Kidding problems

Pregnancy toxaemia (sleepy sickness):

Does carrying multiple fetuses may stop eating in the last 4-6 weeks before kidding if feed intake doesn’t match the needs of the dam and fetuses. Sleepy sickness is when does metabolise fat which produces ketones (a toxic by-product) because their feed intake doesn’t match feed demand.

Maintaining does in a medium body condition rather than overly fat condition early in pregnancy will help keep down the disease. Multiple fetuses will tend to crowd the animal’s digestive system therefore limiting intake, in this case concentrates are required.

Prolapsed vagina (bearing):

Part of the vagina wall comes out of the goat, it can be minor or major and become very traumatised. Sometimes the bladder can be trapped in the lump, so the goat can’t pee, and without expressing the bladder it’s very difficult to replace the prolapse. Normally if you lift the prolapse up it’ll allow the animal to pee and then the prolapse can be replaced.

Causes aren’t well understood in goats, but include heredity, large number of kids, lack of exercise or previous prolapses. Unfortunately once a doe has prolapsed, their cervix often doesn’t open,  leading to kidding difficulties. A sheep bearing retainer can be placed to prevent a prolapse recurring, this can be tired to ends that have been glued onto the animal or a harness made up to tie the bearing onto. The retainer will be pushed out when she kids.

Failure of the cervix to dilate (ringwomb):

Sometimes a doe can’t kid because the cervix is too tight. Occasionally this will respond to certain injections but often this means a c-section is the only way to get the kids out. Oxytocin has no effect and has a negative effect on the doe if given.


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