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This article first appeared in The Boer Breeder,
a publication of the International Boer Goat Association
She Couldn't Get up...
by Dawn Benz

A fullblood doe of ours named Snuggles was within a week of kidding and very heavy. Both back legs were swollen, and she had to struggle to get up. After she took a couple of steps her back end would just collapse. Our vet was not available, so I called a friend in Texas who checked with her vet. He suggested that we treat her for pregnancy toxemia in case she was in the early stages of that. He said that a nerve was probably being pressed by the weight of the kids which would cause her legs to be numb like a person's leg is that has "gone to sleep." Dexamethazone would help the nerve but make the babies come early, so we shouldn't use that. We started giving her Propylene Glycol and Nutri-Drench.

When we finally heard from our vet he suggested several additional things to try since he also thought a nerve was being pressed on. He told us to pour plain DMSO right down her spine. He said to be sure that it didn't have Azium because that is dexamethazone and would cause the kids to be born.. He also said to give her 1 gram of Bute twice a day orally, 1 cc of Banamine per 100 pounds twice a day, and 2cc of Re-Covr twice a day.

We helped her up and encouraged her to walk a little every hour or two throughout the day. We even rattled the feed bucket in front of her to get her to walk around, and she became more steady the longer she was up each time. Luckily we were always able to get her up. The swelling got better but never did go away completely. We continued getting her up for about a week until she kidded. The babies are really precious and extra special. Snuggles could move more easily as soon as the babies were born, but she was still stiff and uncertain on her legs. We were afraid she might fall on the babies, so we kept them in a separate pen beside her for several days. We put them together often and watched carefully as long as they were with their mother.

When the babies got big enough to walk well, Snuggles was walking better so we would let them go out into a larger space for some time every day. The exercise seemed to be good for Snuggles. She was back to normal in another week, and the babies were frisky and playing.

 

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