Pregnancy Toxemia can occur within the last six weeks of pregnancy and is caused either by underfeeding (starvation toxemia equals an energy shortage) or overfeeding. A doe's nutritional balance is critical during this timeframe. Feeding too much grain or feeding the wrong kinds of grain is usually the culprit. During these last weeks of pregnancy, a doe has little room in her body for lots of grain, fast-growing fetuses, and the amount of roughage (grass hay) vital for proper rumen function. A goat goes off-feed when it doesn't get enough roughage. Huge stores of body fat plus a uterus full of fetuses set the stage for Pregnancy Toxemia. Symptoms of Pregnancy Toxemia include off-feed, dull eyes, slow moving, general weakness, tremors, teeth grinding, stargazing, leg swelling, and coma. When fetuses die, toxemia results from the decaying bodies inside the doe and she also dies. All of this happens because of improper feeding by the producer.
When Pregnancy Toxemia occurs, a dramatic change in feed will not solve the problem. Instead, divide her grain into three or four small meals each day. Make sure that she eats a lot of top-quality grass hay. Leave fresh, clean water out free choice. Also offer some warm water laced with molasses or apple juice to encourage water consumption. The doe needs to drink a lot of water to flush toxins from her kidneys. An occasional handful of alfalfa hay may prove helpful. Proplylene glycol dosed at 60 cc orally twice a day can be used, but this product is hard on her kidneys and goats usually don't like it. An alternative to propylene glycol is a combination of 50% dextrose diluted with an equal amount of water and given orally at a rate of 60 cc twice per day. Molasses and water or Karo syrup and water can also be used. Get both Vitamin B12 and Fortified Vitamin B Complex into her, and orally drench her with GoatAde (www.goatsupplies.com). Feed the doe as many green leaves as she will eat; in off-growing season, pick dried leaves and offer them to her free choice. Oral administration of CMPK or MFO is desirable. Niacin at a rate of 1000 mg per day is helpful. Daily dosing with Goat Guard Probiotic Paste is advisable (www.goatsupplies.com). Moderate exercise is essential; do not allow the doe to be inactive.