The Goat Spot Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
299 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 5 year old has bulging thickened knee calluses. They are not hot or painful, just thick and puffing out. He's limping a bit on his front leg (but he had the calluses long long before that). He's never down on his knees eating or anything like that.

Seems like his front fetlock (pastern?) joints are starting to bow in some, making him pigeon toed. His hooves have never been right from when I got him (he hadn't been trimmed in ages when I bought him), but after trimming more from one edge I was able to straighten out some pigeon toes a little. He has been chewing at his feet and itching a lot, so I'm treating both goats for lice. I also treated them for scald although the feet didn't seem rotted but he did have hair loss and flaky skin in the pasterns.

The 2 year old goat just started limping on a front leg too. I did find a part of a blackberry thorn in his pad and removed it, but really have no idea why he's still limping. I'm baffled.

Neither of them are limping terribly, just when walking downhill or otherwise mostly just at a trot. Hard to tell when they are just walking on a flat surface. They are CAE negative, and CL negative for that matter. Here are some pics of the older goats knees and bowing foot.
 

Attachments

·
Banned
Joined
·
849 Posts
Hmm... I wish there were something good to say about this. That third photo is the one that's really got me worried. His legs look a lot like the ones on a goat belonging to a friend of mine. They were fairly normal looking when he started out, but after he turned 3 or 4 years old his pasterns suddenly knuckled over the front just like your goat's are doing. My friend had the vet come look at him, and he told her that the goat's tendons had broken down (which didn't sound quite right to me, but that's what my friend said the vet said), but basically there was nothing to be done about it. He got progressively worse over the last few months, and she finally had to put him down about a week ago when he could no longer get up.

If your goat has always had crooked legs, it's quite possible that there is inflammation in the knee joints from uneven strain. This may be the start of arthritis. He might seem too young for it, but if his legs are out of whack it would not surprise me if he already had degenerative joint problems. You'd probably need to have him x-rayed to find out for sure. But with those pasterns knuckled over like that, I'm not sure you even need to worry about his knees at this point. I hope I'm just reading that picture wrong, but it sure looks like the same problem my friend's goat had.
 

·
Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
Joined
·
4,805 Posts
Looks like long term copper deficiency to me. The younger one might be able to be helped, but at 5, I think its to late to help the older one. Though its not unheard of for a goat to get arthritis either. Id look into copper bolas'es for them right off. And on a side note, a vet who doesnt know goats is often dangerous. Goats dont rate real high on a vets important list. So if you call a vet and he is like "Well it could be or its probably " then dont take what he has to say as fact.

They by chance have missing a bit of hair? Missing hair in the middle of their tail on the very tip is often an indicator.

Here is a link to some good info. AND always remember, dont buy things marketed for both sheep and goats. Sheep cant have copper so it will be lacking in copper and will not help your goats.

http://www.saanendoah.com/copper1.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
299 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Nanno, a friend who raises goats up in Oregon basically said the same thing you did. She saw something similar in a woman's goat up there. The woman had xrays done and the joints were degenerating and there was nothing she could do. If this is the case I'm very sad...

Dave, thanks for the copper article. They get loose goat minerals (Bar Ale) that contains copper, but he never eats as much of it as the younger one. Hmmm. I wonder. Wouldn't want to poison them with too much copper either. And yes, a good goat vet is nearly impossible to find. The closest goat vet here is an hour and a half away, and I don't know how good he is at that. Here's the label ingredients of the goat mineral.

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN
(Min)
6.6
%
CRUDE FAT
(Min)
3.3
%
CRUDE FIBER
(Min)
3.9
%
ASH
(Max)
65.4
%
CALCIUM
(Min)
8
%
CALCIUM
(Max)
13
%
PHOSPHORUS
(Min)
7
%
SODIUM
(Min)
5
%
SODIUM
(Max)
10
%
MAGNESIUM
(Min)
2
%
POTASSIUM (Min) 0.3 %
COBALT (Min) 29 PPM
COPPER
(Min)
426
PPM
MANGANESE
(Min)
686
PPM
ZINC
(Min)
1,180
PPM
IODINE
(Min)
32
PPM
SELENIUM
(Min)
28
PPM
VITAMIN A
(Min)
329,423
IU\LB
VITAMIN D
(Min)
72,342
IU\LB
VITAMIN E
(Min)
818
IU\LB
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
299 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Dave I'll check their tails today. This goat has always had a rough coat since the day I bought him. I just figured it was just how he is. I have no idea if the guy who owned him before (I bought him when he was three) gave him minerals or not. I did happen to run out of the loose minerals for a few months and they only had the red mineral block, but could a few months without really cause a deficiency? I have no idea. There is just so much to know about these animals and their nutrition it's overwhelming at times. Maybe he already had a slight deficiency from before I bought him, and maybe that's why he was the goat to always get sick easily and have problems... The other one which I bought at 3 months of age (who is two now) has always been healthy (until he developed this limp a week ago).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
299 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No hair loss at all, tail or otherwise. Today they were both limping a little less. Ordered copper just in case. So frustrating not knowing exactly what's wrong.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
299 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Anyone have any experience with copper boluses? I gave a 4 gram one to the large goat with the above problem, and 2 grams to the younger one. Should I give more, or how often? Although things aren't looking so good for the above goat, he at least hasn't gotten worse and I don't want to kill him outright by giving him too much. His feet are slightly less crooked now, although I can tell those tendons or ligaments are still weak.

I'm still wondering about those hard thick calluses bulging on his knees too. Last time I had him at the vet for those knees the vet was baffled and we re-tested him for CAE (twice negative). And his hooves all dried like that. I treated for rot-scald, but their pen is dry (dusty in fact). They will be getting a new and much larger pen in about a month.

I feel like I don't know what else to do. I've tried to cover all the bases here, treated for rot-scald, lice, given LA200 to him, multi-vitamin injection, copper bolus and vet also had me just give BoSe. If anyone has any further advice I'd be happy to hear it. Thanks.

Here are a couple of photos from today. He looks a little straighter, they both still have a slight limp, right front leg, mostly noticeable when walking down a hill or trotting. Otherwise they seem fine and even frisky at times.
 

Attachments

·
Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
Joined
·
4,805 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
299 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So according to that article I need to give them more. Thank you. And yes they're in great shape otherwise, thanks :D They're actually spoiled rotten! They get walks with the dog and I out in the big field almost every day with lots of goodies to browse on, then come back to eat some really good grass hay (They're more spoiled than my horses were back in the day!)
 

·
Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
Joined
·
4,805 Posts
I dont know if Id invest a ton of money / effort in the bolus. Id think 2 or 3 times a year and a good mineral mix to cover em the rest of the year should be more then enough. Ah the puzzle that is finding the best way to raise some goats :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
299 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The big guy retires to a new home tomorrow where he will just be a pet with a couple of other goats and some alpacas on 5 acre pasture on a 30 acre property. The couple taking him know of his issues (which seem to have improved some over the last two weeks, not so weak in the tendons and not limping much now). This improvement in his condition had me in turmoil over whether to give him more time and try to keep him, but looking back over last summer when he really seemed to lag and not have much heart for packing and how exhausted he would get, I decided to let him retire to his new home (with tears, I'm a sap and I'm very attached to him, but I think it's best for him). The only thing keeping my chin up is that he's actually going to a better home than I can give him, meaning he'll have lots of land to roam and endless browse, the owners work from home so he'll get regular human attention. Hell, I may even want them to adopt me too! :) Here's a photo from my last walk with him this evening. Who would have known I could get so attached to a goat. :cry
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
299 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
And thinking back about last summer, he had no strange symptoms, no lameness, just seemed to tire easily... wish I could have figured out exactly what's wrong... but did the best I could. Sigh :(
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
849 Posts
Aw... I'm glad you found a good home for your buddy. It's sad you have to let him go, but it sounds like it's the best plan for his health and happiness. I'm glad you're able to do the right thing by him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
299 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks Nanno - The new owners were nice and their property is amazing and he'll have two Togg does to rule over come Friday, and the owner to walk the property with and help with pruning trees. They had two Oleander plants that I convinced them to get rid of. They are brand new to owning goats and I guess that concerns me a little, however we all have to start somewhere and that gentle giant is a good first goat, and I'm just a phone call away... They said I could visit any time (but it's a couple hours away, so probably not going to do that). I cried on the drive there, held it together while I was at their place, and cried again later - He cried and called after me when I walked away and dragged the new owner after me - He was standing at the gate watching me and calling after me as I drove away - I know it's silly, but damn that broke my heart! My other Saanen is shocked and confused, as his leader is gone... hopefully though that will make him be nicer to the new Alpine goat since that's his only buddy for now.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top