Friday, April 9, 2010

Hypothermia in Kid Goats

We have some goatie friends who live close by. They have two Saanen does, one kidded a few days ago in the wee hours of the morning with triplets. When our friend got to the barn to check on her doe, the little doeling was cold and in need of some care.

They called us late in that evening to see if we had some penicillin because they thought that she might have pneumonia. She was breathing heavily and noisily. The dad came by about 10:40 PM and picked up some penicillin. I gave him a kid sweater to keep the kid warm, too.

I didn't realize that the kid had hypothermia because they had brought it in the house and warmed it up. They didn't know the kid with hypothermia, either. Although they did their best, the little doeling died this morning. We are all so sad! I hate that part of raising goats!

We had a kid with hypothermia a few years ago, for some reason we took care of the kid in the 'right order'. I don't know why, but we were very grateful that we did.

Here is what we do whenever a kid is born:
  1. Dry the kid with clean towels
  2. Blow dry the kid to make sure it is really dry
  3. Put a sweater on the new kid
  4. Make sure the new gets some colostrum from the mother
If the kid doesn't seem interested in eating, then we give it a squirt of Nutri-drench. I noticed a few years ago that the Sheep Nutri-drench and the Goat Nutri-drench both contain the exact same ingredients in the same proportions. I buy whichever is less expensive, but I always check the label to make sure that the manufacturer hasn't changed the formula!

We also provide a plastic dog house in each stall so that the kids can go inside and be a little warmer. I find them at yard sales and thrift stores for around $20. I suppose you could build something out of straw bales with a wood board on top that would serve the same purpose. We've found that keeping kids warm is extremely important!

When Mandy (the bum lamb) came to us, she was in a box that also had some soda bottles filled with hot water because she was hypothermic when she was found. Her owners spent two hours warming her up with a blow-dryer before they could feed her. After they thought she was stabilized, they put her in a box with the 'hot water bottles' and brought her up to us. She is doing fine!

Here is a link to some more information in case you ever run into hypothermia in newborns:
Goat World

There are also many great articles on health problems of neonates on the Maryland Small Ruminant Page:
Maryland Small Ruminant Page

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