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help OH help! teat tear

 
Thekla McDaniels
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Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
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Oh how I hope an experienced goat keeper is on the forums this fine spring morning.

I've goat a Nubian who kidded on 3 days ago. She is 5 years old. I just got her last February, and think the seller may have known a lot about the goat that ethically ought to have been shared with me. We are beyond that now, and I will just tell what I need help with this morning.

I have been milking the goat because the babies are not able to nurse. The teats hang down 4 inches from the udder, and are very leathery and large (diameter an inch and maybe a bit more!). The orifice does not easily let milk pass. I've helped the babies latch on, but between the anatomy of the teat and their mouths, and the amount of force it takes to get the milk through the orifice, they do not seem to get much milk. I've been milking and bottle feeding, and hoping they'll get their mother's supply figured out. The doe is responsive to them, nuzzles and encourages them... but their sides show the hungry hollow when it's been awhile since I fed them, and though they want their mother's company, they run right to me when I show up.

So, this morning after I fed them and milked her, and was cleaning up the pen I noticed blood, thought it was mine, but I was not wounded. I went to look at Victoria, and the skin had split open the length of her teat. Just the skin involved and it does not go all the way to the orifice.

I feel horrible, thinking it was the force of my squeezing to get the milk out that caused the skin tear, even though I do not let the teat balloon out as I squeeze. (I keep my hand wrapped around the whole thing, and down to the orifice, essentially milking the bottom of the teat). Wondering if that is how she got such strange teats, I make sure to have my hand supporting the outside of these teats as I squeeze...

I was told the doe had been hand milked, so I don't know why this would happen but just the same there it is.

I need to know how to care for this wound. I've read of super glue, but my fear is that each milking will split it open again, and unless something else caused it, it will always be a risk to milk her.

Any ideas what caused this, how to prevent it recurring, and how to get it healed up?

For now, I'm headed out to super glue it, then apply tape, then put comfrey on it....

Thanks very much!

Thekla

 
Eric Rice
Posts: 23
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We have had the issue of dry leathery teets on some of our goats and a cow.

My wife would use lard from pastured pigs as a lotion and apply to her hands and the animals teets before milking.

I would not use super glue.

I would also suggest that you partially milk out the doe to relieve some pressure from the large teets and then hook up the babies so they can fit the large teets in their mouths and finish getting the rest of the milk themselves.

Eventually they will get big enough to be able to drink the milk out of the large teet themselves.

we have also had goats with large gashes and wounds from brush on their utters and teets. hey pretty much heal on their own without treatment from humans.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
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Hi Eric, Thanks for the info. After I posted, I discovered I had no super glue, and decided it was not likely to work. I talked to several people who said it was unlikely I had injured her the way I thought, and that it would heal up. Just keep an ointment of one kind or another to keep the tissue supple. I have a comfrey and associated herbs preparation so that is what I am using. It is amazing to me that it is healing so quickly, that it did not crack open or bleed in the two milkings since the injury. I did put a piece of tape (with lots of perforations to let the air in) the length of the wound. I thought it would fall off, partly from the oily salve, and partly from milking, but it is showing no signs of dislodging. Also, the doe does not give any indication that being milked is painful.

Thanks for your suggestion on getting the babies onto the mother. I've tried what you said, I've got the babies ot take the teat in their mouth, they suck, but ? Their hunger is not satisfied. They get none to almost none.

This morning, when I was milking the doe, the two kids were nosing all around the udder, they could smell the milk I guess. I got one to take a teat in her mouth, but she had no interest in it. Then, the kids went over to the chair I sit in when I feed them, and they were nosing all around THERE for milk. What that says to me is that they are bonded to their mother, but they seek food from me, the bottle, and the chair.

It's not what I had wanted but it looks like I'll be bottle feeding these girls. The good part is they have their mother to teach them about being goats, what to eat and such, and to keep them warm at night. It'll work out.

Thanks again for your suggestions.

Thekla
 
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