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So You’ve Gone in and Assisted a Birth. What Next?

I am reminded today why raising goats isn’t for the faint of heart.  Things are great when they’re great, but it sure can be intense when they’re not so great.

I heard Silkie making noise and went out to find her already pushing, not progressing well with a backward breech who came out easily enough, but after low intensity contractions and no progress pushing on the second, I went in to find a mess.

This isn’t my first mess, but I felt like sharing this glimpse of goat life for those of you thinking you might want to someday find yourself elbow deep in a screaming doe. 😀

The second kid, much larger than the first, was upside down with his head wedged beneath the birth canal and a single front foot out. 

It took multiple attempts, pushing the parts that stuck out back in against a doe who was screaming and pushing.  Having had that particular experience in my own labor once, I can fully empathize.  I was able to finally get both legs pointing the right way, but in the process lost the head again.  It took a full ten minutes inside her to finally get the head facing the right way, turned back right side up and out with both legs at the same time.

Once positioned, he came out easily, but mom and I were completely exhausted.

Proactive Antibiotics or Not?

I don’t routinely give antibiotics after going in and won’t in this case, so here’s what I DO do while watching closely for progression of infection:

A doe in her situation is typically exhausted and not willing to stand up because *everything* hurts.  Rather than force the issue, I milk her and bottle feed the kids their first colostrum while she rests.

Supportive care for the doe includes blackstrap molasses in warm water and herbs to prevent infection.

While a homemade herbal tea is steeping, I gave her a drencher full of garlic fermented honey, Fir Meadow Herbiotic, oil of oregano and colloidal silver.

The herbal tea will be added to water daily, along with that drench 2-3x/day for 2-3 days or until I feel confident she is recovering.  The tea today included raspberry leaf, mullein, nettles, echinacea and oatstraw, mostly supportive, nutritive herbs.

I go in to assist on does every year and have never treated uterine infection with antibiotics with the exception of one doe who was so swollen and traumatized from a head back pull one year that I gave her antibiotics immediately.

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