you are providing high quality feed and maintaining a stress free environment. Poor nutrition, cold weather, or overcrowding can all lead to abortion. Below we discuss the most common goat pregnancy issues and how to prevent them, Ketosis, Selenium Deficiency, Milk Fever, and Entrotoxemia/Tetanus. For any of the following pregnancy issues, or any other issues, remember, an immune system boost can make the difference. Keep Bovi Sera on hand always!
Ketosis (Pregnancy Toxemia)
Ketosis occurs within the last few weeks of pregnancy. Common symptoms include loss of appetite, spastic motion, twitching ears and inability to stand. Labored breathing, coma and death can result. Provide a sufficient, balanced diet with no sudden or drastic changes, high quality hay and at least a half-pound of grain daily and at regular hours. Exercise is also essential to build strong bodies and good appetites. At the onset of any symptoms the Keto-Nia Drench or several pumps of Nutri-Drench daily can reverse the condition.
Supplies for prevention and treatment:
Selenium Deficiency symptoms include skin disorders, white muscle ‑disease (a type of muscular dystrophy), lowered reproduction and conception rate, decreased milk production and milk quality. Soil deficient in selenium produces plants with the same condition which results in your does not having enough selenium.
Our Golden Blend Minerals contain the correct selenium/vitamin E levels for most locales and is our recommended solution for this issue as well as many other mineral related problems. Customers are advised not to use any additional selenium/vitamin E supplementation. Consult a veterinarian who knows goats if you are still in doubt.
If necessary, administer injectable Vitamin E/selenium (you will have to get this from a vet) before breeding and 4 to 6 weeks prior to birthing. The adult goat dosage is 1 to 2 times that of ‑ sheep and for normal size kids the minimum sheep dose is recommended. WARNING: Selenium can be toxic if over-dosed.
Supplies for Prevention:
Milk Fever is a blood calcium deficiency that occurs in does just before or after kidding. Milk Fever occurs when there is a sudden increase in requirement for calcium and the doe does not have access to the calcium required. The calcium is then pulled from the blood stream. If severe enough, symptoms of milk fever begin.
True Milk Fever is fairly rare in goats but may occur in very high-producing animals. Normal labor and lactation in goats is typically accompanied by mild hypocalcemia (lower-than-normal calcium levels). If these levels become extreme, Milk Fever occurs.
Symptoms: Weakness in hind quarters, back feet dragging, constipation and inability to withstand normal labor.
Treatment: The most effective treatment is the administration of an IV calcium supplement but requires veterinary assistance because constant heart monitoring is necessary. There may also be other complications such as retained placenta, Entrotoxemia and mastitis. All these considerations should be addressed by a health care professional.
Prevention: Typically a twin bearing doe will need 8 grams of calcium and 4 grams of phosphorus per day during the last 30 days of pregnancy until just before kidding. Alfalfa is a great source of calcium and can provide calcium reserves required for labor and lactation. Avoid significant diet changes (or fasts) prior to kidding.
Supplies for Treatment:
You really need to call you local vet if you have a problem.
By doing a 2 cc sub-Q injection of C&D/Tetanus Toxoid Vaccine 4 to 6 weeks prior to kidding, you will encourage the doe to build up antibodies against Entrotoxemia and Tetanus. These antibodies can be passed through the colostrum to the newborn kids providing them with a measure of protection prior to their own vaccination at 2 weeks.
If the doe has never been vaccinated, do a booster 2 weeks after the initial shot.