Bad Feet In Boer Buck....updated with pictures

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by Anita Martin, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    UPDATE: I was called back out this week to trim this goat again. Last time it took me two trims to get the feet even. This time I had enough confidence that he wouldn't bleed to death to take the feet all the way down. They are off by just millimeters only because I stopped when the centers of the feet started to bulge and I knew I was close to blood supply.

    I know the pictures I took before I trimmed really suck, but if you look close you can see that the two halves are wildly uneven...the goat again was walking like a "clydesdale". They said after I got his feet even the last time he walked normal until they grew like that again....which did not take long at all.

    I'm again wondering if this is founder, genetics, or something else? What would cause one half of a foot to grow at the rate of approx. 1/2 inch per month? And it's growth in sole/height, not just hoof wall and it does not curl under like a normal hoof. The "good" half also seems atrophied to me, assumably from lack of use, while the "bad" side is fat and wide.

    They did tell me before I started trimming that they had taken him off all grain, but once I was done, I watched them fill their pan to overflowing with some type of pellets....maybe they thought I was referring to just the corn? :(

    pictures are at the bottom of this page.




    I am kicking myself for not getting a picture of these feet yesterday before I started working on them. I had my camera in the car, but forgot all about it! :duh

    I was called out to do a Boer type goat. An intact male. Kept as a pet with a small herd of Pygmy goats in a large paddock but no pasture. There were two pans of grain/corn available, uneaten when I got there. I immediately suggested they get rid of those. :)

    This goat has trouble walking, and gets down on his knees to eat. The problem with his feet is that on both fronts, one side, (the inside half) of his foot was probably about 4 inches long, while the outside half is normal. This means he is bearing all his weight on two stilts.


    To trim him they laid him down on the ground and 2 people held him while I trimmed his hooves. I took off quite a bit, but although I was using my horse hoof nippers because of the huge amount that needed to be taken off, it still took longer than I was wanting to keep a goat on the ground in that stressed position, so I stopped once I got an inch or so removed.

    I'm going back in two weeks and WILL get pictures. Does this sound like founder, with just the one half affected, or could it be genetic, or both? They want me to set up a care plan that will keep these things under control. I'm hoping getting rid of the grain will help, and have suggested monthly hoof trimming once they are even.

    Is there any reason I can't make these feet even on the next trim? There is still at least one inch difference in height between the two sides, maybe a little more. I did not reach any pink at all, but stopped due to how long he had already been on the ground, plus I wanted to let the blood vessels contract back a little more before I went further. But, he really needs to be made even as soon as possible.

    Another breeder who was doing his feet before me told them they should trim their goats feet every six months. He raises boer goats. They asked my opinion on that, and of course I gave it to them. :)

    I've no personal experience with this type of foot at all, so thought I'd ask here, and also see if it's possible this hoof will ever be "normal" or will it always grow at an accelerated rate compared to the outside halves of his feet? Back feet are normal.

    Thanks!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Caprine Beings

    Caprine Beings New Member

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    Re: Bad Feet In Boer Buck

    Not any expert on boer hooves but grain and high protien diet accelerate hoof growth and yes that is quite normal for the fores to grow faster than the rears with a high protien diet. Their pygmies should also be limited on the high protein diet as they are prone to obesity. Hooves should be trimmed on a regular bases for overgrowth, period.
    I would suggest to them to make a head gate, then he could be restrained without having to lay him on the ground to trim. It is easier for the handler as well.
    Some goats, no matter the breed, do have poor hoof conformity. I would continue to try to get the hooves even. But if they are not willing to decrease the high protein then his hooves will eventually lead to cause bent or bowed legs (THAT I do have experience in) and is why he is on his knees to eat. If he has not been copper bolused it would be beneficial to him for his hoof growth. JMHO and what I have witnessed.
    Boers hooves do tend to be much thicker than dairy goats and I would suggest a soaking before hoof trimming to get them to soften.
    Tam
     

  3. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    Re: Bad Feet In Boer Buck

    Thanks Tammy,
    They did seem willing to omit the grain as another breeder had also suggested that to them, so hopefully they will do it. I'm not sure this goat could stand for trimming, thinking about it. Each hoof has the two sides....cloves, frogs, or whatever you call them. On the fronts it's just ONE of the sides that is overgrown, making walking and standing very uncomfortable for him. He's really not lame so to speak, but he picks his feet up VERY high to walk, and then for standing still, he gets on his knees...hopefully that makes sense.

    I was perplexed that the two halves would be so uneven, grossly so.

    Man, I wish I had gotten pictures! I'm putting together some info on goat hooves for my Horse Hoof Care site and they would have been excellent!
     
  4. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    Re: Bad Feet In Boer Buck

    Here is a picture I drew that somewhat resembles what these feet looked like before I trimmed them. The lines on the hoof represent where I took them back to.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. lorit

    lorit Senior Member

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    Re: Bad Feet In Boer Buck

    I've got a doe this way - not 4" - more like a 1" difference between length of toes on the front - back is a bit of a difference but fairly normal. I trim her every two weeks and have a friend who knows more than I out at least once a month to work on her as well. Have done this for almost a year now and there is no letting up on this growth pattern. Being dry, bred or fresh hasn't made a difference. Bolused, bo-se, loose minerals, everything else the same as the rest of the herd. We trim down to pink on the long side everytime and have tried letting the short side grow longer to even out and it never does. The only thing we haven't tried is to cut them way down and cauterize the mess.

    She is a grade doe that is a good mommy, decent confirmation otherwise, so-so udder so I have finally decided to put her down when this set of kids are weaned. Am watching the kids feet carefully as her doeling has potential (was bred to nice PB buck) and figure I'll keep her for a year and if the feet stay good, breed her; otherwise eliminate from the genepool. I am convinced it is genetic rather than management in this specific situation and that is why I am not willing to make her suffer with any extreme "fixes".

    Sorry that doesn't offer any help but perhaps a perspective.
     
  6. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    Re: Bad Feet In Boer Buck

    Thanks Lori,
    I like to know what I'm up against, and the clients do plan to take over the hoof management once the feet are "normal". My thought is that they will never be normal, and will always require very frequent trimming. He's still a buck but they are considering taking him in for castration since they do not plan to breed him, but just keep him for a pet.
     
  7. Re: Bad Feet In Boer Buck

    Not being independently wealthy, I keep my "pets" in the freezer. Never could figure out why/how folks maintain non productive livestock...
     
  8. Aeries09

    Aeries09 New Member

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    Re: Bad Feet In Boer Buck

    Poor guy. That would be brutal... Too bad they didn't call before the problem was that advanced!
     
  9. fmg

    fmg New Member

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    Re: Bad Feet In Boer Buck

    Well, it doesn't really cost much more to maintain a pet goat than a pet dog or cat, I don't think.

    Poor guy, hope you can get his feet better!
     
  10. tlcnubians

    tlcnubians New Member

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    Re: Bad Feet In Boer Buck

    What you're describing is a classic case of founder. Especially if you noticed a thickening in the wall of the hoof. Founder can be managed with a low protein diet (oats and grass hay for example) and frequent hoof trimmings. For some goats it's more of a problem than for others. Feeding a supplement that has biotin in it can help also. It does seem to run in some Nubian family lines, not sure about any other breeds though.
     
  11. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Re: Bad Feet In Boer Buck

    When we got in brokered goats, most were in horrific shape. There was no way of trimming all those feet just a little every week or so to pare them down. I would cut off what I could around the outside and then using a belt sander, sand the feet down. The sander was so hot it immediatly cauterized bleeders, and yes they walked on their knees awhile because of the pain, but they usually were walking on their knees anyway. A quick dousing of kopertox and they were done for the month. I also would plug in my disbudding iron to hit any bleeders that were persistant.

    The problem with a diet of grain and grass hay is that they are both high in phosphrous, it may not aggrevate founder but it will urinary calculi. Founder is management, bad feet are genetic. With our humidity and ground moisture we simply have to keep kids and adults feet trimmed, which in turn keeps fast growing kids feet and legs in excellent shape.
     
  12. tlcnubians

    tlcnubians New Member

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    Re: Bad Feet In Boer Buck

    I don't know, Vicki . . . the person who suggested this diet to me (and the genetic predisposition to founder) was Bev Wallace back in 2006 when I purchased some the last doelings from her that she had bred (for those of you who aren't familiar with the name, Bev was one of the last owners of Smooth Operator, Premier Nubian sire many times over in the 1990s . . . her herd name was 4B). Our bucks are fed mostly crimped oats with a little bit of a 16% medicated pellet and sudan hay. We almost never have to trim their feet. Nor have we ever had a case of urinary calculi (knock on wood). The one doe I have that foundered as a three year old (my first finished champion, TLC Farms SJ Jamie Lee) is 9 years old this year and has been living on basically the same diet for the last six years. Her feet have to be trimmed every 3-4 weeks even with a low protein diet.
     
  13. Caprine Beings

    Caprine Beings New Member

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    Re: Bad Feet In Boer Buck

    I just have to say it is not always founder. I am not dredging up our bad hoof case again, it is too heartbreaking :sniffle :down but with us it was not founder. And though this may or may not be the case with this fella...unkept hooves do tend to grow wonky and can cause structural damage. Not argueing...just letting it be known its not always founder.
    Tam
     
  14. dragonlair

    dragonlair New Member

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    Re: Bad Feet In Boer Buck

    Founder usually has thick rings on the hoof, so the hoofs are ripply. I had a doe I rescued years ago with severe founder. My ex was a farrier and helped me get them as close to normal as they could be. I was never able to use regular goat trimmers on her, those feet were like iron. We had to use the horse nippers and rasp. We used to soak them before trimming to soften them a little or let her out in the damp grass. I feed kelp meal, which helps hoof condition. It seemed to help make them a little more flexable. We trimmed her every 2 weeks, just enough to to keep them short and level. After the initial treatments and the hoofs were the correct length and angle, I would take a rasp to them every 2 weeks or so. They grew horribly fast.
     
  15. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    Re: Bad Feet In Boer Buck

    My thought was to take a belt sander or flap disk grinder next time I go....but I hate making goats bleed when I'm not sure I can stop it, or if it will start up once I leave. They had a fellow doing his feet, but with his suggestion of trimming every six months, they thought maybe that wasn't working out too well. They ended up having one of my horse clients work on him. she does her own horses feet between my trims, but she didn't know anything about goat feet so thats when she called me in. The only thing I "KNOW" for certain is that he was getting too much grain and I can trim his feet until I see pink!

    They had another goat that ended up with urinary calculi and it got so bad they had to put him down. They had been feeding alfalfa pellets up to that point and were told that those were what had caused the uc and so they stopped. I guess I threw a wrench in things when I told them about the ph and need for calcium to counter all the phosphorus they were getting, etc.

    I have found that goats present founder differently than horses. On horses I can tell immediately if they are foundering, mostly by the squishy coronary band which will later form a ring on the hoof. Goats feet are more complicated to me. Getting to the cause, if it's not hereditary would certainly help.

    I think tame goats make great pets. They don't bark, or chase cars, or even run out in the road most of the time. They will walk on a leash, don't slobber or drool on you and don't need a litter box. They are affectionate, sweet and loving and can provide hours of entertainment with their antics. They can be trained to pack and go on long hikes as well as pull a cart. They provide the garden with all the manure it could need and eat the leftover produce and pulled weeds too! I'd rather have 20 goats than a housefull of barking dogs any day of the week!
     
  16. hsmomof4

    hsmomof4 New Member

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    Well, Anita, to some people grain = oats, corn, barley, etc, while to other people it would include pellets (though not alfalfa pellets, of course). Probably you need to be more specific. I don't have answers for the rest, though. :/
     
  17. Trysta

    Trysta New Member

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    Vicki mentioned copper tox, YES! Give this buck footbaths with either copper tox or one of the newer anti footrot liquids. I would say daily for a week, then monthly. I have one doe with with the feet from the twilight zone, but religous trimming and monthly footbaths (she's used to it, so I just put her feet in a bucket 1 by 1 and we have a good talk......) do help. I want to put in a footbath for my whole herd, but haven't done so yet. I believe it's key to keeping foot problems/footrot at bay. Plus feeding the right minerals, of course.
     
  18. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    Sadly, this isn't my goat and daily footbaths or even frequent trimming won't be happening for him. He's not very tame, and is very large, although amazingly, did not stink at all! (I had dreaded the appt. knowing I also had to trim for a more elite horse owner after the goat) He has huge horns and is what he is handled by. They catch him and throw him down on the ground and hold him while I trim. Even if he wore a collar or they had a headgate, he could not bear weight on that hoof long enough to trim the other.

    So much info is out there on horse hooves and how they get into a condition, etc., but next to nothing on goat hooves with pathology.