Both times I was pregnant I loved it.
But if there had been any complications, I’m sure my feelings of “love” would have evaporated quickly.
Now, I’m not sure how a goat feels about being pregnant, but I’m sure they appreciate it when we help them in all the ways we can during their pregnancies.
And the main ingredient to any successful and healthy pregnancy is…
If your goat is not given the proper nutrition or exercise going into the breeding season, she quite possibly will be harder to breed and if low-quality nutrition continues, she will have problems.
One of those problems is pregnancy toxemia.
You can find a lot of articles here on A Life of Heritage that will teach you about goat care and be sure to check out The Goat Health, and Information Bundle–it’s full of to-do lists, checklists, record keeping sheets, and resource pages that will get your new (or old) goat herd off to a terrific start!
So what is pregnancy toxemia in goats?
- A metabolic condition before kidding
- Nutritional needs of a doe increase substantially during the last 6-8 weeks of pregnancy. Put simply, it is the result of the growing fetus placing demands on an overfat female who is actually in a condition of starvation. Which results in ketosis.
Your goal during the entirety of your goat’s pregnancy is to be giving her adequate nutrition for the demands being placed on her body.
- Early detection is key to a successful outcome!
- Contact your vet
Symptoms to watch for:
- Four weeks before kidding
- Spend most of the time laying down
- Typically will defecate will laying down
- Appetite will suddenly change
- Her feet and lower parts of the legs may begin to swell 8-10 days later and she will become reluctant to walk
- The time of reduced exercise will be accompanied by a decrease in feed intake
- One week before kidding the doe will stop eating and will not stand unless assisted.
- In the terminal phase:
- Labored respiration
- Sunken eyes
- Usually will die 2-3 days before she is due to kid
- Four weeks before kidding
Prevention is key:
- Do not allow your goats to become fat
- Do not allow stress into the herd
- Increase the nutrition for your does as the pregnancy continues
- Exercising goats or allowing them the space to exercise is important
- The goal is to correct the doe’s energy balance as quickly as possible.
- Sometimes a premature induction of kidding or cesarean is needed
- Stimulate the doe’s appetite with vitamins
- Option 1:
- Molasses & Karo syrup (corn syrup). Mix 2 parts corn syrup to 1 part molasses. 20 – 30 ml every 2 hours.
- Option 2:
- Nutridrench (Nutri-Drench Goat&Sheep Solution), Goatdrench: 2 oz. 2 times a day
- Option 3:
- Probios (Probios Bovine One Oral Gel for Ruminants Tube, 60cc): to stimulate the appetite and keep the rumen functioning.
- Option 3:
- Feed Children’s Chewable Vitamins with extra Calcium 2-4 a day (L’il Critters Calcium Gummy Bears with Vitamin D, Fun Swirled Flavor, 150 Count, 2 Pack)
- Option 4:
- Rescue Remedy to aid in reducing stress. Drip 4-5 drops on or around the goat’s nose, being careful not to touch the goat and contaminate the dropper. (Bach Rescue Remedy Pet Natural Stress Relief For Pets 10 ml)
- Option 5:
- PREVENTION! All of this can be avoided with the proper nutrition throughout the goat’s lifetime.
Take the time to know what your goat’s nutritional needs are during the different stages of pregnancy. When you give your goat her daily requirements, she will have a successful pregnancy and healthy kids and you will have helped prevent pregnancy toxemia in your goat.
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I am not a doctor or a veterinarian. The information herein is my opinion only and is not meant to replace professional, veterinary, or medical opinion. Any products mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease. Statements made on this blog have not been evaluated by the FDA