October 2013 Issue



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Your goat is limping. How do you determine what is wrong? What do you do?

THINK LIKE A GOAT. What was happening in the goat's life when the lameness appeared? What was the goat doing? Who was it with?

Was it recently put into a new herd or with members of the opposite sex? Don't make this situation complicated. It is usually the simplest thing that caused the problem.

If the limping goat is a newborn or very young kid, there are several possibilities:

(1) Crowding in utero may have caused stretching or contraction of leg muscles and the kid cannot stand properly when born. The kid may need assistance standing to nurse for several days until it gains strength in its legs;

(2) Joint Ill, which is an infection in the (usually) front knee joints from bacteria wicking up a wet umbilical cord;

(3) Hooked by horns and thrown by another kid's dam if it got too close to her;

(4) White muscle disease (selenium deficiency);

(5) Floppy Kid Syndrome, although this is more staggering than limping;

(6) Injection site reactions;

(7) Weak Kid Syndrome, although this is more inability to move around than limping;

(8) Injury from predators, playful dogs, or unthinking/careless people.See my articles on these topics on the Articles page of www.tennesseemeatgoats.com.

If the limping goat is a young kid or an adult, several possibilities exist that could cause it to limp:

(1) Hoof rot or hoof scald;

(2) Laminitis-Founder;

(3) Injured by an animal, person, or another goat;

(4) Injured from getting caught in a fixed object, like fencing or other materials that should not have been left out for goats to access;

(5) Hypocalcemia ("milk fever") in a pregnant doe;

(6) Meningeal deerworm infection;

(7) Listeriosis or Goat Polio, although this is more staggering than limping;

(8) White Muscle Disease (selenium deficiency);

(9) Hypocalcemia, although this is more the dragging of hind legs than limping;

(10)Injection site reactions;

(11)Stroke or seizure.

This is not a comprehensive list but rather a good overview from which to begin. When diagnosing the problem, you must start by eliminating what it is not and work toward what it might be. You must also have on hand appropriate medications and supplies to correct the problem once you diagnose it.

Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch, 10/2/13

Subscribe FREE now! Monthly issues with new articles and other educational information on meat goat health, nutrition, and management written by Suzanne W. Gasparotto of Onion Creek Ranch and Pat Cotten of Bending Tree Ranch. In all cases, it is your responsibility to obtain veterinary services and advice before using any of the information provided in these articles. Neither Suzanne Gasparotto nor Pat Cotten are veterinarians. None of the contributors to this website will be held responsible for the use of any information contained herein.


Goat Camp™ 2014

Taking reservations for
Goat Camp™ 2014
Oct 27-30, 2014
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BendingTree Ranch TexMaster Goats

2013 TexMaster™ bucklings available


Bending Tree Ranch Pan,
son of BTR Joseph

Bending Tree Ranch Brandon,
son of BTR Cupid’s Arrow


Bending Tree Ranch Mark,
son of BTR Joseph

Bending Tree Ranch Clem,
son of BTR Joseph

We are also offering breeding aged does and adult bucks for sale.

TexMasters™, Myotonics as well as TMG™ quality Myotonics.

Two male livestock guardian pups available. Both parents work here at Bending Tree Ranch. Sire is fullblood Anatolian and dam is ¾ Karakachan ¼ Pyr. Excellent working dogs.


Pat Cotten 501-581-5700
Bending Tree Ranch located near Greenbrier, Arkansas

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