Milk Fever and other oddities in life

Not that all my reader will be interested in reading about Milk Fever.  However,  if you have a goat, it is great information to have.  If you don't, this will be another great subject to put in your random nonsense file.
Mom whatcha doing out there?

In a way this is a continuing story about Cinder and her triplets.     After the delivery of the triplets Cinder was up and very proud of her new babies.    I thought we were doing okay and we did not have much to worry about.  The next morning she still had not lost her placenta,  ewww,  I know.   I talked to the vet and he said there really was not much to worry about,  a retained placenta will eventually be expelled.  A huge EWWW!!!   Well, maybe it is not much for him to worry about, but as a woman I found it something that needed to be taken care of.    I did come home with a shot of  Lutelyse to help her extract the placenta.   Within a couple hours voila , the Lutelyse had worked and things were looking good, so I thought.   
Cinder was up and active, not eating much at all, but was drinking.   Being the worrier that I am I decided that she must have an infection brewing because of her aforementioned problem.  Not one to treat my livestock unnecessarily, I decided to error on the side of caution anyway and I gave her 4.5 ml of Oxytetracycine  in case she did have the start of an infection.   Now,  things should look up and  I could stop worrying, right?

Nope, this is were the milk fever comes in.   The next morning, sleepy eyed, I go out to the barn to see the new and improved Cinder.   But, what to my wondering eyes should appear, a goat standing in the corner with her head up against the wall for support.  I was a little worried that Cinder was coming down with Milk Fever.   I wanted to give all the medication from the day before the chance to work before I assumed anything else was wrong.    Milk fever is not a actual fever.   It is actually low blood calcium, which is known as hypocalcaemia. A goat may have plenty of calcium in her bones and in her diet, but due to a sudden increase in calcium and phosphorus requirements, (like impending kidding or lactation) she is unable to reabsorb the calcium she needs from her bones or absorb it from her diet.  So in short producing milk for triplets was taking more calcium from Cinder than she had stored or could produce.   Though Cinder was still on her feet, if left untreated she would eventually not have been able to stand,  had muscle tremors, and stopped ruminating.  Milk fever left untreated will eventually cause death.

My treatment for Milk Fever went like this:

50 ml Calcium Glutamate SubQ at 7:00 am.

50 ml Calcium Glutamate SubQ at 8:00 am.

50 ml Calcium Glutamate SubQ at 9:00 am.

8 oz Calcium Glutamate orally  6:00 pm.
By this time Cinder was eating and drinking well.  
For the next two days I poured 500 ml of Calcium Glutamate in Cinder's water each morning.  
Now Cinder is well on her way to complete recovery,  though the last few days have left her on the thin side.  Cinder has always been a easy keeper, meaning she never gets thin and always carried some extra weight (kind of like me)   I think if she wasn't is such good physical shape before she delivered we would have not seen such a positive end to this story.
Cinder pre delivery.  Even though she is carrying triplets, you can see that her body condition is very good.
Cinder after recovering from Milk Fever.  You can see what a toll this took on her overall body condition.  She has lost a lot of weight and all her tone is gone.   

Though Cinders condition is not as good as it was,  she is doing well and the triplets are thriving.  Remember if any of your critters are not acting like themselves and are not eating or drinking like they normally do, that is their way of telling us something is wrong. 

William says Good Bye!


  1. So glad you are so in tune with your animals. Good husbandry starts with knowing your animals on a personal level. You are so right, they will let you know when something is wrong. You just have to know how to read them. Glad Cinders is on the road to recovery.

  2. Amen, Kathi. I have learned that good animal husbandry starts with education. Goats are kind of a mystery to some vets. Educating yourself makes you a great advocate for your animals. And the vets appreciate your knowledge. ;)


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