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Broken leg management

2159 Views 42 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  toth boer goats
Hi all. I'm after some advice. Our 7 mth old wether broke a back leg on Friday. He's in a cast and that has to stay on for 6 weeks so it can't get wet, even out on the grass. Here in Australia it's winter so the grass is wet all day. Therefore he's supposed to stay in the horse stall where they sleep at night for 6 weeks.
My main issue is he cries and is upset/won't eat or sit down whenever the other 2 goats wander from his eyesight. After 2 days he is quite depressed about having to be in the pen on his own. Today he spent all day standing at the gate crying constantly. The other 2 wether friends are very active and run around playing and fighting all day outside in the paddock. They can be convinced to hang around where he can see them for about an hour, tops, eating hay. Then they leave. I sit with him for about 3 hours yesterday and today, so he won't fret, but as soon as I leave he's back to crying.
How have other people managed keeping the goat happy in sick bay? 6 weeks is such a long time and I really want the leg to heal properly.
He was a very active goat before the accident.
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Can you cover the cast with a trash bag and duct tape and put him on a leash so he can eat grass, but not run around? Of course, be with him when he is out.

I've only had babies with broken legs, but as soon as they get used to the cast, they are hopping all over. Hopefully, he will become less depressed as the leg heals and the pain ceases.

What part of the leg broke?
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I think after maybe a week I might try the plastic bag to keep it dry and let him out for a bit, not sure if that's too soon though? The vet obviously wants him not moving much for the whole 6 weeks but this is a very active, sociable goat. I don't think his mental health will cope with 6 weeks in the stall. Even a week will be a struggle.

The leg broke straight across at the mid point between his ankle and his hock, so a clean break. Was just flopping like a ribbon.
He didn't react with any signs of pain at the time but he's a feral/rangeland goat so they are pretty stoic. He had a fentanyl patch on his other leg, which I took off today.
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And here he is before the accident, you can tell he's a handful :)

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Aw, poor guy! I have a doeling in a cast but she stays in the house in a large dog crate. It’s been hard keeping her calm so she doesn’t do anymore damage. Though she has a housemate which helps. I hope your boy heals quickly and he’s back to bouncing around soon.
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While I totally get the vet wanting to be cautious...I would do as suggested and wrap in a plastic bag, add an old sock to keep it in place and give some traction. And let him roam a few hours as long as it's not raining, then back to rest time. Depression can make things worse, especially if he stops eating. Getting him out help circulation which helps healing.

Best wishes. He's a good looking fellow
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He is a stunnng goat
Thank you. He was just from a feral herd, his family are probably meat now sadly, he was very frightened when we got him as a baby but he's friendly now. The vet did suggest euthanasia first, because these type of goats are very cheap, but to us he's a pet so that was never going to happen :)

Aw, poor guy! I have a doeling in a cast but she stays in the house in a large dog crate. It’s been hard keeping her calm so she doesn’t do anymore damage. Though she has a housemate which helps. I hope your boy heals quickly and he’s back to bouncing around soon.
Did yours break a bone too? I think a baby would be easier to keep happy. I'm glad ours was at least fixable
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He’s so handsome. I’m glad you didn’t give up on him. I think it’ll be a balancing act to make sure he is healing physically while not getting too depressed which would also slow his healing. Luckily, it sounds like you know your goat well, so you’ll likely be able to figure out that balance. I would keep him on a leash when you do decide to first take him out for small breaks from the stall, just in case. Definitely don’t want him running around. Not that he’ll likely feel up to running for a bit, but you never know.
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Remeber he is an older boy and can get very frustrated and depressed. I would agree with the plastic bag and roaming for short periods of time. Yes the vet will say caution but after a week he can go backwards quickly.
Good on you for saving him.
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Hope he mends quickly.
Very good advice by all.
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Thanks guys :) today I have decided to try tethering the oldest friend outside the stall (the other friend stays around that one) for 3 hours in the morning. That worked fine to keep Winston happy. Then I let the other 2 wethers loose to run around and sat with Winston for about an hour. He is fine, eating and drinking and pooing and weeing normally. He has lost a bit of weight though. In a while I'll leave him alone with some Lucerne hay (they normally don't get much of this) until dinner time. At 6pm the other boys go back in, and they're together until morning again (by together, they're in seperate areas but all inside). Hope this routine works ok for a week. After a week I will try taking him out for a few hours a day Working animal Fawn Horn Terrestrial animal Natural material
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I’m glad you were able to find a way to keep him fairly still and happy. He looks so cute and a little pathetic in that cast. Poor guy. Luckily he’s in great hands.
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He looks like he is saying in his goat mind..."fine I will eat it. If it eventually gets me to my outside...."
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Hope he mends quickly.
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Thank you. He was just from a feral herd, his family are probably meat now sadly, he was very frightened when we got him as a baby but he's friendly now. The vet did suggest euthanasia first, because these type of goats are very cheap, but to us he's a pet so that was never going to happen :)



Did yours break a bone too? I think a baby would be easier to keep happy. I'm glad ours was at least fixable
Yes, she just got her cast off today after 6 weeks. She’ll be inside for 10 more days for rehab then she’ll play with her friends
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Yes, she just got her cast off today after 6 weeks. She’ll be inside for 10 more days for rehab then she’ll play with her friends
That must be a relief.
I will update in a few weeks how my guy is going in his recovery
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Hope she continues to improve.
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Well we made it to 2 weeks, and the last few days he's been jumping around in the pen a lot (the leg must not be painful any more). I put a plastic bag on and let him outside for a while. Tbh I have been sitting with him for hours every day because he sooks so much on his own. It's basically been a full time job, he's a very needy patient

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He is cute, good to see he is doing ok. :)
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