Milk fever is a misnomer. It is not a fever,
and doesn't always have to do with milk production. It is actually
low blood calcium, which is known as hypocalcaemia. The goat may have plenty of calcium in her bones and
in the diet, but due to a sudden increase in calcium and phosphorus
requirements (due to impending kidding or lactation) she is unable
to reabsorb the calcium she needs from her bones or absorb it from
It is important to note that hypocalcaemia is not only relative in immediate pre/post kidding situations.
Many people think it can happen only to heavy milkers right before or right after kidding. This is not the case.
Milk fever runs in heavy milk lines, but the doe dose not have to be
in heavy milk, or milking at all, to come down with milk fever.
doe seems weak.
Decrease in appetite
Mild bloat or constipation
The doe is wobbly on her feet.
Inability to stand.
Weakened uterine contractions
Decreased body temperature.
The doe may stop ruminating, urinating or defecating.
Shivering after milking
Exercise & proper
a good loose mineral mix with 2:1 calcium:phosphorous at all times.
5-6 Tums to the doe each day, starting two weeks before kidding
and continuing after freshening.
Feed more alfalfa,
which contains a lot of calcium.
Add some calcium
citrate powder, or other human calcium suppliments to
her daily grain ration.
Be aware that if
a doe shivers after milking, this could be a sign that she needs
A vet may give 50 to 100 ml of 25% calcium borogluconate intravenously, but this is very dangerous for inexperienced
goat keepers and death can result.
Calcium Gluconate 23% Solution: 8 to 12 oz. given orally. Repeat 5-8
oz, three times a day until the doe is eating and symptoms are subsiding.
or Calcium Gluconate 23%
cc injected over her ribs. The injections should be broken down into
3 or 4 injections and given in different sites. The injections should
be given slowly.
the doe is lying on her side, prop her up with a bale of hay so that
she is laying on her breastbone (normally). This prevents rumen fluid
from entering her lungs and prevents bloat from developing
If you are milking the doe, do not take too much milk for the next
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