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Miscarriage & Aborting

Sometimes, no matter how much care we give to a doe, she may miscarry or abort.

I have heard it said that it is common for goats to miscarry.  This is not true.  There is always a reason that causes the doe to miscarry, or abort, and there is a lot we can do to prevent it; such as providing good holistic health care, proper feed and housing, and good prenatal care.  Though, sometimes abortions do happen and there may have been nothing you could have done to prevent it.   There is not always an obvious explanation for why a doe miscarries.

The following are some things that could cause a goat to miscarry or abort:

  • Injury- Getting rammed/slammed by another goat causes miscarriages much more often than people think.
  • Moldy Hay or Feed
  • Incorrect use of medications or herbs
  • Pregnancy Toxemia
  • Stress
  • Malformed fetus
  • Infections such as:
    • Chlamydia or "Pink eye" is a major cause of miscarriages. See here for more details.
    • Toxoplasma - a coccidia found in cat feces.
    • Salmonella
    • Mycoplasma
    • John's disease
    • Listeria

 

Symptoms of impending miscarriage depends on the cause.

Symptoms that the doe has aborted may be quite obvious, or not so obvious; again, it depends no the reason for the miscarriage. We had had miscarriages where all we ever saw was a bit of blood on the tail. The doe exhibited no other signs or symptoms of anything being wrong, and the doe never seemed to be in distress of any sort.  These abortions, we believe, were caused by the doe getting rammed by a herdmate.

If we have no idea why a doe aborted, we find that it's good practice to give her a course of Immune Support Tincture and keep a very close eye on her for at least a week. We have had only a few abortions here at Fias Co Farm.  One, we believe, was attributed to moldy hay.  The others, we are pretty sure, were caused by the doe getting rammed by another doe.

If the doe miscarries, she may or may not go back into heat that season. With the few miscarriages we have had, the doe did not go back into heat until the regular breeding season the following Fall.

When a doe does abort, be especially kind to her because she can get quite depressed (just like a human would if they lost their child).

You may find it comforting to know that does that abort can go on to have full term pregnancies the following years with no problems at all.

 

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The information on this web site is provided as an examples of how we do things here at Fias Co Farm. It is supplied for general reference and educational purposes only. This information does not represent the management practices or thinking of other goat breeders and/or the veterinary community. We are not veterinarians or doctors, and the information on this site is not intended to replace professional veterinary and/or medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your vet and/or doctor. We present the information and products on this site without guarantees, and we disclaim all liability in connection with the use of this information and/or products. The extra-label use of any medicine in a food producing animal is illegal without a prescription from a veterinarian.

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