Bottle Boer babies, lots of questions!

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by RuckersGoats, Jun 1, 2018.

  1. RuckersGoats

    RuckersGoats New Member

    3
    Jun 1, 2018
    Hi everyone. I am new here, so I hope I'm doing this right, but here goes...

    I am new to owning goats... or livestock of any kind. My husband and I were both city kids until we could finally get moved out of town to an acreage of our own in Southwest Nebraska. So I have ZERO experience raising goats other than what I have learned on the fly or read on the Internet or in books... in fact, I've come here a lot to read thru threads and get help or ideas, which is why I finally joined. So my back story is this, in the spirit of honesty...
    3 years ago we bought 2 boer does, sight unseen, thru an acquaintance. They were healthy, normal goats when they arrived and we had no issues for a whole year. They were also almost a year old when we got them. Fast forward to July of last year and one of my furry weed-eaters suddenly (in the middle of the night on a Saturday) went down. I called the same acquaintance that had helped us purchase them (he does own many goats and breed and know a lot about them) and he came out and helped me get her on her feet and "diagnose" her with a very heavy worm load... she was on the road to recovery but to be safe I did go to my vet and discuss what had happened with him and he sent me home with more meds to give her several days after her initial illness. Up until that point we had had ZERO issues with either of them and I simply did not know about all the dewormers and vaccinations and meds they needed (or I needed to have on hand) and didn't give them anything for the first full year because they were fine. My bad, I know.

    Now, after she got worms she lost her eyesight, I think personally she got a touch of polio with or because of her worm load, and she never recovered it. But otherwise she was again perfectly healthy and I learned to do all of the proper dewormers and vaccines to keep them healthy. Another year goes by and she keeps getting her head caught in fences (she had horns and couldn't see) so it was a constant struggle for her and I. The first weekend in May I went to visit my parents one evening and when I got home (very late) her head was stuck in the stall fence. I got her out, but afterwards I couldn't get her back on her feet and she wouldn't do anything but kick and scream. So I had to make the hardest decision so far since owning my girls, and I put her down. I can't tell you what actually was wrong with her because I don't know. I only know she wasn't going to survive if I couldn't get her on her feet and I couldn't. I also could not afford a vet visit unfortunately, and may have lost her anyways even if I could.

    So, after that my other doe (Pumpernickel) was very sad and lonely and I started looking for a new friend for her. I intended to get a grown goat, but had no way to transport one and couldn't find any in my price range close enough to me that I could arrange transport with the seller. And that's when I found someone only 10 miles from me who was selling bottle Boer babies. So I took a chance and brought three of them home on Sunday. Two little does and a buck. Everything was fine, I thought, until yesterday (Thursday). I did notice one of the little does had some runny poos and a mess on her backside, so I decided to switch everybody to electrolytes for 24 hours. To clear up her messy poop and so that I could switch all 3 babies from powdered milk replacer to whole cows milk. I had read an article (can't remember where now) about using electrolytes to transition between the two and decided since I was putting the one little girl on them anyways I would do all three and make the transition smoother. So, yesterday was the first full day of electrolytes, and my "off" baby seemed fine. Except that she would eat and then go into the corner and hunched up her back and kind of quiver? I didn't see her poop at all yesterday, but she peed a TON. And at the bedtime feeding last night she acted like she couldnt suck on the nipple or my finger. She just kinda chewed on it. That's when I noticed her mouth was cold. So I ran inside to Google her symptoms and see if there was anything I could do with what I had on hand, and when I went back out to the barn (10 minutes, tops) she was flat out on the ground, crying and kicking her back legs. I quickly gave her some thiamine, and probios and she seemed to recover enough to stand. But I was so worried and clueless that I called the breeder and he offered to take her back and see if he could get her back to healthy. So that's what I did late last night was run her back to his place and drop her off... I'm not sure if she made it, or is out of the woods yet because I haven't talked to him today, but I was terrified she was going to die right then and there and hoped someone with more knowledge and experience than me could save her.

    He also gave me two syringes with 1cc each in them, not sure of what, I was in a panic and all I heard was to give 1/2cc of each to my other two babies. Which I did as soon as I got back home. Now, my other little doe is limping on her back leg where she got one of the shots (we did one on each side subQ near the hind legs) and I'm worried that I'm going to mistake another very serious illness for a shot related injury and she's going to die. So here is where my questions begin.

    My babies were 2 weeks old (give or take a couple days) when I picked them up. I increased their feedings by one (he was doing 4 ounces 3 times a day, I did 4 ounces 4 times a day) because they were so small and I could see their spines. I'm almost certain that is why my first little girl got so sick, because I over fed her. Now I am terrified that the other two will also get sick from over eating, so I was planning on going back to 3 feedings a day and only increasing the amount in ounces of each bottle. Is that ok? And how much do I increase at a time? Is an ounce too much? I started today with 4 ounces and have fed them twice, morning and noon, and will feed again at bedtime.

    And, my doeling that is limping. Does it sound like I hit a nerve? Or is she going down too? Is the damage permanent if it's shot related? What do I watch for so I know if it's gut related or something else? The inside of her mouth is warm, she had a solid normal poop today and she is eating and sucking fine (in fact I think she would eat more if I would give it to her), only her tail is down. Is that because her leg hurts? She wags when I come in to visit, whether I bring food or not.

    I am so sorry about the long post. I wanted to give as much concise info as I could because I'm new, and so you all would know what I know and don't know and what I've done or haven't done... I am just terrified of something happening to my babies. I am super attached and so are my kids. Plus, I have my big girl to think of. I don't want all her new "friends" to die and leave her alone again. And I'm constantly second guessing myself when it comes to my goats because I just don't know enough and there is so much conflicting information out there. Thanks in advance for any help!
     
  2. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    You probably hit a nerve with the shot. She should be ok. I like to give shots SQ in the neck area where it meets into the body. There is a lot of skin there. I would also only increase by half an ounce per bottle. Weigh them on a regular basis with a scale that weighs in pounds and ounces or pounds and tenths of pounds. A hanging fish scale is cheap.
     

  3. RuckersGoats

    RuckersGoats New Member

    3
    Jun 1, 2018
     
  4. RuckersGoats

    RuckersGoats New Member

    3
    Jun 1, 2018
    Thank you! My sick baby made it and I picked her back up from the breeder on Saturday, and my other little girl is getting better and better with her limp every day! So, so far so good! And thank you for the info on the scale! I don't have anything right now but I will definitely get one! I have increased their feedings, by a 1/2 ounce starting yesterday, and everyone seems to be doing well!