Coping with kidding
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Mary C. Smith DVM. Coping with Kidding. Caprine Outing September 18, 2010. Topics to be covered. Breeding Pregnancy diagnosis Some problems during pregnancy Vaccination and nutrition programs Normal parturition Dystocia Care of the kid, including colostrum Reviving weak kids

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Coping with kidding l.jpg

Mary C. Smith DVM

Coping with Kidding

Caprine Outing

September 18, 2010

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Topics to be covered

  • Breeding

  • Pregnancy diagnosis

  • Some problems during pregnancy

  • Vaccination and nutrition programs

  • Normal parturition

  • Dystocia

  • Care of the kid, including colostrum

  • Reviving weak kids

  • Floppy kid disease

  • Record keeping

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Pregnancy diagnosis

  • gestation ~150 d goat

  • progesterone a nonpregnancy test

  • real time ultrasound best

  • sector scanner ideal (count fetuses)

  • transabdominal, esp right side, esp 45-90 days

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False pregnancy of goats

  • common in pets, out of season breedings, does intentionally not bred

  • serum progesterone elevated

  • fluid but no caruncles or fetus

  • undulating walls, snow scene if ballotte abdomen

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False pregnancy of goats

  • “cloud burst” if self corrects

  • sometimes bloody discharge as if aborted

  • 5-10 mg dinoprost (Lutalyse®) or 125-250 mcg cloprostenol (Estrumate®)

  • repeat in 12 days

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Tetanus and Enterotoxemia

  • the simplest vaccination program

  • two or three doses, then boosters at least once a year

  • booster before kidding

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Abortion diagnosis and prevention

  • suspect infectious cause if >2% abort

  • diagnostic lab support required – fetus, placenta, paired serum samples

  • toxoplasmosis, chlamydiosis, Q fever

  • listeriosis, Cache Valley virus, stress, iodine or selenium deficiencies

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Goiter !

Normal thyroids <2 g

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Abortion math

  • 5 abortions in a flock of 50 bred does = 10% = abortion storm, almost certainly infectious

  • 5 abortions in a flock of 500 bred does = 1% and may be normal losses – not concerned yet, but label and save fetuses and placentas

  • >2% is cause for concern and testing (2 abortions in a small herd)

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Abortion diagnosis and prevention may be normal

  • most diseases zoonotic

  • wear plastic sleeves

  • isolate aborting doe

  • destroy fetuses and placentas

  • cull if chlamydiosis, don’t cross foster

  • inject long-acting oxytet 3X or feed chlortetracycline (extralabel – need vet)

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Provide energy, protein, may be normal

selenium, vitamin E

Do you call this hay?

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Pregnancy toxemia may be normal

  • late pregnant goats carrying multiple kids

  • twin lamb disease

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inadequate feed offered may be normal

anorexia from other disease

fat mobilization fatty liver

Pregnancy toxemia or ketosis

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Obese goat in late pregnancy cannot eat much forage nutrients

  • fat stored in omentum

    takes up space

  • doe becomes ketotic

  • even though fat,

    needs higher quality

    forage and some grain

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Diagnosis of pregnancy toxemia nutrients

  • standing or lying apart

  • depressed, may seem blind or grind teeth

  • off feed – small fecal pellets

  • diarrhea when fetuses die

  • ketones in urine (be ready to collect !)

  • ketones in blood (smell breath)

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omentum has been removed nutrients




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Normal parturition nutrients

  • ligaments soften and disappear – within 12 hours of parturition

  • doe waits for quiet period in barn

  • 30 – 30 – 30 rule

  • ballotte abdomen for additional kid if suspect a problem

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Kidding is close! nutrients

Udder full

Vulva relaxed

Slight mucus

Ligaments around

base of tail gone

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Assisting parturition nutrients

  • wash vulva

  • sterile glove

  • lubricant (Dawn)

Be clean, be gentle,

and use lots of lube

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The glove protects nutrients

you and the doe

from infection

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Meconium nutrients



Help now!

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Correction of dystocia nutrients

  • elevate hindquarters or turn dam over

  • lamb puller

  • epinephrine 1 cc IM

  • one front leg and head

  • one hind leg

  • cut off head if dead

  • subcutaneous fetotomy

  • penicillin, flunixin IV, tetanus prophylaxis

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Caesarian section nutrients

  • if does not respond rapidly to medical treatment of pregnancy toxemia

  • if > 141 days gestation

  • pretreat with 20 mg dexamethasone if surgery delayed or kids premature, to develop surfactant in the lungs

  • local anesthesia injected in the flank or gas anesthesia

  • blindfold, don’t give xylazine