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Why does my Nigerian Dwarf goat faint?

Discussion in 'Behaviors & Handling Techniques - Goats' started by Wendybear, Sep 28, 2018.

  1. Sep 28, 2018
    Wendybear

    Wendybear Ridin' The Range

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    Hello everyone! I recently acquired 2 adorable Nigerian Dwarf goats. Intermittedly, during the last few weeks, I’ve noticed that when she gets up after lying down awhile, her legs are stiff and she walks funny when she gets up. Both front and back legs. After a few steps, she is walking normally and frolicking as usual.

    I saw that this can be a symptom of CAE. But I only saw reference to the hind legs being stiff, and there has been no knuckling ankles that I’ve noticed. But it scares me enough that I’ve cried myself to sleep the last 2 nights, and plan on getting a test pretty soon to hopefully shed some light. Honestly, I have been so bummed about this. These were our first goats and she was to be my milker.

    I want to add that along with the aforementioned stiff legs, she fainted today while we were out walking. A neighbor drove by on his bike and it surprised her and she just fell over on her side with stiff legs and then hopped back up! She fainted!

    Let me also add that this has happened twice before, but I didn’t realize it was a faint. The first time (about 2 mos old) she tripped over the hitch on my dad’s trailor. She fell off and then flipped on her side with the stiff legs. I was horrified and thought she was dead! She hopped up and seemed fine (but I wasn’t!) I watched her closely for a few days looking for any signs of injury or pain. She was fine, so I forgot about it.

    Fast forward a month, she was enjoying a 4ft high newly built platform and jumped off for the first time. When she hit the ground, again she fell over stiff-legged and then hopped back up! I was thouroughly confused by this time and briefly wondered if there was a goat form of epilepsy. I never considered a faint, bc she is a purebred Nigerian Dwarf Goat with papers!

    I have read that there is a very slight chance that if both parents have a recessive myotonic gene that fainting can happen in the offspring? God, I hope so! That would be so much better than CAE. But it seems impossible. Is it possible?
     
  2. Sep 28, 2018
    Simpleterrier

    Simpleterrier Loving the herd life

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    Yep it is possible. Better chance is u don't have a dwarf goat. But an actual fainting one
     
  3. Sep 28, 2018
    Goat Whisperer

    Goat Whisperer Herd Master

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    Have you talked to the breeder?

    Not to scare you, but we had a buck with similar issues, he too looked as if he were “fainting” in times of excitement. In reality he had a severe heart murmur… he didn’survive :( Have her checked by a vet.
     
  4. Sep 28, 2018
    Wendybear

    Wendybear Ridin' The Range

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    Even with papers? She even has a tattoo. That’s her pic in my avatar.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
  5. Sep 28, 2018
    Wendybear

    Wendybear Ridin' The Range

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    I’m so sorry to hear that.☹️ Just curious, did he also display stiffness when rising from a resting position? Did he display any other symptoms?

    The only goat vet out here is far and expensive. I try to utilize him as a la carte as possible, so I was hoping to gather some information and pay for only the tests that seem necessary. I read the CAE test isn’t really definitive until 6 months of age so I was going to wait until then and maybe check for some other things at that time since she is happy and eating, drinking and pooping great.I just don’t want to bring her in there and plop her in front of him and tell him to do the “works.” I can’t afford that right now. But things should look better financially in a couple of months. I will of course use him in an emerhency or if she was suffering or in pain, but other than what I described she is the picture of health.

    No, I haven’t talked to the breeder yet but I plan to.
     
  6. Sep 28, 2018
    MiniSilkys

    MiniSilkys Loving the herd life

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    Hi Wendybear. Have you considered that you may have a Mini Silky Fainting Goat. They can be registered as purebred Nigerians if they have short hair and as Mini Silky in the MSFGA if they have long hair. Mini Silky's may or may not faint. A purebred nigerian could have the fainting gene without being a fainting goat. Check out the website www.msfga.org.
     
  7. Sep 28, 2018
    MiniSilkys

    MiniSilkys Loving the herd life

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    Also pictures of both, please! By the way I was told when I bought my first two goats 4 m/o male and 3 y/o doe, that they were mini silky's. This year I realized that the doe was a pygmy and the male was the son of her sister so he is at least half pygmy. That's him as my avatar pic.
     
  8. Sep 28, 2018
    Wendybear

    Wendybear Ridin' The Range

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    No, I hadn’t thought about that at all! I checked your link. I’m thinking you didn’t mean to send me to the Maine State Flowers and Growers Association. Haha So, I googled short hair mini silkies but mainly only saw pics of long haired goats. I’m going to look into it some more.

    I’m confused how a totally different breed can be registered as another. But I’ve only had goats for 5 months and I know next to nothing about how registries work. Lol
     
  9. Sep 28, 2018
    Wendybear

    Wendybear Ridin' The Range

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    0A22CC53-A622-459D-92F2-39916B44D7E4.jpeg
    He looks like a sweetie pie!!!! Here are mine above your quote. They both came from the same farm, but different dams and sires. The one I’m speaking of is the light one. Her name is Sugar and the darker one is Spice. She is also pictured in my avatar. Do you think she looks like she could be a mini silkie?
     
  10. Sep 28, 2018
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Actually under the ADGA rules they can not be registered if there is any fainting goat in them.
    Not sure what your papers say or from what registry they are registered.

    One step at a time.
    Does the breeder test for CAE?

    The heart check is simple, just takes a stethoscope and a listen. A severe murmur is easily detected.
    Yes, you want to wait 6-8 months before testing for CAE- use a reputable lab.

    Selenium deficiency can cause heart issues as well as infections early in age. Since they are very young the infection aspect would be doubtful.
    Thiamine is can be a factor when you see unstable walking.

    It is possible somewhere along the line a fainter was in there, however PB Nigerian Dwarf should have no evidence of such.