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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So our baby goat Fern has come into the unfortunate situation of (I believe) breaking her leg. As we have had our first warmer days and are over any hard freezes, I finally saw fit to move the baby out to the barn for the first time since she came home (she has been sleeping alone in an indoor pen in the house without issues/outside with the rest of the farm for the rest of the day). With 4 1/2 foot fencing panels and plenty of space, I figured she would be alright. Within a matter of minutes her "baby left alone" maaing turning into bloody murder screaming and I ran out to the barn where she was dangling by her back leg from one of the slats of fencing.
I scooped her up and rushed her inside to assess the damage to find that her leg has a likely cannon fracture below the knee and above the hoof and (wrist?) joint. My knowledge of goat anatomy is limited, but I was pretty sure I could feel with my fingers (under the skin, no compound fracture) where it may be broken. My partner and I fashioned a quick and dirty splint right off the bat while we did some more research. I then put a better splint on her for the night with two plastic butter knives (wrapped in medical tape) over padded skin and wrapped firmly with ace wrap. This morning, after gathering my boy scout level field experience of setting bones with little confidence and some pointed reading of the forum + other goat help sites, I splinted her leg in what I believe will serve her for an acceptable amount of time. She now has three long flat sticks (one thick one along the back of the leg and two along the sides) that extend just past the back of the knee and about half/quarter inch from the end of the hoof (to allow her to put weight on sticks to the knee rather than on the bone and pasture joint). After probing her leg again (could not feel break as well as before but I did not poke around too much and may be due to swelling, though even evidence of swelling was moderate) I pulled her leg firmly but gently by the base of the knee and the hoof (pulling apart) in attempt to straighten and set the bone better before laying it to the splint sticks. Then I padded her leg very well with guaze and toilet paper, added split sticks, then wrapped firmly with ace wrap and again with medical tape.

The splint is functional and Fern has started to try to hobble on three legs. She is clearly in pain because she does not fuss when left without me or any of her animal buddies (she will usually scream until being reunited unless she is sleepy with a full belly), but she is very responsive to attention when I do go in to see her. She still butts&nuzzles while maaing for attention and will even try to come when called. She popped up and came hobbling and crying for her bottle this morning, which she guzzled just as heartily as before. I am now at a lack of knowledge for how to proceed especially regarding (if) necessary medication and how to help her heal. We do not have ready access to penicillin or other medications and can not afford to take her to the vet currently as we just paid rent and purchased a new vehicle last week.. I'm feeling guilty about not getting her the best professional help and worried that she may be in a lot of pain, but I'm hoping I've done enough that she can heal well and without great issue. Will this splint serve her well through the healing process or will I end up with a sad, deformed goat? I do know that if this one is done properly I will still have to check it regularly for circulation and change it again in two weeks or so to check how its healing. We plan to keep it on for 8 weeks or as long as it takes to heal really, is this appropriate for goats?Is there any thing else I can do to help her along and make sure she doesnt end up with an injury that causes her lifelong pain?

[quoted from BYH because no one replied there and I'm in need of a response] PS Since my last post about Fern concerning her taking a bottle, she is guzzling the bottle like it's pure molasses. She is now on her 9th week and partially weaned (at 8 weeks reduced milk to half and replaced other half with water, then reduced milk by one oz daily, we were at about 4 oz milk when this happened). With this break I have been considering putting her back on a full bottle with hopes that she will be properly nourished and I will be able to keep good track that shes still eating well, but maybe I should just go along with the weaning process? I had debated leaving her on the bottle until 12 weeks anyways and this might just be a viable excuse, but should I be concerned about diet change/scours if I increase her milk again? She is also eating about 1/2 cup of grain a day and nibbled at it hungrily this morning when fed. Any advice on this? Carry on my way or put her back on full milk and supplement as well? Grain? She seems to still be eating her regular diet (milk, alfalfa, grain) well, just very subdued and wants to lay down.

She is not panting hard, shaking, or showing signs of shock. I just know her personality and that its unlike her to just want alone time, though thankfully it means she is resting up. We have not given any medication so far but love and pets.. Mostly worried about pain and do not want to cause undue suffering to my baby.. Really hope you guys can help and give some reassurance/pointers because this is NOT a situation I had any kind of preparation for! (sorry in advance for my thousand questions!!)
 

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Id like to wait for the others but, I would say a baby aspirin might be okay, I am looking at a few materials on it now. Is she grinding her teeth?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
PS! I posted this here after not getting a response since yesterday on BYH so you can consider me saying these events as happening yesterday. Fern is lively today and eating regularly, hobbling around and wanting attention from everyone and everything (like usual). She sometimes nibbles as her wrapped leg so I assume she is in pain. But she is back to screaming when left alone about 50% of the time today, so not as subdued. I did decide to put her on a full bottle for the time being and continue regular feeding.. Hope someone can give me some further advice..
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
She does grind her teeth sometimes, but usually just after getting up or laying down, I assume from her leg hurting. She does not grind constantly, but I have heard it relatively frequently since the accident.
 

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You can give her a baby aspirin to help with pain and swelling. Also, you can get the old fashioned plaster cast wrap at Michaels arts and crafts (in the miniature and diorama section) but, you must use a sweatshirt sleeve and cotton batting between it and the goats skin. If you could get her to a vet that would be best maybe they'd work with you if you explain the situation.
Good luck and I truely hope she heals well with no long term problems.
 

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@mariarose , @SalteyLove , @Dwarf Dad @toth boer goats @spidy1 @ksalvagno @Trollmor

Good job for acting fast. Baby asprin or benadrill will help, but benadrill will make her sleepy. Maybe icing it would help, just get an ice pack, and put a towel over it so it isnt too cold, I would ice for 10 minutes, then take ice pack off, let her move around for 5 minutes, then put ice pack back on. Keep it splinted good luck!
 

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Poor little kidlet! Sounds like you're doing a great job with her.

I recommend keeping her on her full ration of milk. Calcium builds bones. I actually don't recommend weaning until at least 12 weeks even for a healthy kid, so definitely keep the bottles coming.

A type of splint that seems to work well is a rolled-up section of newspaper bandaged in place. One of my favorite vets uses newspaper on broken baby goat legs. I have also seen it done with a paper towel tube cut to the right length and then slit lengthwise down the side so you can squeeze it snug around the leg. Then just bandage it in place with some gauze. The thing I like about both of these methods is that they completely encircle the leg and help prevent accidentally getting your gauze too tight.

A good painkiller is banamine. It is Rx, so you'll have to talk to a vet about it. It can be given orally. Such a tiny baby would only need a teensy amount so you'd need some 1cc syringes to avoid overdosing. You can give it for up to three days in a row. By then the swelling should be going down and she should be healing well enough to not need painkillers. One thing you don't want to do is give her enough painkillers that she starts bouncing around and re-injures herself. A little pain can sometimes be a good thing!

Best of luck!
 

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Welcome to the forum!
You did better than I could have done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you guys for the responses. We have little access to medications and dont keep even "human medicine" in the house, so I believe we will be turning to comfrey and st John's wart as suggested elsewhere on the forum. This is my first goat kid and it's been a whirlwind of an experience, so I really appreciate the notion that I'm pulling through alright with these DIY fixes! Will probably try to ice before resplinting in a day or two, maybe something more sturdy like the paper tubes and such mentioned before.

Thanks again!
 

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Broken bones are really not as scary as they seem. You did a wonderful job! I wouldn’t change anything. If you keep moving the leg around, even just a tad you are going to break what mending has already started. I’ve had 3 broken legs so far (2 on the same dumb goat!) the first one I did freak out but did basically the same as what you did. She healed just fine! Now the second one I REALLY freaked because the leg was actually hanging on by a little bit of skin. I spent $800 to learn a few things.......gotta look at it as learning so I don’t cry over the bill! 1. As long as the bone is in the general area of each other it will mend. Her leg was not set 100% right and it mended great! And 2. For anyone reading this on a break like that all the vet does is cast it, give antibiotics and hope it doesn’t get infected.
But try to keep her from moving around a whole lot. Give her a nice small comfortable area with everything she needs right there. In this case the less she moves the better! Don’t change her feeding or anything like that. Keep her nice and happy. With the break I took the goat to the vet he did not give me any pain meds. I want to say I had some banamine and gave to her anyways. I know on her second break I didn’t have any and didn’t end up giving her any. Kids are a lot tougher with things like this then we want to give them credit for.
 

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I have made splints for kids before using different diameters of PVC pipe, cut to measure and then cut in half. I do recommend something stronger and more inflexible than plastic cutlery, to prevent the re-breaking that @Jessica84 mentioned.

Since I don't wean this early, I do like the idea of putting off the weaning. Comfort and Calcium is what she'll get from milk.

Consider stirring some chopped/minced garlic into her grain in order to support her immune system, which will have been suppressed because of the pain from the break.

Since you won't give her baby aspirin or benadryl to help with the pain, and to allow her to rest, (Sleep Heals!) may I suggest willow stems and leaves... or even some willow bark tea? If you don't have willow on your property, a health food store may have some tea.

@NigerianDwarfOwner707 what do you suggest?
 

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as a former vet tech, you are doing what I would have done, as mentioned use something stronger than plastic silverware such as wood slats or PVC, even professional vets use wood slats wrapped and padded well for livestock, its not a horse so even if it heals a bit off its perfectly OK, as for pain management, baby aspirin would be enough, thats what I would use
 

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I agree with using measure, cut in half and padded PVC. Make sure once the splint is secured that the babys skin is still warm to the touch below the lowest wrap securing the splint. You need to keep it splinted until the bone has healed. Keep on the bottle like others have suggested. Would keep confined so baby cant get too much steam built up.
 

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would a wooden ruler or yard stick work? just trying to think of someting most people would have
 
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