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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Kim suggested I copy this into a new thread, since it got buried in another. She had asked a question about the link between fatty liver disease and ketosis. Sondra found that there was indeed a link, and I posed the following questions, based on what we've experienced this year. I would appreciate some advice. Thanks.

I have been thinking about this link for a couple days. Since Cinnamon had ketosis this year, and I don't want a repeat of that, I've been thinking how I can prevent it. When I first got goats (and Cinnamon was my first) I had no clue what I was doing (I'm only a little better now, of course but then I was useless). I did have some guidance, but nobody close by to ask questions of. Anyway, I bought her when she was freshened and milked her for several months with no problems. I fed her what I'd been advised, etc. She did well. I sent her in the fall to be bred and when she came back, I thought she was pregnant. To make a long story short, she was not, and ended up being overweight. First, I didn't know to cut back on the grain when she was dry, and second, I fed her more than she should have gotten, thinking she was pregnant. By the time I figured out that she wasn't, she'd gained extra weight and started having foot problems.

Well, thankfully for all my goats, I have learned a lot in the past couple years. Now I know much more about how and what to feed, feet care, etc. But that doesn't mean that my original goats still do not have to deal with the mistakes I made in the past. Both Cinnamon and Spice, for example, have feet that are not great. Due primarily to the fact that I didn't know what I was doing, and I trimmed their feet wrong. I still work regularly to correct their feet as far as I am able.

Now with this latest round of problems with Cinnamon - the ketosis - I wonder if the mistake I made in letting her get overweight has caused her to have fatty liver disease, too. Since they can be linked, it is a possibility. Is there any test that can be done to find out if that's what it is? or is that something that can only be done on autopsy?

If indeed she does have fatty liver disease, will she develop ketosis each time she freshens? Is there anything I should be doing different in future pregnancies to help prevent it? or is it even preventable if she does have liver disease.

My poor girls have been through a lot as I have learned about proper care for goats. My more recent goats are benefitting from my increased knowledge, but I hate for the original two to suffer because of my past ignorance. I'm beating myself up, here, so bear with me.

If you can offer any advice so I can prevent future problems, I'd appreciate it.
Kathy
 

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Few to no goats get Ketosis, it is a metobolic disease of cattle. Nearly all Ketosis diagnosis are in fact Hypocalcemia. Hypocalcemia that is not treated with calcium and aborted like you do with Ketosis diagnosis all end the same way, dead kids and a very ill doe who does not come into milk. By the time you have ketosis in a goat she has been so grossly fed wrong, no readibly absobable calcium in her diet or not treated for hypocalcemia, no mineral reaserach to see why does fed alfalfa are not absorbing it.

But yes, goats who are grossly overweight, even when dieted down still have packed fat around and in their liver and around their internal organs and ovaries. It also makes they very hard to get bred with cystic ovaries. Why this is more prevelant in Nubians, they convert more calories to meat and fat than their swiss counterparts.

The only treatment for Ketosis is to abort the doe. If you only have about 10 days to drench her with PG until the window of live kids if you dex and lute than go for it. Much longer than this and she is throwing ketones in her urine and she will not only deliver dead kids but she will die. We saw this over and over in the dairy with our best milkers on a sweet feed and grass hay/pasture diet.

And why they simply don't add the hypocalcemia info to the ketosis treatments, at least with this amount of calcium the doe has a chance. Vicki
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok, so what Cinnamon had was Milk Fever. (One of these days I'll get my terms straight.) The vet called it ketosis. He did say that the drenching with CMPK likely saved her. I guess, I'm just hoping to avoid this in the future. Is she going to have this problem each time she freshens? or is there something I can do to avoid it with future pregnancies? She was fed 3lbs alfalfa pellets daily from last August (when I found out about them) till the present, all through her pregnancy, along, of course with grain when it was time to start. I don't know how to get more calcium in her other than the alfalfa. Is there something else I should add during pregnancies to help her get more calcium, then? In addition to the alfalfa?

Difficulty in getting pregnant explains why she didn't take even though she was put in with a buck the last two years in a row (off the farm here). But then, this year, with Ringo, she had triplets. I just don't want her to have to go through this each time she freshens. She's my favorite goat, and I really hate to see her suffer. She'll probably die of old age here, though, even if I can't breed her, for that very reason.
Kathy
 

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Living in Arkansas are you using the mineral that Kaye does? Mirroring the feeding program she is so successfully using? That would be where I would start. Yes, she will have this happen again. If everything stays the same in her management it will happen again. So figure out what you need to change...do you need to milk her into the last 50 days of pregnancy? Is it your minerals? Do you need to copper bolus so she utilizes more of her calcium? Vicki
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Vicki,
I don't know Kaye's feeding program, or what mineral she is using. I just switched to Onyx for my mineral. I had been using a red mineral, and when I read here that the extra iron (of which we have a lot around here) would cause problems with calcium uptake, I asked around and found this one. I looked for TeckMaster for a long while, finally figuring out that the only place I'd be able to get it (and only sporadically) was in Little Rock. That's a good drive from here to not be sure it was in stock.

Anyway, Onyx has been recommended by another goat owner here whose animals look great. She said since she started using Onyx and feeding alfalfa, she hasn't had any problems with calcium at all. Of course, Cinnamon wasn't on Onyx during her pregnancy - so this change may help, I hope. The feed store owner where I bought the Onyx said, when I told him of the troubles I'd had and the other mineral I was using, "You come back in here in 60 days and tell me the difference you see. It's going to be a BIG difference." I'm hoping he's right.

What we're feeding here is free choice grass hay, minerals and baking soda, 3 lbs alfalfa pellets daily, and grain based on where the girls are in their breeding/lactation cycle. For now, since everyone is fresh, they're getting about 3lbs of grain a day, broken into morning and evening feedings. I mix my own grain. I don't know the percentage of each item, but when I mix it, I mix for each 6 lbs whole oats, ~3 lbs BOSS, 1 lb cracked corn, and 1 lb calf manna. This mix is the same, I belive, as what Leslie is using.
Kathy
 
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I have switched to the Onyx also. We were using Sweetlix but was having to special order it, and couldn't ever remember to order ahead of time, so we switched. It has 2500 ppm copper in it.
 

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Anyway, Onyx has been recommended by another goat owner here whose animals look great. She said since she started using Onyx and feeding alfalfa, she hasn't had any problems with calcium at all.
I've said the EXACT same thing over and over. I switched to Onyx about a year and 1/2 ago....Hhhhmmm...about the time my kidding/freshening problems STOPPED. I also got more diligent in my copper. When I can see drastic changes in the hair coat and color, placentas dropping out right after kids, hooves better and no white rings around the eyes...it leads me to believe the copper boluses are working.

I WAS of the "old school" that alfalfa was only fed to milkers. Two years of does having to be babied up until freshing or dropping with milk fever...I did some MAJOR revamping! Now, I increase alfalfa...be it pellets or hay (yes, I use both, depending on the quality of hay and mine DOESN'T come from Ark or S. Mo. farms) during the last 60 days of dry period. I buy from a distributor and he knows I only want western alfalfa. It's generally Colo., Wy., NM, hay. Living near the race track, the alfalfa HAS TO BE GOOD or he looses tons of money on a load or faces law suits.

I use horse quality grains...nothing labled for cattle,sheep,goats. Reason....horses are about the most finicky animals alive...least bit of aflatoxins/mold and they drop like flies. No feed company wants sued by a bunch of irrate horse owners. No floor sweepings, bins are cleaned, and feed is of high quality.

Yep, it's higher priced...BUT, feed is NOT the place you save money. One dead goat and you've wiped out your savings.

Another thing that causes more problems is getting those dairy does too fat. You want to add weight during the dry period...but, you've got to know when a doe is waddling fat, that you're GOING to get breeding,kidding, and milk fever problems. Even the boer people are finding that out after several years of breeding/kidding problems with those does they take off the show circuit and try to breed, without taking the show weight off. That used to be a problem in the beef industry...they wised up in a hurry.
Just some food for thought,
Kaye
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Kaye. Glad to know the Onyx is on the right track. I feed alfalfa year round since I found out about it. I can't afford the grains for horses at this point, but I do check every bag as it's opened and if it looks the least little bit funny I won't hesitate to return it. My alfalfa does come from a mill in southern MO, though. Oh well, at least I'm partly on the right track :).
Thanks again,
Kathy
 
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