The Goat Spot Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

My doe Abby delivered sweet triplet girls last night - Calpurnia, Miss Maudie, and Jean Louise. Calpurnia, the largest, was somewhat weak and a bit floppy for lack of a better word. She rallied and was stronger this morning, but I am becoming concerned about her inability to suckle effectively, or really even to locate a teat reliably. I am suspicious that selenium deficiency might be in play for a few reasons and am seeking feedback on what I've done so far, and how long it may take to show improvement if selenium is at the root of the issue.

Some background - we live in a selenium-deficient area and I give my goats Selenium/Vitamin E gel once monthly. Abby was nearly due for her next dose next week when the triplets were born (last night). Abby took a bit longer to deliver placenta than Lily, my other doe, who delivered two weeks ago today, but every goat is different.

Calpurnia, as mentioned, was weak, kind of limp/floppy, and had very poor balance when first born (even for a newborn). She is still falling over more than her sisters, and seems very uncoordinated and weak. She seems hungry, and will find Abby, get up to her udder and bump frantically. She will then be unable to grip a teat herself. If I help by aiming the teat at her mouth, she will sometimes latch on, sometimes not. When she does latch, she suckles weakly and I'm not sure how much milk she is getting - but I do not think it is enough. Sometimes the teat falls out of her mouth. Both she and Maudie have bent tails. Maudie is less clumsy, and has mostly figured out how to nurse.

I tried her on a bottle, but she did not suckle at all. I was concerned that she might aspirate, to be honest. I did get her to eat a little bit - about 5ml twice this afternoon (when I started to get worried). I do think she must be nursing some - otherwise I don't think she would be alert or able to get up and toddle around. I gave all three girls a little dab of selenium/vitamin E gel that was about the size of the end of a finger.

Feeding into this is how Abby acted when I gave her the regular dose of the paste. Usually it is a struggle to get her to take it. I usually put it on my finger and if all else fails, I can smear it on her mouth and she'll lick it off. Today I accidentally squirted way too much out, and it was covering most of my fingers. She gobbled it up like it was some delicious rare treat. I put another smaller amount on my hand, and again it was devoured. When I sat the tube of paste down she tried to take it. I don't think she would act that way if she had enough selenium in her.

So all that to ask a couple of questions. If Calpurnia is suffering from deficiency of selenium, is that little pea shaped blob enough? How long will it take until improvement will be seen if that is the problem? I'm also wondering at what point people would tube a kid that was having this kind of difficulty latching and nursing.

Oh - temps are normal. I do not have a scale so that I can chart her changes in weight but am going to get one tomorrow. I figure I can just weigh myself with and without the baby and math my way into knowledge there. Maybe I am completely overreacting, but I don't want to pretend there isn't a problem and have something bad happen to her.

My vet will not give me BoSe unfortunately. I attempted that discussion but was shot down. IMG_20210718_195403.jpg IMG_20210718_195251.jpg IMG_20210718_195215.jpg

Here are a few pictures of bent tails and general condition. Calpurnia is the brown and white supermodel. Maudie is the buckskin diva that looks just like her mommy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,208 Posts
They are so cute! Sorry Calpurnia is struggling. I wish I knew enough to help. Hopefully this reply will bump the thread so that those with more knowledge will see it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
775 Posts
Sorry Calpurina is having a hard time. Generally the selenium/vitamin E paste will generally help within the next day, IF that is the problem. If she is weak, or doesn't have much of a suckle reflex, you can rub some honey on a nipple or some cayenne pepper on her gums to perk her up. Tubing a baby goat is usually a last resort. Make sure she has had some colostrum from mom. If you suspect she is nursing, then check her poop. Their first poop will be black, but after they've had mom's milk it turns yellow. Yellow poop is verification she is nursing. Weigh her often to make sure she is gaining weight with a scale that measures in pounds and ounces. Sometimes, it takes a little while before babies figure out what this nursing thing is all about. It's like their little brain has to wake up. They may bump under mom's shoulder, udder, or belly instinctively looking for something, but not knowing just what. Then sometimes they may latch on but not suckle at first. I've worried myself sick several times with newborns thinking they were not nursing. I've found that as long as the kid is strong enough to stand, follow mom, and attempt to nurse, then they generally come around and figure out what to do. Watch her closely and if you see her start to become weak or dehydrated, or becomes rejected by mom, you may need to intervene.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all for your responses. Calpurnia gained ground today and latched on with more strength. She doesn't seem as weak, and isn't nearly as floppy looking. I saw her nurse for a good 60 seconds a couple of times today, and if I saw her twice, it is probably likely that she did so outside of my view as well. I did give her .5 ml of b complex as well late last night. She was not impressed, but I'm sure that helped as well.

She's still not nursing as effectively as her two sisters, but there is clear progress.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
468 Posts
Love the names! You may want to pick up a scale and weigh them daily. That way you can definitively chart progress.
I used to just drag my bathroom scale outside, weigh me and then weigh holding them.
Last year I finally broke down and bought an old fashioned hanging scale. Now i hang a bucket and put the baby in it.
I keep intending to make a weighing sling but the bucket works for now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Cal is still progressing this evening. She is starting to really latch on and go to town. She's also playing - I saw bounces today and that is so very reassuring.

I am glad I'm not the only one weighing myself with baby, then myself. I never kept a scale around and so I had to go buy even that one! I do see the wisdom in a hanging scale though (that way I don't have to weigh myself too :LOL:).

Unless something comes out of nowhere, I'm hopeful that she's going to have a good outcome. Thank you all for your advice and reassurance. 💓

Do kids get the same monthly cadence for selenium?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
297 Posts
Hanging fish scales are so handy for this, we just put them in a canvas bag. If they are really little and fresh (ND) they'll sit still in a bowl or bucket on a regular kitchen scale too. I like the precision of those types when I'm monitoring weight gain in early days.

Why would your vet would not give you BoSe?
 

·
Registered
Goat Mentor
Joined
·
7,455 Posts
I would give a human vitamin e gel
cap, just squirt it in the mouth. This works with selenium and is often the only thing Goats who appear selenium deficient need. You can safely give more of this rather than more selenium gel - though you could do another pea sized dollop. Continue with vitamin b complex daily. Would also do cayenne mixed with honey rubbed on gums a couple times daily.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Why would your vet would not give you BoSe?
Because I give them free choice minerals, she didn't feel it was necessary although our area is deficient. She also freely admits that she is not a goat expert. Because we do live in a deficient area (and had bent tails in all my goats) I got into a schedule of giving the selenium and vitamin E paste. I read that this can be as effective as BoSe if it is done regularly. I think I underestimated what Abby was going to require to keep herself and multiple babies at the right level. :cry:

@toth boer goats I do agree that a different vet would benefit us. :(

@NigerianDwarfOwner707 How long would you continue the B-complex injections?

Cal is continuing to gain strength, and is nursing better now. She and her sisters will be a week old tomorrow.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top