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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sadly, one of my wethers has injured what looks like his left hind. He is often T-boned by his brother and has been on meloxicam 3x this year already for going down hard on his knees and lameness on the front end. His brother hit him again yesterday and he has not been able to lay down since, he tries and is able to go down on his knees but he cannot do the final "plop" of his hind end. He has been standing, walking, shifting weight etc for over 24 hours now. He got a dose of meloxicam this AM and will cont for another 6 days. So far he is eating, drinking, urinating and pooping normal. Temp 102. Walking very stiff and sore but is putting weight on all 4 legs, able to balance and scratch face with hind feet, etc. He has very thick chaps so it is hard to palpate his hind end and he generally not thrilled with this on a good day, but no obvious breaks or dislocations.

Vet is "on call" if he not better after a few days but wanted to know if anyone else has encountered this and if I need to rig something up to help him rest? If I am out in the barnyard he will not lay down so trying to leave him be. We have cameras and can see he did not lay down at all today and is not laying down now (10pm EST) with his brothers. I cannot find any information online about how long goats can go without laying down and what other problems might arise as a result. Any info or experience with this? Thank you
 

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Sadly, one of my wethers has injured what looks like his left hind. He is often T-boned by his brother and has been on meloxicam 3x this year already for going down hard on his knees and lameness on the front end. His brother hit him again yesterday and he has not been able to lay down since, he tries and is able to go down on his knees but he cannot do the final "plop" of his hind end. He has been standing, walking, shifting weight etc for over 24 hours now. He got a dose of meloxicam this AM and will cont for another 6 days. So far he is eating, drinking, urinating and pooping normal. Temp 102. Walking very stiff and sore but is putting weight on all 4 legs, able to balance and scratch face with hind feet, etc. He has very thick chaps so it is hard to palpate his hind end and he generally not thrilled with this on a good day, but no obvious breaks or dislocations.

Vet is "on call" if he not better after a few days but wanted to know if anyone else has encountered this and if I need to rig something up to help him rest? If I am out in the barnyard he will not lay down so trying to leave him be. We have cameras and can see he did not lay down at all today and is not laying down now (10pm EST) with his brothers. I cannot find any information online about how long goats can go without laying down and what other problems might arise as a result. Any info or experience with this? Thank you
He could have something broken in there impedeing him from laying down without extreme pain. Sounds like he needs to see the vet for some xrays.

Imo since he keep getting hurt by the other goat in with him.. either he needs a new home or the bully might. The bully could go in camp kenmore here if he was doing this a lot. You can try putting the bully alone for several days and hope it changes his tude or at least his place in the hierarchy. Your goat is repeatedly being hurt by another. That is no good for him or your pocketbook.

But as far as the not laying down. Have you tried to put him in a place alone to see if he feels safe enough to lay down? Maybe he just feels like for his safety he cannot do it right now since he was hit hard again? You could also put several bales of hay still tied up where he could maybe prop himself up on. Or give him a whole lot of bedding piled up to lay on. But he needs to lay down amd get some rest. All the standing constantly is doing is stressing him out and slowing down healing. Healing takes lots of rest.
 

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I agree he needs a quiet safe spot away from others. A vet visit also sounds warranted.
I'm sorry the poor guys hurting but he can't be on his feet 24/7 it's not resting and he will get weaker. Have you given him vit b complex because of the stress he's under? It won't hurt to. Making a nest for him out of a really deep layer of straw for a nest might make him more comfortable too. Is he breathing ok? I'd worry about rib or internal injury if his limbs seem sound...just a thought.
I hope he feels better soon. Remember that meloxicam can be really hard on the rumen and please watch his food and water intake closely so there's no trouble from it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your responses/ideas. I only have 3 wethers (Fainters) and the offending goat (Taco) is just "head goat" he is not being excessively aggressive or mean, he just wants first dibs and the injured goat (Decker) is an instigator and gets popped for trying to jump the hierarchy. They all do everything together and get very upset/agitated if separated so have just made sure no shortage of options for hay, space etc. I've overly bedded their barn in the spots Decker likes to sleep and am working up a barrier to separate them in the barn at PM. It looks to be a thigh/upper hind leg injury and he continues to not be able to lay down and stood all night again. He continues to eat, drink, urinate and poop normally with normal temp and is alert and trying to get in to trouble, albeit a bit more slowly now. Vet wants 3 doses of Meloxicam to see if working, will come if not.
 

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I agree with others, he needs an xray. I would separate the injured in a stall by himself and I would personally rehome the bully. Especially with that small of a herd having one bully that continually reoffends is not a good fit, IMO. He may do better in a herd with some does that will not put up with any of his nonsense or with larger goats. Good luck
 

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It is very hard when bonded goats have issues. For now the injured goat needs his own safe space to heal. (I agree a vet visit with x rays are warranted)
How does the aggressor treat the other wether? Decker may need his own area with another buddy or new placement. As hard as that is to think about, his well being is priority. For now, let's just get him safe while he mends. B complex can help support his system. Have you felt around for pain response?
 

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I so agree with everyone, a vet, an xray, his own space, fluffed up bedding, even if you make him his own pen so he is separate from the others, but can see the others.

The bully causing harm, wouldn't be staying, if he were mine, the poor goat being hit, may be permanently crippled because of the bully.
He is indeed being mean, if doing harm and hurting him.
Either re-home the bully or the poor dear goat who is repeatedly injured.
After he is healed.
Very sad situation. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow, I am a bit taken a back by the strong recommendations to break up my small, usually quite happy herd. Getting rid of Taco, who the vet agrees is not a bully but simply a typical "head goat" nor Decker is an option. They are incredibly bonded and have been for 5 years and even just having a barrier up in the goat barn to separate Decker is stressing them all. Taco picks on Decker who (even now) picks on Lugnut and Lugnut dominates Taco...its been like this forever. I cannot believe no one else has wethers that head butt and dominate over the best food, etc.?

With that said, the vet was out this am and she believes it is a slipping or torn ligament in his right hind patella. She said he had "minimal" pain response and he is putting full weight on all four legs but did not want to balance on his right hind when she lifted his left. No need for xrays. She added Gabapentin to his Meloxicam for 7 days. He is on the most shavings he has ever seen in his life and has half the barn to himself. Still has not laid down, the vet said he will protect himself from pain as long as he needs too and is not yet concerned about him standing for now.

Appreciate the concern for Decker and wanting the best for him.
 

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I would do banamine for a few days and then continue with meloxicam after that, banamine is stronger and will handle more acute pain.

I don’t agree that you should separate them, I don’t see this goat as a bully. I do, however, see that you have a pretty fragile goat and that concerns me.

He may do best with bone/joint supplements.

Does he have loose minerals?

For sure feed him separately from the other to make sure food domination doesn’t start a fight.

If he doesn’t want to lay down you can make him a sling?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I would do banamine for a few days and then continue with meloxicam after that, banamine is stronger and will handle more acute pain.

I don't agree that you should separate them, I don't see this goat as a bully. I do, however, see that you have a pretty fragile goat and that concerns me.

He may do best with bone/joint supplements.

Does he have loose minerals?

For sure feed him separately from the other to make sure food domination doesn't start a fight.

If he doesn't want to lay down you can make him a sling?
Vet was happy with the way he tolerates Meloxicam and didn't want to use Banamine for some reason. She said she has had good results with the Gaba added.

Decker is somewhat "fragile" - he used to be head goat but ripped a horn off regulating him to low man of the three. He likes to think he can be head goat still but he is just not an athletic goat, he has pretty high fainting/stiffing up reactions too which doesn't help. His confirmation is not ideal esp up front is he over at the knee which also contributes to his soreness etc.

I've asked about joint supplements - we are considering and researching.

They get Meat Maker minerals and do eat them regularly

They have two sources of hay in the goat barn and now they are separated with a barrier when they are locked up at night. During the day they have 3+ sources of hay so that is not usually a problem.

Dunno about a sling, thought about putting a straw bale for him to rest on, he likes to rub his belly on those so I think he would use it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Are they fighting over food? If this is when it happens, I would separate at feeding time, or put out multiple (more than 3)feeding stations.
Not per se but if they do it does happen at night in the goat barn. They do have multiple hay sources both inside and out. More often it is an acorn that falls, or a leaf, or a piece of grass that Decker is "going for" and Taco decides he wants it so he pops Decker out of the way....You can sometimes see it coming but Decker has a hard fainter "freeze" reaction too so that does not work in his favor.
 

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The recomendations of getting rid of either the bully or this guy is because it keeps happening. Once dominance is settled there will be scuffles yes. But none that lead to this many or this bad of injuries. Or they should not. I think you do not like that answer and did not want to hear then. You got good advice all the way around though even though some of it is a hard bite to swallow. I would not want nor do we tolerate it on our farm a bully always being ugly and esp when it keeps costing me more in vet bills plus trauma to another animal. At some point you have to think of what is best for the one being picked on.... constant pain and the possibility of being hurt way more badly or getting rid of the problem child. Yes it is a hard decision a d one that we have made on our farm. But there are too many animals that can get along together great to risk this nonsense constantly. We did this very thing and we have not regretted it a bit! Our herd is now calm and no one is scared of another. It is way more peaceful.
 

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Sfgwife thank you for that.

I must say, their are scuffles, headbutts, pecking orders, but in normal situations, goats do not have them cause extensive injuries.

If a goat starts penning up legs and trying to break them, I get rid of that mean goat. I see what can happen and defuse it.

Pecking orders happen, but in many herds, injury does not.

If you have an abusive goat, that is a very stressful situation.

Sorry you do not like my opinion, but it is how I feel and what I would do.
 

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I can see both sides.
I have had 2 bucks that caused each other bloody foreheads. I found it too hard to watch and seperated them.
I have 2 does that live together, one is a lot bigger than the other and is obviously boss. The little one knows to stay out of her way and there have never been injuries. But when little one was pregnant and got into the later stage I moved her to her own stall at night. Goats don’t have compassion or understanding. It would have been too easy for the big one to hit the little one.
The little one is terribly bonded to the big one. She cried and cried, for about 3 days. Then she was used to it and could enjoy her peace and quiet. When she went back in the doe stall she was overjoyed. But by then she was agile again and could jump out of the way when Bossyboots ran at her.
The goats would not have chosen my decision but I couldn’t let anything bad happen to them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
An update on Decker today. Below is a picture of how we temporarily split their goat barn and will work on a permanent (and straighter) barrier this weekend. Decker did lay down for much of the night. The second pic is of them about 5 minutes ago, back to their usual spots for their afternoon nap in front of the chicken coop.

It is not that I do not like your opinions or am in denial about my goats behavior. I do not agree with your assessment that the solution is to re-home either of them. You are basing your advice on limited information and I have many other options up to and including separating them entirely in the barnyard. These are my pets and as I said before, they are extremely bonded. Every herd is different and I am finding the Fainting Goats are especially different. They just are more fragile/less athletic than other breeds and they do not have the ability to "get out of the way" as easily.

Again, thanks for all the input and obvious concern you all have for all their wellbeing.
Goat Barn Internal 2020-10-08 05.25.58.963 AM.jpg
Paddock 1 2020-10-08 12.47.05.506 PM.jpg
 

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So glad to see he is separate and can now rest. He should mend.

The sad part is, if you reintroduce him back into the herd after healed, he most likely will be beat up again.

I really would hate seeing that happen to him again.

So here is my question to you, if you are not willing to find one a home. How are you going to deal with this situation.
The poor boy can't repeatedly get hurt. It will cause premature arthritis or permanent injury to him.

I say this because, I am very concerned for him, no goat deserves to live in a hostile and hurting environment. I am sorry. Just how I feel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Toth - he is only separated from them at night while locked in the barn where he has less room to move. He has not been totally separated yet from them during the day, as evidenced by the second photo. They have plenty of room (about an acre) and multiple spots for hay and ways to be separate. I have eliminated hand fed treats to decrease competition and they will go on walks separately as this is a time they often do compete and fight. Decker is not stressed being around his brothers, he is far more stressed being separated from them. I do not believe he is experiencing hostility. If these steps do not work, we will fence in a completely separate outdoor area and consider getting a 4th goat.
 
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