What just happened?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by naturewoman, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. naturewoman

    naturewoman Well-Known Member

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    I have two little does, and one of them just collapsed for a few seconds. I don't know what happened, or why, and she appears to be fine now. I had them cabled out all day to browse, and was taking them to bed, and we walked by a weed patch, and they both wanted a bite...Sonnet put her head down to grab a weed and then all of a sudden her legs just seemed to fold under her and she shuddered all over. I thought she was starting to have seizures...she was just shuddering and her eyelids were fluttering. It lasted about 30 seconds, if that long. Then she stood up, looked a little dazed, and then went on about eating and acting normal.

    She does not appear to have anything wrong with her, and she's never done this before. She's a little over a year old, and I wondered if this could have been a reaction to going into heat for the first time? She does not appear to be in heat now (I'm not sure how to tell)...at least she's not acting like it (she's not reacting to me rubbing her around her tail).

    I've never had girls before this, and Zola, who's already been bred, goes into heat often enough and is loud enough, it's apparent when she's in heat...

    I checked the area Sonnet was browsing and there was nothing there that she is not used to eating except maybe Chinese maple. There was big leaf maple, deer brush and grass and a chinese maple bush. I don't think she ate anything dangerous.

    Does anyone have any idea what this might be? I've had goats before and they've all been boys, and the only time I've ever seen a goat collapse was when my Buck was stung by yellowjackets, but he was covered with them and he was unconscious and then in shock for a while. And the fact that she got up so soon like nothing was wrong has me really puzzled.

    She is not a fainting goat...she's a Saanen/Toggenburg mix. I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks
     
  2. chamoisee

    chamoisee Well-Known Member

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    I think that goats of other breeds can occasionally be myotonic. Fainting goats are just consistently that way. This is my best guess...something could be seriously wrong with her, I've never had this happen to any of my goats.
     

  3. debd0712

    debd0712 Well-Known Member

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    In the last couple of months I have had 2 does do the same thing (one twice) while being led by their collars. The only thing we could think of was perhaps the collar pinched a nerve in their necks or something when they pulled. It was very strange and scary - thought at first something was real wrong, but I have noticed nothing else unusual and both does are fit and healthy. Neither doe has had a reoccurrence.

    Debbie
     
  4. naturewoman

    naturewoman Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys. Whew! I think Deb, that you may be right...I just switched her to a choke chain a few days ago for walking, because she is pulling so hard I have a hard time not being pulled off my feet (especially going up and down the hill to their barn). Plus she seriously injured my hand last week...I had her cable wrapped around my hand and she took off running and hit the end of the cable and ruptured a blood vessel in my hand and I still have a huge lump in it and my hand is all black...I was hoping the choke chain would teach her not to do that again.

    I guess I will stop using the choke chain and go back to the collar. The choke chain did help a bit, but she still pulled too hard. I'd rather be pulled off my feet than have this happen again. Her collar is a wide, heavy duty dog collar, and does not cut into her neck at all...but she still chokes herself pulling on it...but I don't think it could do this. It doesn't tighten up all the way around her neck like the choke chain does. It was weird, because she was not being choked by the choke chain when this happened...but that was probably still what caused it...I just figured she wouldn't pull hard enough to hurt herself, but I guess with goats, you can't count on that. I didn't cable her with the choke chain...I only used it for transport from one spot to another.

    Thanks again...it's such a relief to know it's not seizures. I knew she was conscious, because she was still holding her head off the ground...and yes it scared the living daylights out of me.

    Does anyone have any tips on teaching a goat to walk on lead without pulling so hard? Are there any other kinds of harnesses...or whatever that might work better? I have bad shoulders and she's getting soooo big and strong now. But I cable the girls out to do my mowing, so I have to move them around on leashes every day.
     
  5. goatmarm

    goatmarm Well-Known Member

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  6. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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  7. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You can cause a human to black out in just few seconds by pressing on the carotid artery on the sides of the neck. Goats may have a similar weakness and that's about where a collar would press. A person's eyes will flutter when that happens.

    It's a self defense move in case you are interested.
     
  8. cayenne47

    cayenne47 Critter Mama Supporter

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    try a halter. i just bought some from jeffer's supply for under $5 each. sturdy heavy nylon. i worry all the time about my girls getting hung up with a collar.
     
  9. Farmgirl2005

    Farmgirl2005 Well-Known Member

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    FAinting goats.. when they faint.. are completley aware if their surrondings and just cant move
    HOpe this helps
    THanks LYN
     
  10. NYSaanen

    NYSaanen Well-Known Member

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    I have had this happen a couple of times also. I believe it was a response to me pulling on the collar when they were trying to "find their own way".
    One thing that I have found, is sometimes you just need a little practice to train both you and the goat.

    If you think about the shape of the neck, narrow toward the head, and thicker toward the body. Most people have the collars adjusted such that it will be quite loose up near the head, and form fitting near the body. Remember also, that goats are not stupid. If you grab the collar while it is near their body, you can hold on for all you are worth, and they will drag you around all day until you let go, or until they get to where they want to be. This would not be unlike a goat yoke (same as oxen, just smaller). If you grab the collar, and slide it up under their chin, and keep their head up a little, they are less likely to pull your arm out of its socket. Even if you stop to let them nibble, keep hold of the collar with it near the chin. If they try to bolt, a quick jerk (not even hard) will bring their memory back.

    I guess the short version of this is that you can maintain better control if you hold the collar so that it is just below the chin. (If you have ever seen someone showing goats, they do the same thing to keep control.

    Good luck.
     
  11. naturewoman

    naturewoman Well-Known Member

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    Well...this makes me think (and I've wondered about this, since you lead horses with a halter, not a rope around the neck) that you have more control over the animal when you lead them by the head, rather than the neck. So I think I will try to find a small halter (or make one) that will fit her and see if that doesn't help.

    Sonnet is a very sweet goat, but she is skittish, and tends to bolt at things that spook her (and that tears my arms out of my sockets when she does it while I'm leading her)...and she is also very determined to get to tasty weeds and shrubs when we are walking. I don't have a problem with Zola, because she is a Nigerian Dwarf and easy for me to control. Sonnet is a slim, medium sized goat, and I can't believe how powerful she is for her size...she probably weighs a little over 100 lbs...which is a lot of weight to be controlling by force all the time.

    When we go for walks outside my property, they run free and we all love that...but in my yard, I need to contain them so they don't eat all my gardens.

    Thanks for the suggestions. I really appreciate it. (and so will my baby girls :D)
     
  12. lijj

    lijj Well-Known Member

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    I use a halter too. They're adjustable and have a lead attached.
     
  13. naturewoman

    naturewoman Well-Known Member

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    So...are there halters that are small enough for smaller goats? I haven't looked yet...but it would be easier than making my own.
     
  14. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    You can order nice halters from www.jefferslivestock.com and they're cheap. They're under 5.00 each, and you can get small, medium, or large.
     
  15. cayenne47

    cayenne47 Critter Mama Supporter

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    BUTTT.....if you have smaller goats..like under a year..get size SMALL. i ordered medium and had to return them, even my biggest goat, freckles, swam in it.