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My new goat kid walks on three legs... can I help him?  RSS feed

 
T Melville
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Nemo was born on 1/26/17. His legs wouldn't support him. He couldn't stand, even with help until he was about two days old. (Or without help until day three or four.) When I found he (and his twin that didn't make it) couldn't walk or stand, I looked up the syptom in "Raising Goats Naturally" by Deborah Niemann. I also googled it. The top candidates for the cause were selenium deficiency and underdeveloped muscles and tendons in the legs, possibly caused by crowding in the womb. A video I saw indicated that if you help 'em stand several times per day they generally get well in about four days. So I helped him stand, and watched his progress. It took about five days to get full use of three of his legs. At that time, he was just starting to put a little weight on the fourth.I let him do his thing for a few days, and found he'd stopped using the fourth leg.

Maybe he just gave up? Or there's another problem? He has a callus or scar tissue on his back legs from dragging them before he used them. He doesn't bend that knee, and he acts like it hurts if I try to bend it. Should I take him to the vet? Amateur physical therapy?





Here's a link to some videos of him walking, in case it helps to see how he moves.

Thank you!
 
Deborah Niemann
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If his twin didn't make it, I wonder if they were premature? The only time I've had a kid that couldn't stand for two days was if it was premature or suffered severe hypothermia and almost died at birth. Since this one is mostly fine except for one leg now, I'd rule out selenium deficiency, which is systemic. He might not be using that leg because the tendons are flexed the wrong way. You could try splinting the leg to stretch it in the correct position. If a kid is born like this, I've seen it correct on it's own within a few hours of birth. If not, splinting it usually helps. The one time that we did it, the splint fell off after about three days, and the kid used the leg normally after that. Basically, use something like a popsicle stick and tape it to the back of the leg so that the ankle is forced into the correct position instead of being flexed backwards.
 
T Melville
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Sorry I've not followed up earlier. Little Nemo didn't make it. We just found him dead oe morning. He'd been getting around well, following his mom all over the pasture the day before. We were trying to decide if we wanted to splint it ourselves or show him to the vet. Thank you for the reply!
 
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