Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Care & Keeping of Goat Boobies

Poor Chardy has mastitis in one of her teats! One side of her udder has been milked bone-dry by her babies, and the other side is so full that the skin is stretched and shiny and her right teat looks like an Oscar Meyer wiener. (Don't say I never paint you glorious pictures with my words!)

Between googling and consulting my goat books, it sounds like there are two ways to go - the "natural" way and the "western medicine" way. The things that they both have in common is that you massage and "milk out" the infected teat (discarding the milk), then thoroughly clean the udder and teat and apply an udder cream and massage in well, followed by an application of teat-dip or anti-bacterial spray. The natural method also recommends applying a heat pack. The more medically invasive method suggests giving either intramuscular antibiotics (which Chardy just finished a course of) and/or injecting medicine directly into the teat orifice itself.

I'm going to start with the natural method in the hopes of avoiding having to give poor Chardy any more shots. Trying to give intramuscular injections to a rail-thin goat is hard on everybody involved, so we're going to do all that we can to avoid traumatizing or potentially over-medicating her further, but if I feel like she's getting any worse or simply doesn't start improving very soon, I won't hesitate to treat her with whatever antibiotics it takes to rid her of this infection.

And now I get to go milk a reluctant, under-the-weather doe, while dodging cranky kicks. What a way to spend a cold and windy evening!


  1. I have had experience with cows suffering from the same thing. Massage,heat, letting the babies suck all seem to work to various degrees if it isnt too bad. Cabbage leaves wrapped around also draw it out. Cabbage leaves are easy enough to stuff down your bra if you have the same problem but I dont know how you would go getting that around a goats udder unless she is really sick and lying down.

  2. Now that you mention it, I remember hearing about the cabbage leaves thing. I wonder how I could stop her from eating it? ;)

    We milked her some cleaned her up good and did a bit of warm, moist compression & massage. She's acting fine, so hopefully it isn't too serious. My poor girl has been through the wringer!

  3. Oh poor thing, I know her pain! Glad you keep such great care of them.