Uterine Problems in Goats

15 Apr

Annie is one of my sweet girls that is not going to have kids this year.  {If you are squeamish or don’t like medical pictures of a goat’s back end, you might want to just see how pretty Annie is in the picture below and come back tomorrow.  Otherwise, keep reading.}


I did put her with Boeris last fall for spring break babies.  It was about three weeks later though when she came back into heat.  It wasn’t a big deal.  It was a little odd though that she seemed to have a lot of white discharge.

goat discharge

I made note of it, but didn’t think too hard on it.  After this continued off and on for a while though, I called the vets.  They had me give her antibiotics.  That did seem to help.  For a while.  Just before spring break, she really started with lots of white discharge again.  It looked like cottage cheese.  This time, she seemed really uncomfortable and looked almost like one of the girls standing and stretching in the very early stages of labor.  I called the vets again, and they had me do the same antibiotic as before (Nuflor).

goat in barn

It helped, but only for a short time.  When I got home from work one day last week, she had discharge and was laying on her side pushing.  That’s not good when she’s not bred.  The vet and checked her.  He couldn’t feel any opening in the cervix, but he could feel a mass in her uterus.  We set up an appointment for an ultrasound the next day.  She had a lovely shave job so the machine could actually take a picture.  There was clearly a liquid mass in there.  Beyond that, it wasn’t very helpful.  There are four possibilities.

shaved goat

1.  Mummification:  She could have a “mummy baby” in there.  If she were to have been bred and the fetus died, it will sometimes stay there as a mummy baby.  The ultrasound wouldn’t pick this up, however, because the bones would not be solid.  If she were to have a mummy baby, it would require surgery to remove it.

2.  Pyometra:  This is an accumulation of pus in the uterus.  This is extremely dangerous as the infection can become septic and cause death quickly.  It’s highly unlikely that this is what it is because she had no fever.  We took blood, and the results were unremarkable.  No elevated white count.

goat shaved neck

3.  Hydrometra:  This is a buildup of fluid in the uterus that is non-infectious.  You might have heard of a false pregnancy.  The doe was with a buck and gained weight and filled out, but she never has a kid.  She could be filled with fluid.  This is more common in dairy goats, which Annie is not.

4.  Tumors are always a possibility with a mass, but it would not be as likely to be a tumor when it showed fluid on the ultrasound.

We decided to go with the treatment for Hydrometra/Pyometra.  She was given antibiotics and prostaglandin.  The prostaglandin opens the cervix to allow the fluid to drain.  Hopefully, that’s all it takes.  The shot is best repeated in two weeks.  I did watch closely, and could see that she was passing mucus.

peeing goat

goat mucus discharge

Hopefully this will take care of the issue.  There is no guarantee that it won’t come back.  In fact, with dogs they will usually remove the uterus because it can be a chronic condition.  If this is the case with Annie, I don’t know what I would do.  The vet didn’t know if it was even feasible to do a hysterectomy on a goat.  We would face the same issue if it were a mummy baby requiring surgery.

I will let you know how things progress.

Linking to Homestead Barn Hop.

33 Responses to “Uterine Problems in Goats”

  1. Pam April 15, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

    Annie’s is a beautiful girl, I really hope this helps! Hugs!

    • Teresa April 15, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

      So far it seems to be doing the trick. It will be soon that I give her the second round of the prostaglandin. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. 🙂

  2. Veralynne Malone April 15, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

    Aww man. Poor Annie. Hope everything works out for her AND you. Sending prayers and good wishes!

    • Teresa April 15, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

      She is such a sweet girl. I do hope we can get this taken care of. Thanks for your good wishes.

  3. Patty April 15, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    Poor girl. I do hope it sorts out

    • Teresa April 15, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

      I do too. She was absolutely miserable.

  4. Nancy April 15, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

    Poor Annie — if only she could tell you exactly what was going on. I hope she gets better soon.

    • Teresa April 15, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

      Thanks. She is feeling better. I just hope she keeps getting better and stays better.

  5. Candy Conrad April 15, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

    I agree with Nancy, it’s a shame they can’t TELL us how they feel! I hope this medication helps the poor girl.

    • Teresa April 15, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

      Goats are horrible, too, because they have to be almost dead before they let you know they aren’t feeling well.

  6. tracy April 15, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

    Well that is very encouraging that she is passing mucous. I hope the second shot takes care of the problem and it doesn’t ever happen again! 😀

    • Teresa April 15, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

      I hope so too. She’s such a sweetie, and she is so miserable when it’s bothering her.

  7. Alica April 15, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

    Poor Annie. I hope this solves her problems!!

    • Teresa April 15, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

      I do too. Sweet thing.

  8. ERIKA April 15, 2013 at 11:57 pm #

    Poor precious Annie get better quickly.

    • Teresa April 16, 2013 at 6:31 am #

      Thanks, Erika. 🙂

  9. magnoliamoonpie April 16, 2013 at 8:19 am #

    thoughts for your Annie getting well soon…when I was a child we lost our moma goat to pyometra (late 1940s) no vet in area for large animals or small, the docs were just beginning to Rx antibiotics for humans so don’t know if antibiotics available for animals back then

    • Teresa April 16, 2013 at 8:42 am #

      They’ve come a long way in animal health care, but too often they are still considered expendable. So sad.

  10. Carolyn April 16, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    thanks for the information. it’s always nice to see a “first” hand account of goat medical things. Sorry she’s going through this but hopefully she’ll pull through and be right as rain again.

    • Teresa April 16, 2013 at 11:43 am #

      She is feeling better now. I do hope that lasts! I’ve long said my goats seem to think I should know everything there is to know about goats. Hopefully, sharing helps others.

  11. Mama Zen April 16, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    Bless her heart! Hope this takes care of it!

    • Teresa April 16, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

      Thanks. Hopefully it will not come back. 🙂

  12. LZ November 6, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

    Teresa, I see this is an April post of this year. How is your doe now? Could you please explain the treatment and repeat series to me. I just had a friend call with this problem for the second time. Spent a fortune to do a hysterectomy on a doe and can’t afford to do it again. She needs other options, and any info on what causes this. Thanx

    • Teresa November 6, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

      The treatment hasn’t helped Annie. It has lessened the fluid, but it continues to come back. If she weren’t so old, I’d opt for the ovectomy for her, but I’m trying to manage and keep her comfortable. Sadly, there are not a lot of options for treatment. I’m not sure they know what really causes it. I’d guess with Annie, it was the horrible birthing experience she had the previous spring.

      • LZ November 12, 2013 at 11:15 am #

        I’m sorry to hear that the treatment has not helped your Annie.

  13. Wendy November 6, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

    Teresa, I just read this post and I’m sorry your Annie isn’t well. I just wanted to let you know that I have a pet goat that had uterine problems that were not considered operable. She was given 6 months to live but we asked the vets at Colorado State University to think outside the box and they pioneered a laparascopic hysterectomy that only requires a 4 inch incision. This was done in March of 2012. We have a very happy and healthy goat now. I know that it is hard to make an economic case to do what we did. We were extremely fortunate that CSU gifted us much of the care that our goat received. They are now doing the surgery routinely. Here is a little article on Sophie. http://www.today.colostate.edu/story.aspx?id=8944

    • Teresa November 7, 2013 at 7:40 am #

      I guess I wouldn’t say she isn’t well. Most days, she’s perfectly fine. Most times when she has the fluid, it doesn’t seem to bother her and she gets rid of it. I think there’s only once this fall that she’s had a shot to help get rid of the fluid. Overall, she is fine, or I would pursue the surgery. However, any surgery on an almost 8-year-old goat with CAE is very risky. It’s a choice to manage the issue rather than put her through surgery.

  14. marion larrigan September 24, 2014 at 9:03 am #

    I have just read the above about ANNIE AND FIND IT VERY HELPFUL , MY GOAT GEMMA IS 14YRS OLD NEVER BEEN BRED BUT LIVES WITH HER NEUTURED BROTHER, she had a bad discharge from her Vulva vet said it was an open pyermetra, took no samples , gave her antibiotics and pain kellers to gwet her over the weekend , the vet gave me no other possibility , but II see it could be other things , she is eating and walking about this is her 4th day , the discharge has stopped he eyes are bright , I am hoping now she will recover although before I read Annies story I was sure we would lose her , thank you for sharing your expertise with all .I will call my vet now and discuss further treatment and not to have her put down , she is a sweet little goat had her since weaning .

    • Teresa September 24, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

      At the age of 14 any type of surgery would be very risky for her. Goats don’t do well with surgery (anesthesia) under the best of situations, but you might be able to get it under control with the prostiglanden. Just for accuracy, they did try to remove Annie’s uterus because the fluid filled her up again. She had 19 liters of fluid drained and her uterus had fused to other organs in places. She made it through the surgery, but she did die from so much trauma and shock. I do hope you have good luck with Gemma.

      • Dianne AscroftDianne June 24, 2015 at 1:59 am #

        Thanks for this information, Teresa. I know you posted this a couple years ago but I’m having similar problems with an 11 year old doe. The white discharge has recurred throughout the past year and she has had antibiotics when it occurs. For the past week she has also been passing blood from the uterus (vet confirmed it’s uterine, not fresh blood) and she is on antibiotics again. Can I ask how old Annie was when she had the surgery? Our vet has mentioned surgery but said it was hard to say what the risk would be. Any information you can give me would be helpful.

      • Teresa June 24, 2015 at 8:33 am #

        Annie was 8. I have an 11 year old that has had a lot of discharge too, and at that age, I refuse to even attempt a surgery, but you might have great results. Good luck.

  15. Universal One Church August 12, 2015 at 10:51 am #

    There is such a thing as Animal Ministry. For animal lovers you may have a calling to become ordained to attend to animals. http://www.universalonechurch.org


  1. Spring Random 5 Friday | Eden Hills's Blog - April 19, 2013

    […]  If you read about Annie and her female issues, I just wanted to let you know she seems to be doing better.  Of course, all […]

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