Pregnant Doe with Hoof/Pasterns Issues

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by Caileigh Jane Smith, Feb 19, 2020.

  1. Caileigh Jane Smith

    Caileigh Jane Smith Active Member

    136
    Dec 1, 2019
    Missouri, USA
    Ok, goat gurus, I'm hoping you all can help me out here. My Nubian doe, Josie, is approx. 103 days bred, and has recently started developing some issues with her pasterns. They look fine when she's standing still, but when she walks, they bend until they're nearly parallel to the ground. I figured the issue might be a Selenium deficiency, so I order some Sel/E gel and dosed her with that. Her pasterns went back to normal for about a week...then started getting weak again. So I dosed her again with the Selenium. Same story as before. Her pasterns get better for a few days, and then start looking weak again. She is now on her 4th dose of Selenium in about 3 weeks. The recommended dose is 4ml every 30 days. I started her on 4ml, then gave her a couple doses of 3ml, and this latest dose I gave her 6ml, hoping that it would 'hold' her for a while. I wonder if she's just not absorbing it well? She's currently getting grass hay, alfalfa pellets, Manna PRO goat balancer, and a handful of a pelleted goat feed that's produced by my local farmer's cooperative daily, with a little sunflower seeds oil drizzled over the top. I can provide more info on those if you think they may be relevant to the issue. She gets zinc and vit. E once a week. She also gets free access to Rain, Wind & Storm cattle mineral, and she was just copper bolused. We do have well water with a lot of calcium in it, so I wonder if that causes problems with Selenium absorption, or , maybe there's something in her diet that's causing her to not absorb it well. Or does she just need THAT much Selenium ???

    Of course, with pastern issues, I also checked her feet and gave her a trim. I haven't been able to keep up with feet very well until about a month ago, as I didn't have a good way to restrain my goats. Now I have a milking stand, and I can trim hooves much more easily. So, when I checked Josie's feet, they were a little overgrown, but not terribly so. I trimmed the spots where the hoof wall was starting to curl over the sole, and trimmed her heels, which seemed a little long to me. Now I'm wondering if maybe I trimmed back too much of the heel, and that's what is contributing to some of her pasterns problems? I am not an expert hoof trimmer, though I have been learning as much as I can, and wonder if my lack of trimming skills have just made the issue worse. Her hoof wall has now pulled away from the sole in a couple of places. Her front feet are the worst. On the outside of her right front hoof, the wall has pulled away from the sole in a very large area. I went ahead and trimmed back the part of the hoof wall that had pulled away so that I could keep the mud cleaned out of it, and so far, I don't think there's any hoof rot there. I'm keeping a close eye on it. I'm hesitant to do anymore trimming, now, until I know what I'm doing. I don't want to make the problems worse. We've also had a very wet few weeks, which I'm sure just makes everything worse for her feet.

    I realize that these issues are probably aggravated by the fact that Josie's getting bigger and heavier every day that her pregnancy progresses. This is my first time caring for a pregnant doe, and her first time carrying kids, so I'm not sure what 'normal' is supposed to look like. Overall, I would say that her condition looks pretty good. She still gets around well, but is a little tender footed, especially on the right front hoof where the hoof wall has separated. She's about 3 yrs. old, and an absolute sweetheart, so I'm hoping we can get these problems cleared up soon!

    I've included a few pictures...had to take them with a flash because I didn't get chores done til after dark tonight. But I can snap a few more in hopefully better light tomorrow. Just thought these might give you a clearer picture of what I'm talking about.

    Left front hoof
    20200219_181815.jpg
    Right front hoof
    20200219_181828.jpg
    Josie on the milking stand. You can see that's she's standing in such a way that she doesn't have to put much weight on her right front leg.
    20200219_181723.jpg
    Right front hoof, showing the spot where I cut away the hoof wall
    20200219_181924.jpg
     
  2. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    Well two things come into play here:

    In preparation for birth, female mammals release a bunch of hormones that make ligaments and muscles loosen & sag to keep everything flexible for the birthing process. While this is great for the pelvis, it's not super for feet. So you may be seeing some of the ligament loosening in addition to the extra weight you mentioned.

    HOWEVER, I think selenium supplementation is a very good move based on the diet and photos you have provided. This thing is, mineral supplements aren't that fast acting. So wait a month from the most recent dose of gel given, and then give it to her again. I'd recommend giving it bi-weekly through kidding (I know, the tube says monthly).

    If your area is experiencing very wet weather, you might have to hoof trim more frequently, but sometimes all the moisture just causes those wall separations. In these photos, it does look like you could trim more toe. Are you see pink in the frog/sole when you are done trimming?
     

  3. Caileigh Jane Smith

    Caileigh Jane Smith Active Member

    136
    Dec 1, 2019
    Missouri, USA
    @SalteyLove I have seen pink in the heel, but not in the toe. So yeah, maybe it would be good to go in and trim a little on the toes. I'll probably do a little at a time, since her feet are already tender. Do you have any recommendations for good trimming tutorials? I'm a little nervous now.

    Thanks for the advice on Selenium dosage. The thing I thought was weird was that I would notice a marked improvement about 2 days after dosing, and then it would go away. So it's like it was taking effect pretty quickly, and then wearing off. Does Selenium build up in the body over time? I certainly don't want to overdose, which is why I started with small doses at first.
     
  4. Caileigh Jane Smith

    Caileigh Jane Smith Active Member

    136
    Dec 1, 2019
    Missouri, USA
    Good thought! Guess I wasn't expecting the ligaments to start loosening this soon, but that could be part of it.
     
  5. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    Yes, selenium does build up in the body over time.
     
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  6. CBPitts

    CBPitts Well-Known Member

    309
    Jan 28, 2020
    Oregon
    Be sure to completely clean out the feet when trimming too so you have a good idea of what the really look like. You can spray or dip feet in iodine to help dry/harden after trimming too. I understand constantly wet weather and the misery it can have on feet!
     
  7. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
  8. Caileigh Jane Smith

    Caileigh Jane Smith Active Member

    136
    Dec 1, 2019
    Missouri, USA
    Just wanted to say thanks for the advice! Hooves are looking better now, and her pasterns don't seem as weak anymore. I'm assuming that's a combination of better trimming on my part and the Selenium continuing to be absorbed into her system. I'm keeping a spray bottle of iodine out in the barn now to use on her hooves.
     
    ksalvagno, CBPitts and GoofyGoat like this.