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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 13 month old Nigerian Dwarf doe who has been limping on her front left leg for about a month and a half now. It's subtle, off and on over the course of each day, and she'll stand with it off the ground about half the time. Other than the leg, she's healthy, no major injuries that I know of. She lets me look at it, I can't find anything wrong with the hoof and can't feel any unusual heat or swelling in the rest of the leg and the knee isn't hyperextended. I tried to give her aspirin but I can't get the pills down her throat and I tried crushing the pills and mixing it with stuff but she doesn't eat all of it. Sometimes on our walks she'll stop and dig her heels in and I have to carry her home.

I was thinking it's either a sprain, fracture, tumor, bone chip, or hoof issue. I don't think its fractured because she let's me touch it and only limps sometimes and her age makes a tumor unlikely. There isn't anything obviously wrong with the hoof and a bone chip seems unlikely given the lack of major trauma. I think it's probably a sprain but it's not going away.

We have an appointment with the vet on Thursday. I'm hoping to avoid x-rays but if I can just get a little more information I might be able to treat it. Maybe the vet can tell me which joint is the problem so I can wrap it, she might be able to give me some prescription pain meds or something. I don't know what else to do to help her. If this limp just showed up today I wouldn't give it too much thought but the fact that it won't go away really bothers me. I thought I'd see if you guys have any ideas about this.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Get banamine from the vet.
Helps with pain and swelling.

Have you trimmed her hoof to see if she has a nail/wire or something that sunk down in? Tried pushing down on her hoof bottom to see if there is sensitivity there?
Or she may have a stone bruise, when the issue began was she just trimmed?

Have you checked in between her toes for sores?

If her hoof isn't hot or distorted, I would maybe rule out founder.
Is she getting a lot of grain?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Between her toes looks healthy and normal, I don't see any nails or thorns in her hooves, and when I pushed on the frog it didn't seem to bother her but that was over a month ago. It's possible that it would bother her now. I'll have to check that tonight.

She gets a handful of grain in the mornings and evenings. It used to be to get her and her brother where I needed them and keep them from crying when I left them but now it's just routine. It's well under the serving size. She also gets a half cup of BOSS and a half cup of alfalfa pellets morning and evening. She has free choice Red Edge loose goat mineral. Other than that she's just on browse. Mostly blackberry and this ridiculously tall (some over 6 feet!) grass weed plus whatever apple and plum branches they can get.
 

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Yes, definitely find out what the vet says. My neighbor and fellow Nigerian Dwarf breeder has been dealing with limping goats lately. If there is no obvious cause, I would look into Pholia Farms article on their website about limping goats. No one knows the cause of it, but unfortunately the issue has been springing up in a lot of Nigerian Dwarf goats. Some think it is injury related, or mineral deficiency related, or genetic related. No one knows for sure. I hope this helps! Best wishes to you and your goat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If there is no obvious cause, I would look into Pholia Farms article on their website about limping goats. No one knows the cause of it, but unfortunately the issue has been springing up in a lot of Nigerian Dwarf goats.
I read that a couple weeks ago and it scared the heck out of me! I'm hoping she just landed hard on it or something. If she had CAE it wouldn't be symptomatic in a yearling, would it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the replies, I plan on having both my goats tested anyway just to be safe. I'm gonna see if the vet thinks x-rays are absolutely necessary or if it seems more like a sprain that isn't healing. Her knees aren't swollen at all. It looks like it's her shoulder but I want the vet's opinion. I'll let you guys know what the vet says.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Okay, the vet said he felt a small bruise on the frog of her hoof and slight swelling in her knee. He said it doesn't strike him as CAE but I asked that he draw blood anyway so I had her tested for CAE, Johnes, and CL. I got her some banamine. He said he didn't think x-rays were at the top of the list and she probably just injured her leg roughhousing and then reinjured it, accounting for the span. I also had a fecal done because we haven't in a while.

All the while her brother, who I brought along for moral support, made eyes at the brood mare being worked on and begged passing techs for treats. :eek:ohlala:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Blood test and fecal results are back and Ruby is healthy! She tested negative for CL, CAE, and Johne's, and her fecal showed no clinical infestations. After the vet visit and some online research I wasn't too concerned that CAE was the problem but it's still such a relief to get a clean bill of health.
:7up::7up::7up:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I hate to revive a 5 month old thread but I have news!
The vet mentioned at Ruby's initial visit that his next step would be to separate ruby and her brother under the assumption that he is hitting her when I'm not around. I wasn't ready for that yet (they would be miserable) so I spent the next few months eliminating possible hazards from their half of the yard and studying the barn's camera footage for issues. Eventually I became convinced that she had either a bone chip in one of her joints or she had an idiopathic limp.

I was all ready to make an appointment for an x ray in November when I remembered that Pilchuck employs a veterinary chiropractor. I made an appointment with her and Ruby was not thrilled about all the initial petting involved but did enjoy the spine palpation. Apparently Ruby's humeral head was not properly in the shoulder socket; she could still use the leg, just not very well, possibly pinching some nerves. She "adjusted" the joint so that it was back where it should be and confirmed that the leg had full range of motion.

Since then, Ruby has limped less, though she still lifts her leg while she stands sometimes. About a week later Ruby had an appointment with a massage therapist who made sure that she didn't throw her leg out again and still had full range of motion. Ruby liked the massage less than the spine thing but she continues to improve so a couple more sessions may resolve her limp. That being said, her muscles are very tight and they've been in this pattern for quite a while so she may limp for the rest of her life, hopefully feeling no pain.

Storytime: I strained my neck (by sleeping?!) and spent 2 days with my head tilted to the left, mostly in bed, and on muscle relaxants. My doctor also gave me a prescription for a massage. I spent close to two hours on the phone trying to find a massage therapist that would take my insurance and had an appointment within the next week. I was unable to do so. Ruby has one visit with a chiropractor and within 24 hours, my goat had an appointment with a massage therapist and because she's not licensed for livestock, it was free. o_O
 
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