Baby won't suck on bottle nipple - Help

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by Tamj, Mar 19, 2018.

  1. Tamj

    Tamj New Member

    7
    Dec 26, 2017
    Hey everyone!

    I have another bottle baby, but she's proving that every goat is different... and by different, I mean difficult with this one.

    She's four weeks old today and was one of triplets. They had to be pulled as momma was in labor for almost 18 hours with no births. The last baby out died the next day. This one and her sister seemed to be doing fine, other than this one was favoring one of her front legs. Momma did step on one of them shortly after birth, so we weren't sure if it was an injury due to the pulling or being stepped on. Last week we noticed this one was limping a lot more, or just laying around under the heat lamp and not walking much at all. She was also becoming noticeably smaller than her sister and starting to look boney. A friend looked at her and said she looked dehydrated. We were worried she just wasn't getting enough off mom beings she was having trouble getting down on her front knees under mom before mom moved on - plus we were unsure if mom was even producing enough for both. SO - we decided to bring her in for a while and give a cycle of replacer then electrolytes rotating every couple hours. It seemed like a good plan, but she wouldn't suck on a bottle nipple.

    I've tried three different nipples, tried honey on the nipple, tried honey in the formula, tried holding in different positions, sitting, standing, under my chin... I can barely get her to chew on the nipple off and on, but she's never sucked. She never shows signs of hunger, never cries (other than when I take her out to visit mom - as soon as she hears mom she starts crying) Mom still accepts her and lets her try to nurse. I just don't think she's getting enough that way or she wouldn't be so weak and small now. My hope was to bring her in - with day visits out to mom when the weather is nice. I have been trying to feed her every 2-3 hours until she put on some weight or would start eating more. Right now I can barely get 3 ounces down her by holding her and squeezing the nipple so the milk drops into her mouth and she swallows. I let her go overnight the other night thinking maybe she just wasn't hungry. Eight hours later, she still showed no signs of hunger.

    The other day she chewed a little on the nipple, but still only took about 3 ounces before totally losing interest. I'm not sure if there's a nipple or hold that I haven't tried - or if there's some reason for her not seeming hungry - or if she's just stubborn and won't eat anything other than off mom. I'm pretty much at my wit's end - I'm sure she's doing a little better than she was - but I keep thinking she'll eventually start sucking and she hasn't. Tonight I'm going to try a baby bottle nipple and making up the whole milk, buttermilk, evaporated mix and see if she just doesn't like the kid replacer. Other than that, not sure what to try or do.

    Has anyone had experience with a baby who wouldn't suck? Did it ever? Any suggestions of what to try or do? Is she just too old to switch to a bottle after being with mom for three weeks? I hate to leave her out with mom if she's not getting what she needs and is just going to get weaker.


    Oh - edited to add - I forgot to mention I have been giving her a daily dose of the jump start gel.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
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  2. Nigerian dwarf goat

    Nigerian dwarf goat Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2017
    Texas
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  3. Nigerian dwarf goat

    Nigerian dwarf goat Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2017
    Texas
    Oh yeah, they attach to a plastic water bottle and you have to cut the little tab off the top
     
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  4. Tamj

    Tamj New Member

    7
    Dec 26, 2017
    Thanks for the message and nipple suggestion! I have been squeezing milk in her mouth every three hours or so for a week now and she will swallow it, but hasn't latched on to suck at all. At first I wasn't sure which nipple you were suggesting as the link just took me to the premier site, but clicking again took me there. The pritchard nipple is one that I have been trying. (Love that nipple! It worked great on my other bottle baby) I've tried it, a softer clear one and a longer black one. She won't latch on to any of them.

     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
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  5. Ashlynn

    Ashlynn Well-Known Member

    438
    Sep 30, 2017
    Lutz, FL
    Or you can try small little black nipples for lambs those come out slower than the pritchards. I would try a few different ones. I am trying to get one of my babies on a bottle currently he was given to me and the owner was very careless and didn’t even try to start weaning him he’s 7 weeks it’s a bit early to be taken away from mommy but at least I’m actually caring about his health. Hope you can get yours on. Let us know when you do!
     
  6. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    The replacer probably tastes terrible compared to Mom's milk. Either milk mom or switch her to whole milk. Don't switch between milk and electrolytes. Do one or the other. You need to weigh her daily with a scale in pounds and ounces or pounds and tenths of pounds.
     
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  7. Tamj

    Tamj New Member

    7
    Dec 26, 2017
    Thanks! We don't really have a scale other than the one we weigh ourselves with, but I'll see what I can do about that. And thanks for the rest. I have been thinking of taking her off the replacer.

     
  8. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    Are you feeding the bottles at 100*F?
    Have you covered her eyes/head with a towel?
    Taken the bottle out and placed it next the dam's udder when she tries to nurse?

    It is very difficult to switch them to bottle after the first week of nursing on the dam.

    I am concerned about the limping though - is there swelling or heat in the joints? Have you taken her rectal temperature?

    She is the right age for coccidia- I would get a fecal analysis due to her size or start her on prevention.
     
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  9. Tamj

    Tamj New Member

    7
    Dec 26, 2017
    The bottles have all been warmed. I've tried covering her eyes/head. I haven't tried placing the bottle near the mom's udders yet. I've been wondering if she's just too old to bottle feed now that she'd been with mom for three weeks. :(

    I've not noticed swelling and her temp seems fine. Her stools have all been nice and pellety. Isn't a sign diarrhea? I guess on a good note, she was eating little bits of feed and hay this morning.

     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018
  10. mariarose

    mariarose Well-Known Member

    Did you give her selenium? Selenium and/or B comples can help poor or weak sucking.
     
  11. Korita

    Korita Well-Known Member

    579
    Jan 11, 2018
    Iowa
    This may sound funny but our bathroom scale broke and I didn’t have another at the time. So I actually used my fish scale out of my tackle box. I put the kid in a clothe sack/bag then hooked the straps together with a carobener and used the fish scale. But I keep a close hand under the straps just in case the scale would slip off so they wouldn’t fall. Not sure if you’re a fisherman or not but just thought that might be something you have around that could work for now.
     
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  12. goatblessings

    goatblessings Fair-Haven Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2015
    Southwest Ohio
    I also use a fish scale to weigh babies..... they are inexpensive. I put my kids in a large bag, zero out the scale and weigh. I would go ahead and take a temp - make sure she is not sub temp as well. I have had success in getting them going using a large syringe. I would feed her every couple of hours, give b-complex and get the fecal done. Salty has some great advice.
     
  13. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    You say the bottles are warm but are they warm enough? They like their milk warmer than you would expect.
     
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  14. capracreek

    capracreek Well-Known Member

    471
    Apr 5, 2016
    Missouri
    I would try putting a little Karo syrup on it. Or start with karo on your finger to see if she will suck. The sucking is very critical to getting and keeping things going. Good luck
     
  15. mariarose

    mariarose Well-Known Member

    I'd still like to know about the selenium, with the long labour, the weak kid that died, the kid having leg problems, and the kid not sucking.

    I know that none of that is conclusive, but it raises that question for me. Have you given selenium?
     
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  16. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
  17. Tamj

    Tamj New Member

    7
    Dec 26, 2017
    I haven't. May try that. Thanks!
     
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