Sudden Death in young buck

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by SereneCaprine, Feb 25, 2017.

  1. Chip was 1.5 years old and died under strange circumstances. He was fine in the morning but when I went out there in the evening I couldn't find him. Thinking he escaped, I searched the entire property. I went back to the barn and found him "sleeping" in the corner. I went over and touched him, still warm. I shook him and nothing... he had died.

    He was in classic sleeping position. In the corner, propped up against the wall. Eyes closed, neck turned to the side, resting on his ribs. If I didn't go up to him, I would have thought he was in a deep sleep.
    Some of his fresh poo and hoof prints were outside in the mud which tells me he did feel well enough to roam outside during the day.
    Now, Chip was a mini-nubian buckling... just about as cute as they come. Blue eyes and good conformation. Came from reputable lines. Sire is G6S normal (but test was not done to protocol) and dam has no history of G6S in her lines but is not tested.
    He was treated with Ivo+ in Dec with a Famacha of 3. After treatment and several doses of Red Cell, his Famacha score was around 4.5. I was happy with that and stopped the Red Cell. He was up to date on CD&T, copper, BoSe, had access to loose minerals, no signs of UC. His diet was grass-hay based with some wet cob and just a bit of alfalfa because he was still growing. He weighed about 60#.

    He was always very gentle and I hesitate to say he was weak but he never was what you would imagine a young buck to be like. He would cower in the corner. Seldom leave the barn. Never mount the ladies aggressively or show much interest in them. I do believe he got 2 of them pregnant but he never acted like it.
    On FB group, some people have mentioned worms (barber pole) but he showed literally NO signs of it. Others mentioned something congenital like maybe a heart condition or brain, maybe G6S. He was neg for CL, CAE, and Johne's.
    I have opted not to do a necropsy because of costs. I know, "it doesn't cost that much and it could save other goats if you find something wrong" but I am swimming in vet bills as is. The vet would have to do the necro, at least a $250 charge and send to labs, at least another $200.
    I was hoping someone here has some experience in this strange COD. What would cause a young, timid buck to just go to sleep during the day and never wake up?
    I will do a fecal test to see if it may have been worms. Really hoping to get any answers I can here.
  2. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Really would need a necropsy done. Animals of any kind don't have to have signs of a bad worm load. Having fecals done on a regular basis is best. Sorry you lost him.

  3. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    I'm sorry your buck died. With his history of low activity and no sign of a struggle at his death, I would suspect heart trouble. It sounds like he went peacefully without pain, and that's a mercy.
  4. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    I agree with the others, and yes, it really sounds like heart issues, I am so sorry. :(
  5. I always thought a heart attack (if primary cause) would make them collapse or roll over on side, be in pain, wake up from sleep, etc.
    He was really small, didn't grow any significant amount since I bough him in October. I will lean to heart condition if G6S is normal. But without necropsy I will never really be sure :(

    IHEARTGOATS Well-Known Member

    Jun 14, 2016
    Zebulon, NC
    I'm very fortunate that we are within 20 mins of our state dept of Ag lab
    Necropsy on livestock is $35
    And I did lose a doe one time to a heart problem
  7. Sorry you lost your doe. Did she also present with failure to thrive? Do you know if she passed in her sleep?
    Thank you
  8. So, we weren't able to do the G6S test. I pulled the hairs 24 hrs post-mortem and packaged them like they said. I left a message to confirm I was sending the hairs and follicles off and to make certain that the specimen was sufficient. I was about to send it when UC Davis called me to say that they would not perform the test because the specimen was invalid. Apparently, after the heart stops beating, DNA is slowly but surely removed from the hair follicle. It was a real bummer to hear (I cried actually) because this was my only hope of finding out what killed him. His fecal was clear.

    The lab did say they could do a hoof clipping too (news to me). I have been spreading this info around because a hoof trimming is much easier to send in than 20-40 hairs painstakingly taken from a goat, and also easier than a blood draw. Next time anyone does a G6S test, ask UC Davis if you can send in a hoof trimming. They said it must contain some black and some white.

    Too bad they did not have this information listed anywhere on their website. Chip was at the crematorium already when they told me I could do a hoof trimming. I frantically called to ask if he had been cremated yet or if they possibly took a hoof trimming for the clay impression. Unfortunately, they didn't and he had already been cremated. UGH! Could this situation get any more disappointing?

    This leaves me one option: test all of his kids for carrier status.
    Slowly getting past the grief and disappointment. Getting a new buck in May with moon spots. Even though Chip is irreplaceable, I need a new herd sire and un-downsize my herd.
  9. catharina

    catharina Catharina

    Mar 16, 2016
    Northern California
    So very sorry for your sudden, sad loss! What is G6S?

    IHEARTGOATS Well-Known Member

    Jun 14, 2016
    Zebulon, NC
    No my doe was mature. She was bred for her 4th freshening.
    She appeared sick one day and was dead 2 days later.
    She appeared to be mildly bloated and we treated for that. She didn't get any better so we had the vet out. He thought that she may have Listeriosis. We started treatment for that but she died that night.

    The Necropsy listed the cause of death as heart failure and showed that there was existing damage to one of the ventricles in her heart.
  11. "G6S" is a genetic mutation Nubian goat (and their cousins) have. Humans have it too but it is called Sanfilippo syndrome.
    It causes its victim to have none or less of the G6S enzyme which is necessary for life. The victims will develop normally for an amount of time before dying. It is understood that 25% of all nubians are either affected by it (have both genes) or are carriers (have one of the genes that they may pass to offspring)
    A goat must have both genes/be affected to die from the G6S mutation

    There are many informative articles about it. I encourage anyone and everyone with Nubians/Nubian crosses to read extensively about it before breeding or buying goats.
  12. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California